Review: Thursdays with the Crown - Jessica Day George

Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George
Series: Castle Glower #3
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy
Published on October 7, 2014
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 224
Read From: 1.25.15 - 2.3.15












SYNOPSIS
Thursdays at Castle Glower have never been spent so far from home. After the Castle transports Princess Celie, Prince Lulath, Pogue, and Celie's siblings, Rolf and Lilah, to an unknown land, they find themselves in the sleeping ruins of the Castle, in a world full of wild griffins and scheming wizards. 
Without the Castle to guide her, Celie is unsure whom to trust - especially when two strange wizards claim to be the Castle's original keepers. She and the others must set out into the unknown if they hope to awaken the Castle and return home. As they learn the story of the Castle's origins, a truth fraught with secrets is revealed. But Celie knows the Castle best of all, and with the help of her pet griffin, Rufus, and her motley crew, she must find a way to save the Castle and get them all home safe and sound.

Review

Initial Thoughts: I've really enjoyed the Castle Glower trilogy from the beginning. Jessica Day George is a terrific writer and world builder, and her books are just fun. They make me feel like a kid again. Thursdays with the Crown was a good wrap-up to this Middle Grade series, if not a little too tidy.


Characters: Celie will always be a favorite Middle Grade female protagonist. She's spunky and adventurous and smart, and she gets tired of her siblings treating her like a child. I felt a little sorry for Rolf, Celie's brother and heir to the throne, and Lilah really became a strong character. Lulath is hilarious; I just love him to death, and poor Ethan!

The Romance: It continues to be light and sweet and doesn't get in the way of anything.

Plot: When one half of the Eye was placed in the Heart of the Castle, it transported Celie, Rolf, Lilah, Lulath, and unconscious Pogue, and Celie's griffin Rufus to the land where the Castle originally came from. Their only hope of returning home is if they find the other half of the Eye and restore the Castle its former glory. But the land they're in is wild and fraught with peril. Two warring wizards, both claiming to be the original keepers of the Castle, and endangered griffins - all of this the royal siblings will have to navigate while learning the history of their beloved Castle Glower. It's so awesome that we finally get to learn about the Castle's origins and about the griffins and how they all came to Sleyne! It's a bit of a convoluted history, as neither of the wizards are telling the whole truth - and no one can really be trusted. It made it that much more fun to sift through the lies and half-truths and try to figure it out for yourself. The plot moves along at a clipped pace, though it's rather predictable, but still really fun.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: Third person, past tense. You know, I actually wish it was a first-person narration from Celie's point of view. This wouldn't make the book better; this is just a personal preference. I would love for Celie to narrate something! The writing contains its usual humor and descriptive style.

Content: None.

Conclusion: The climax is a big moment where all the key characters show up, one after the other, and things are sort of explained in a bit of a convoluted way (but it does make sense in the end), and everything is solved and figured out just in the nick of time. It's a pretty tidy ending, though the lead-up is certainly fraught with peril and struggles. I'm sorry to have to leave Celie's world behind; it was a lot of fun, with lots of good characters and a simple, yet relatively complex, world.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-boy read, seven-and-up, fans of fantasy and Jessica Day George's Dragon Slippers series.

Others in the Castle Glower Series:
1)Tuesdays at the Castle
2)Wednesdays in the Tower
3)Thursdays with the Crown

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