This week I am reading Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George. It’s the fourth book in the “Castle Glower” series that started with Tuesdays at the Castle. This is a fantasy series about a castle that is sort of alive and changes periodically without anyone controlling it directly (it sometimes takes suggestions, though).
I discovered Jessica Day George through her young adult fairy tale retellings. This series is middle grade and not a retelling of an existing fairy tale, but rather a whole new fantasy with fairy tale flavor. The heroine is complex and interesting. She’s the youngest princess in the royal family and the most interested person in the castle itself (she is obsessively trying to map it through the first book – something no one else seems to have ever even attempted). By this point in the series, she has her own pet griffon and has uncovered and repaired many of the castle’s secrets with the help of her siblings and a few close friends.
So far, each story has been distinctly different from the ones before it and this one appears to be yet another story entirely. In this book, there is an escaped wizard who is likely very dangerous, the discovery of the parts of a famous ship in the castle, and a royal wedding on the horizon. Oh, and maybe a search for the missing unicorns (although there is the concern that they are missing because the griffons liked to eat them and so maybe they should be left in peace…)
I like that Celie is a strong and independant heroine, but also one who needs help sometimes. I also appreciate that she’s very realistic and human. She gets upset without quite understanding why or over things she thinks shouldn’t upset her. She sometimes asks for help easily and other times struggles with it or resents it. She is very social and loves her family and friends, but also struggles with needing time alone sometimes. I love how real she feels.
I’ve enjoyed this series so far and am excited to be back in Castle Glower exploring magic and mythical creatures and interesting family dynamics!