Title: Thursdays with the Crown (Castle Glower #3)
Author: Jessica Day George
Age Group/Genre: KidLit – Fantasy
Release Date: October 7, 2014
I don’t remember exactly how I discovered the Castle Glower series. Maybe a blogger raved about Tuesdays at the Castle. Maybe a friend recommended it to me. Or maybe I was just browsing at my local library and the fun, bright colors of the cover intrigued me. Regardless, the book seemed to call out to me, begging me to invest just a little of my time exploring its world.
Since that first decision to pick up Tuesdays at the Castle, I have fallen in love with the Castle Glower series. I love pretty much everything about it. The fun, quirky humor. The siblings and their friends who are pure of heart, but experience all of those other emotions that make them human – they snap at each other, feel fear, get jealous. The obvious villains. The unique plot. How the Castle is a character in its own right. I have read each installment of this series with excitement and anticipation, because they are just THAT GOOD.
In Thursdays with the Crown, Celie and her siblings Rolf and Lilah, along with their friends Pogue and Lulath and Celie’s griffin Rufus, find themselves transported by one of the Castle’s towers to a different land. Here in the Glorious Arkower (at least, they’re pretty sure that’s where they are, right?), Celie intends to find the other piece of Eye that will enable the Castle to fully heal itself. Instead, they find two wizards warring against each other to control the Castle, a poisoned lake, a nefarious plot to hatch more griffins, and the Tomb of the Builder, which could hold some answers. Celie and the others just want to fix the Castle and get home, but could there be more to the story?
Just like other genres (romance, dystopian, etc.), fantasy tends to suffer from some of the conventions of the genre. It can be dark, violent, complex, and predictable. Luckily, Thursdays with the Crown (and the Castle Glower series in general) suffers none of these. A lot of this is because the series is written for kids, but kidlit fantasy can sometimes still be boring and predictable. Thursdays is a fun, magical experience that will leave readers clamoring for more. Luckily, there is one more planned book in the series, so the fun doesn’t have to end just yet.
I had very few things I disliked about this book. The most major qualm I had was that I loved the Castle’s character so much in the first two books, but I was disappointed this time around. Even though the book revolved around fixing the Castle and getting home, the Castle just didn’t have a large presence. Also, a couple things felt a little repetitive – like how the Arkower kept popping up to rant about how he deserved to bond with griffins and control the Castle. That got a little old. But for the most part, the book was thoroughly enjoyable.
If you enjoy light, quirky, all-around fun fantasy, this series is for you! I would also pair this series with some other fun series I love. Here are the ones I can think of right off the top of my head:
1. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles – Patricia C. Wrede
2. Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy – Diana Wynne Jones
3. The Last Dragonslayer series – Jasper Fforde
And of course, Harry Potter. These series all have a special quality that I can’t quite describe. But they all make the list as some of my favorite fantasy series for kids EVER. So that’s pretty great. I think it’s pretty obvious that I love this series, and I really think you’ll love it, too. So what are you waiting for?