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.
So many griffins! So much awesomeness involving griffins!
George has a really nice subversion of the “protagonists learn one thing from one person, and then find someone else with a different version of said thing.” Usually in that trope, the second person is the correct one, and the protagonist switches allegiances. In Thursdays with the Crown, however, George accentuates more the way people, especially old wizards who have lived in a certain land forever and have had plenty of time to scheme and mope around and be self-righteous, use ignorance to their advantage.
I discovered reading this book that I actually enjoy the character interaction more than I cared about the plot. George has a rather large cast of characters, but each one is unique and all together they mesh really well. In the last book I thought the plot turned into a really strange direction, and this book continued that direction, but the character interaction was so great that the plot just sort of slid on by unnoticed. I did really like the bit with the poisoned water at the end, though.
Speaking of “meshing well,” I know Celie is only twelve and these books are not romances (except in the sense that Lilah has suitors, and at the end of this book is kissing Lulath in hallways), but…I was getting such a strong future Pogue/Celie vibe in this book, especially at the end.
Recommended Age Range: 10+
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
“Is he not the very wonder of wonders?” Lulath said a moment later, in Sleynth. His voice was reverent. “I shall be naming him Lorcan the Destroyer.”
“No! It’s not fair!” Darryn scrambled to his feet.
“The griffin has chosen,” the Arkower intoned, but his face was not pleased.
“It’s my turn!” Darryn repeated.
“And you failed,” the other young man sad sadly. “Again. Just like we all fail, time and again.”
I love the characters of this trilogy (series?) so much and they interact so well with each other. I still think the plot was a little strange, but it was continued much more smoothly than I thought it was in the second book. There were also lots of awesome griffins which endeared me more than in the previous book. A good series, but I think the first book is the best of the three and the second and third are only necessary to read if you want to spend more time with the characters.