The Castle Glower series is going a little bit the way of the Wide-Awake Princess series, in my opinion. There’s definitely things that are connecting each book together, but each book feels more tired and pale than the last. Too many old formulas are used and there’s not enough variety to spice it up. As a book series for kids, I can see why George would rely on things she’s used before, but for me as an adult, I don’t find them compelling any more.
If you like the formula of the Castle Glower books, Saturdays at Sea continues in that vein: lots of griffins, some humor, and more revelations about the world and the Castle. In this book, unicorns are introduced, and I did like that George showed them in a different way than you would think of unicorns today. There’s a small amount of characterization with Celie, but not really enough to make any big character changes. These sorts of books tend to keep their characters the same way, which is probably what bothers me the most.
If you liked the other books in the series, then you will probably enjoy this one, too. For me, it was too much of the same-old, same-old, and not enough improvement in terms of writing or characterization. There’s also way too many animals—dogs and griffins and now unicorns are all jostling for position alongside a healthy cast of characters. I definitely would go back and read Tuesdays at the Castle again, but I don’t really want to re-read any of the others.