You know that wonderful moment when you really like a book and think it’s a standalone but then find out a sequel was written? I totally recently had that moment with Tuesdays At The Castle by Jessica Day George. I had to read it a few years ago for the CYBILS awards and find myself utterly charmed by what I had read, and so it was a total delight to find out we would be returning to Glower Castle in Wednesdays In The Tower, the sequel. For the most part, I really enjoyed revisiting Celie and discovering new quirks of the castle, but I honestly think that Tuesdays At The Castle is a better read, however, I still feel optimistic about book three.
On her way to her tutoring/school session, Celie ends up taking a wrong turn, despite having mapped out Castle Glower. She finds herself in a mysterious tower and discovers an egg. Anytime she even things about telling another person what’s up with this new and secret tower, the Castle finds a way to keep her quiet. Turns out, that egg is for griffin and so, Celie finds herself raising the griffin in secret — with the help from a few unexpected friends. FYI, it’s not a spoiler if it’s on the book cover. And so, Wednesdays In The Tower takes a turn where the inhabitants of the castle come across new rooms and the reemergence of some rooms that are seasonal use only (like the Holiday hall). They then begin to question where the actual rooms come from and whether they actually disappear or go to another land. So really the whole book is about unravelling more mysteries of the castle and raising a baby griffin.
Celie is such a great role model for young girls. She’s mostly level headed. She is not lazy. She wants to feel useful. I love that Celie is tenacious and courageous — going into the unknown without knowing how things will turn out, only knowing that it is the right thing to do. I think that we definitely got to see a different side of Celie in Wednesdays In The Tower as she takes care of the griffin. I liked that she can be caring AND totally fierce — and you’ll see how if you read the book.
One cool thing about Jessica Day George’s sequel is that we are let in on more history of the Castle. And of course, as a character, the Castle is so neat. Like, it still changes to suit people’s needs and purposes. However, sometimes the Castle comes across as petulant and as though it doesn’t much care for the Glower family anymore. I liked that we get a sort of reasoning on that, and that the Castle isn’t some deus ex machina come to save the day. I also like that there’s sort of a history involving the griffins and the previous occupants of the Castle. Granted — the griffin wasn’t quite as cool as the Arashitora in Stormdancer, it was still AWESOME. Legit, I would be thrilled if more children’s fantasy books incorporated griffins.
I feel like I definitely inhaled Wednesdays In The Tower. It’s one of those middle grade books with short chapters and big print. Also? It wasn’t like I was dreading the story. I was actually quite invested the whole time. I felt dread every time one of the bad characters showed up. I cheered for each new discovery made by Celie. I laughed whenever Lulath showed up with his dogs. Seriously, this book went by SO FAST. It’s a good one if you’re a smidge behind with your goodreads goal.
However. This book is not perfect. Unfortunately, I found the ending unsatisfactory. One of the things I loved about Tuesdays At The Castle was that the ending was pretty clear, yet there was room for more story. Unfortunately, Wednesdays In The Tower was not at all self contained. There is a cliffhanger ending and frankly, I don’t have the patience for those. That stated, I think that if you enjoyed Tuesdays At The Castle, you will find Wednesdays In The Tower to be a worthy addition to Jessica Day George’s latest series and will probably be clamoring for book three after you finish.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley
Other reviews of Wednesdays In The Tower by Jessica Day George:
I haven’t seen any at the time of typing this review (March 23) so if you’ve reviewed it, drop your link in my comments and I will add them up here!
Books by Jessica Day George:
Tuesdays At The Castle