Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: Thursdays with the Crown

Thursdays with the Crown
By Jessica Day George
Bloomsbury USA Children's, 2014
Reviewed from NetGalley
Audience: Grades 4 to 6
ISBN:  9781619632998
Expected Publication Date:  October 7, 2014

Celie and her friends have been transported to the original home of the Castle Glower, the Glorious Arkover, and have no way of getting back home.  This land is sparsely inhabited by people, but surprisingly inhabited by griffins, including Rufus' parents.  After splitting up, the gang finds an Arkish wizard, but they aren't sure if they can trust him, and it turns out they can't.  When Celie escapes his cave, she finds a Hathelocke wizard, who is just as shady.  Once the gang is reunited, they discover the Tomb of the Builder and bring back some relics that may help their father speak to the castle, that is if they can ever get home.  The plot continues to twist and turn and double back on itself until there is finally a conclusion and another hint at a following book.

Tuesdays at the Castle was excellent and inventive.  Wednesdays in the Tower was entertaining although involved.  Thursdays with the Crown is forced and confusing.  I sincerely hope that George lets the Castle Glower rest.

What bothered me most about this book was that it focused more on a centuries old rivalry between the Arkish and the Hathelockes that was never resolved, although it is implied that is might be roughly resolved by the marriage of Celie's parents.  So much of the book was just the children trying to figure out who built the castle and why, and who actually has rights to it.  I guess this is an important part of the castle's back story, but at the same time, it really slowed down the story.  What also bothered me was once they discovered the relics, they seemed to take a strange hold on Rolf which was never explained.  I felt like many things were written so that readers would just have to accept that it worked, rather than showing why this needed to happen.

Also the ending was unusually tidy in my opinion, although I guess in the other books that was also the case.  After pages and pages of complicated history and adventuring, the castle goes back, the plague is cured and everyone goes home happy with a griffin.  Sorry-spoilers.  

I should do a better job of hiding my displeasure with this book, but when the first book was so much fun, I'm very disappointed to see the following books cheapen that experience.  I would highly recommend Tuesdays at the Castle to readers, and then I would recommend that they stop.  The rest of the series just does not seem to live up to that first book, and if not for the fact that I continue to find copies on NetGalley, I would have given up by now too.

Happy Reading!