I was lucky enough not to read Tuesdays at the Castle when it first came out, only because I then didn’t have too long to wait for the sequel to come out.
Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George.
Back in the magical Castle Glower, Princess Celie is ushered to a tower with an egg, and from the egg hatches a Griffin. But it won’t let her tell people about the baby Griffin – her oldest brother Bran, the wizard, is allowed to find out, but doors are slammed or items dropped down the chimney any time Celie comes close to telling anyone else about it. She is able, though, to do some research into the castle’s history with griffins with her brother Rolf, the heir. Sister Lilah still plays a relatively minor role, though her would-be sweethearts from the last book still important. Pogue the blacksmith’s son turns out to have more thoughtful ambitions, while Prince Lulath teaches the children his native language of Grathian. Meanwhile, the royal family has sent away to the College of Wizards for a wizard to see why the Castle keeps adding rooms, without taking any away, which it used to do. The wizard who comes, Wizard Arkwright, isn’t one that Bran recognizes, and seems decidedly shifty. Once again, it’s up to the children to protect their castle.
Somehow this book, while still a fine story, didn’t strike me as just perfect in the same way that the last one did. I liked the baby Griffin just fine, and hanging out with the children. But the castle, which had a special bond with Celie in the first book, here doesn’t seem as much of a character as just an enigma. The adults in charge are mostly clueless, not absent or nefarious. Neither the kids nor the kingdom are in as much danger as they were in the first book, so that it was somewhat less exciting, even if it did end on a cliffhanger. But – there’s still plenty of adventure and slightly less perfect is still quite good. I’ll gladly keep reading the series, and recommend it very much for younger middle grade fantasy readers, especially those with a fondness for griffins.