The Castle Glower Series by Jessica Day George
Saturdays at Sea
Summary from the publisher:
There is never a dull moment for Celie and her family in Castle Glower–even when they’re not in the Castle itself! After traveling to the seaside kingdom of Lilah’s betrothed prince, Lulath, Celie and her companions are busy training griffins, enjoying wedding festivities, and finishing construction of a grand ship built from parts of the Castle. But on their maiden voyage, the Ship steers them far off course into uncharted waters. Celie and Lilah hope that the Ship is taking them to the ancient island where unicorns once roamed, but as the journey grows longer and supplies run low, they are in trouble. Celie, Lilah, and Rolf know they must trust the Ship as they trust the Castle, but what if they never reach land again?
This is one of my favorite tween series, and I am so sad to see it end. Celie is a very endearing character who has a lot of spunk and cares a lot about her family and friends. I also enjoyed the griffins and especially the Castle Glower. I did enjoy seeing Lulath’s home and meeting his family in this book. I always liked Lulath even when he is being a bit pompous or a little too attached to his dogs. Pogue, a friend of the family, is also a favorite of mine. He is a good friend to Celie and sometimes adds to the humor of the story. Celie’s siblings and parents are all well written and sometimes just as important to the plot as Celie and her griffin Rufus.
That said, the last book was very different from the others. Instead of the action taking place at the castle, they are stuck out at sea on a ship for half of the story. I missed the castle. For those of you who haven’t read the books, Castle Glower is very much a character in the stories. It doesn’t talk per se, but it does convey what it is thinking in the creation of the rooms and spaces in the castle. Celie also has a special connection to the castle and supposedly to the ship as well. But I just didn’t feel the same way about the ship as I do the Castle.
The adventure in this last book wasn’t as interesting as the other books either. Now I know being on a ship for days on end can be boring, but I just felt that there could have been a little bit more action. The end of the adventure was kind of abrupt too, with the introduction of a new character and the unicorns, who all go back to the castle with them. I just really feel that this book didn’t finish the series. But even with these flaws I still highly recommend the series to all tweens looking for a funny, fantasy adventure.