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Castle Waiting Vol. 2: The Definitive Edition
by Linda Medley
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This book makes you feel warm and cozy from beginning to end. With glimpses of traditional fairy tales, the characters are all wonderfully deep and lovely. This would be a great first graphic novel for anyone interested in the format. ( )
Read this edition instead of the non-definitive Vol. 2. This has extra chapters which actually complete the storylines. I'm not sure what kind of internal publishing politics were behind releasing the 2010 edition, but the result was deficient.
Even if you've read the previous vol. 2, get this to re-read and finish the story.
If you haven't read any of Castle Waiting, you are a lucky person, because vol. 1 and this book are waiting for you.
This volume is as amazing as the first, I read it in one sitting and I am desperate for more. I love the way the author weaves traditional fairy-tales into something new but still recognizable and I love that while there is drama and intrigue (at least in the background for now)it is not angsty or dark. All of the main characters are so much fun and a joy to get to know better and I can't wait for more. This series is such a joy!
On a random trip to the bookstore with my friend, Karen, I spied this and knew I had to buy it immediately. I loved the first book, and after reading the second volume, I have decided that the blurbs for this series are all wrong. They praise Castle Waiting for being a fairy-tale about women, women-centered and women-powered. But really, aren't most fairy tales women-centered?
No. What makes this series exceptional is that even with all the wonderful fairy tale trappings -- demons, dwarves, talking animals, haunted castles -- this is a story about everyday heroism. Not the heroism of grand adventures and battles and outsmarting monsters, though those things sometimes happen along the way. It's about compassion, and seeing the worth in people who drive you crazy, and sharing hope and encouragement when it might be easier to be selfish.
And despite two of the standout characters being women, the above characteristics just as often apply to the men. I would say the tale is feminist in that it holds compassion over hierarchies and power, and that it allows both women and men to be fully realized characters. Calling it women-centered and women-powered entirely misses the mark.
Summary: Volume 2 picks up where Volume 1 left off, with the inhabitants of the sanctuary of Castle Waiting settling in for the winter. Most of the story in this volume springs from Lady Jain wanting to move to a permanent room in the old keep, near the library. Everyone is eager to help, but some help is more helpful than others. Some of Iron Henry's adoptive family, the Hammerlings, have come to visit as well, and they fall quickly enough into the pace of life at Castle Waiting, while their skills with rock and masonry come in quite handy. Along the way we get a little more of Jain, Henry, and the Doctor's backstories, learn some tips for bowling, and finally settle things with the mischievous house sprites.
Review: I think I may have enjoyed this volume even more than the first. Castle Waiting is just such a comfortable, familiar, and happy-feeling world that it's easy to sink into, and sad to leave. I love the mix of various fairy tale elements and fantasy tropes (in this one, there's lots of bits with secret passageways and haunted castles on top of everything else), and I love the general friendly vibe of the story. There's no peril (well, not much) or adventure or feats of derring-do, but there's people going about their business and helping each other and poking gentle fun at each other and just being good people (or dwarves. Or storks. Or whatever.) These are absolutely character-driven stories, not plot-driven, but the characters are so interesting and so likeable that I honestly barely notice that there's not a particularly strong plot. And actually, this one had a more coherent through-line in the story than the first one did, and it balanced its current day events with its flashbacks more effectively. These books are also funny - not snarky, not mean, but subtly and gently funny… and I dare anyone not to find the house sprites and their "Lluuv beebeebee" and "Reetoomee!" the cutest things ever.
The artwork is also great, detailed enough to give the story a vivid atmosphere, but still with clean lines and scenes that draw they eye in without overwhelming. Medley's got a knack for capturing expressions while still keeping her characters recognizable, which can be tricky to pull off. In general, Medley just creates this wonderful, warm world filled with wonderful, warm, funny characters, and makes the reader immediately feel right at home. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: For folks who like the Fables-style mashing together of fairy tale sources, but are interested in something a little gentler and less gritty, Castle Waiting is waiting for you.
Belongs to Series
Castle Waiting (Vol. 2 - complete (issues 1-18))
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Wikipedia in English (1)
With its long-awaited second volume, Linda Medley's witty and sublimely drawn fantasy eases into a relaxed comedy of manners as Lady Jain settles into her new life in Castle Waiting. Unexpected visitors result in the discovery and exploration of a secret passageway, not to mention an epic bowling tournament. A quest for ladies' underpants, the identity of her baby son Pindar's father, the education of Simon, Rackham and Chess arguing about the "manly arts," and an escape-prone goat are just a few of the elements in this delightful new volume. characters, including Jain's earliest romantic entanglements and conflicts with her bratty older sisters, the horrific past of the enigmatic Dr. Fell, and more. Originally released in a slightly shorter version when the series ceased publication, this new edition includes over 60 pages' worth of brand new additional story and epilogue, and the entire book has been re-lettered in a livelier, more inviting style for an even more engaging reading experience.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)741.5 — The arts Graphic arts and decorative arts Drawing & drawings Cartoons, Caricatures, Comics
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