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Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
Binky to the Rescue by Ashley Spires
The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer
Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner
A Cat Named Squeeky by Vic Reskovic
Chi's Sweet Home 01 by Kanata Konami
Conrad's Fate by Diana Wynne Jones
Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh
The Days of the King by Filip Florian
The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! by Mo Willems
Fortune Cookies by Albert Bitterman
How to Wash a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
I Don't Want to Take a Bath by Julie Sykes
I Must Have Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal
The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (audio) edited by John Joseph Abrams
Jam & Honey by Melita Morales
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Mary's Rainbow by Clementia
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Owl in Love by Patrice Kindl
The Paper Crane by Molly Bang
Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judi Barrett
Prime Cut by Diane Mott Davidson
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
The School for Cats by Esther Averill
The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier
Silverlicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann
A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
The Wednesdays by Julie Bourbeau

What Am I Reading
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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Castle of Shadows: 10/17/12

cover art

Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner follows Princess Charlotte, aka, Charlie, as she does whatever she can to track down her missing mother. A letter recently found is her only solid clue.

That missing letter is the crux of the book. Things do really take off when Charlie finds it but it doesn't come until about a third of the way through the book! The first third is wasted on Charlie's neglect: being poorly feed and poorly dressed. The reasons behind her treatment, though, is never adequately explained except to show that the bad guys are bad!

So while the book does eventually pick up speed, by the time it does, I was already bored with Charlie and her world. While her kingdom is clearly inspired by Victorian England, it has it's own history and customs that are for the most part ignored in lieu of highlighting Charlie's own humdrum life as a semi-prisoner within the castle.

There's a sequel, City of Thieves.

Read via NetGalley

Three stars

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 01:30:38


I agree that this book took way too long to get started-I'm surprised more people didn't DNF it (I kind of wonder why I didn't.)

Comment #2: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 23:30:33


I pushed through the book because it was relatively short, but I admit to skimming large portions of it.

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