Sunday, December 04, 2011

Castle Waiting

Castle Waiting: Linda Medley: This image is from volume 1 but I've read volume 2 as well and like them both. According to Wikipedia, Medley is currently taking a break from the Castle Waiting series, and I think that's a shame. I love the mix of fairytale and modern touches found in these books.

In volume 1, Medley first retells the Sleeping Beauty story and you see the castle become surrounded by brambles. A century later, Sleeping Beauty's castle has first been abandoned and then taken over by a motley crew of interesting characters -- Simple Simon and his mother; Lady Jain and her odd but cute baby; Sister Peace (a bearded nun), and Rackham (a stork who acts as steward in the castle.) Sleeping Beauty's ladies-in-waiting also live at the castle, which seems to exist as a haven for those who need it.

Instead of retelling fairytales, Castle Waiting provides the reader with an insight into the daily lives of the characters who inhabit the castle. There's also backstory for Lady Jain, who has fled her husband and is in search of a place to stay, and for Sister Peace, who started out as the daughter of a pub owner and, when she began to exhibit facial hair, left to join the circus, and ended up as a nun in a convent of similarly bearded women. I liked both storylines and I liked both volumes of this graphic novel -- although they are both over 300 pages, they take no time at all to read. I just wish Linda Medley hadn't taken a break from the story because volume two just ends -- period -- at what seems to be the start of a new storyline involving dwarves (here called Hammerlings).

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