Renner, Ellen Castle of Shadows, 390 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2012. $15.99. Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.
Princess Charlie has lived without her mother since she disappeared several years ago. Now, neglected and mistreated by the housekeeper, Charlie befriends the gardner’s assistant and takes matters into her own hands. Finding clues and following her instincts, can Charlie solve the mystery and stop the revolution?
This first book in the Castle of Shadows series is a bit long for the 5th-6th grade reader. Many of the situations in the story are improbable, like friends in the castle who have been hiding all these years, but fail to protect her. However, it’s full of good adventure and excitement. I liked that magic wasn’t involved in solving the problems. The time period seem abiguous there are references to scientific discoveries and other modern things yet the setting seems almost fairy tale. This is an OK first novel. I hope she picks up some speed with the next one.
EL OPTIONAL Lisa Librarian