"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Castle Waiting




Castle Waiting
Author: Linda Medley
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: 1560977477
ISBN-13: 978-1560977476

This wonderful graphic novel brings together the first twelve issues of the Eisner Award winning comic. It opens with Brambly Hedge, a tale of a Sleeping Beauty with a twist. After Sleeping Beauty leaves with the prince the castle is left waiting. Her three ladies in waiting stay there and open it to people in need. The castle is infested with hobgoblins and is a little beat up but it welcomes the needy with open arms.
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Among its inhabitants are a pregnant woman on the run, Sir Destrier, a horse-headed knight who wants a place to rest between adventures; and Sister Peace, a bearded nun with a wild past. The women of the castle seem to love telling the stories of their lives and it is these stories that are the meat of Castle Waiting.

Linda Medley has created a masterpiece of fantasy, fairytale and just plain good storytelling. Castle Waiting is light-hearted, fun and different. The stories within stories are wonderful and the characters are multi-faceted and interesting. For me, Jain’s story was the most interesting. Jain was the pregnant woman on the run from an abusive nobleman husband and her tale was riveting and so different from the typical fairy tale.


The artwork is as light-hearted and fun as the story. The bearded nuns are a riot and really made me smile. Through the whole book with the intersecting stories is a thread of kindness and caring that really makes me smile. I love that Sleeping Beauty’s left behind castle is used to help those in need. I love the fact the women who remain have so much love to give to those who show up at the castle door and are willing to share whatever they have. I would have loved this book anyway but that just made it so much more special. Highly recommended.

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