Tal Graile-Rerem has embarked on his quest to get home and to get many Sunstones for the clan of the Far-Raiders. And they sent help of the worst kind. In a word, Milla. The Icecarl girl hates Tal, so much to the point of wanting to kill him! But she is fiercely loyal to her clan, and she and Tal have a bond between them. When they are going to the Castle through the air pipes which lead to the Underfolk levels, they find a Sunstone on a skeleton. A powerful Sunstone, too. A little way up, though, they encounter bad air. They both black out. What will happen to Tal and Milla? Read the second book of this compelling series to find out! I liked this book a lot more than I liked the first, because this one had a little more action. It still plodded along a bit at the beginning, but then it turned into a spellbinder! Things got darker and tenser as Nix picked up the story and turned it into a twisted mystery of sorts. This was definately a good read! I'd recommend this book to young people and adults ages 10 and up. I hope that you enjoy the secong book of the 7th Tower series, 'Castle'!
Life is tough if you're a Garth Nix protagonist. The author cuts right to the chase in the second book of the Seventh Tower series, "Castle," by picking up where "The Fall" left off. Things get darker and tenser, and the mystery becomes even more twisted. Tal's family is being mysteriously victimized, and will become outcasts unless he can get into the mystical land of Aenir. But now he's captive of the Icecarls, and is the grudging ally of the tough wannabe-shieldmaiden Milla. After meeting with the ancient Mother Crone, Tal agrees to help sneak Milla in, so they can both find Sunstones -- he for his family, she for her people. But they have more trouble. After getting inside and consulting with Uncle Ebbitt, he tells them that they must find the Codex in Aenir. Then things take a hideous turn: The two kids are captured. Tal is imprisoned in the Pit -- and discovers something about his father's fate. And Milla is trapped with the half-shadow-half-man monster Fashnek, in the Hall of Nightmares... Though "Castle" is not as strong as "Fall," it's a darker, weirder story that adds to the mystery. Why does Sushin hate Tal and his family so much? What is happening to the Sunstones, if they're dying and becoming useless? And who was the mysterious Longface, a Chosen taken in by the Icecarls -- what was he terrified of? Nix's talent for fantastical horror is also more evident here, in the hideous Fashnek, who has an insectile shadow-claw over part of his body. While "Fall" was pretty much pure fantasy, "Castle" has the darker, more macabre bits -- probably even more as the series progresses. And his talent for creating familiar but alien cultures now extends to the Icecarls as well as the Chosen. Tal was a well-rounded character to start with, and he doesn't disappoint in this book. Milla gets a bit more depth, and shows some liking for Tal and Uncle Ebbitt. She softens a little bit, while being no less tough. Uncle Ebbit is likably quirky, but more serious, and the Mother Crone is an intriguing old wisewoman. The second part of the "Seventh Tower" series is a little darker than the first book, and a little more of what fans expect from Nix. And he knows when to stop, just to make them dash eagerly for "Aenir."
With the introductions over, Castle is much faster paced than it's predecesar, yet wastes little time on development of the main characters. This changes in later installments though, and the action is definitely welcome. Tal and Milla have at last made it to the underlevels of Tal's home, Castle, as they continue their search for sunstones which hold the key to each of their individual difficulties. While not as fascinating as some others in this series, it's definitely a good book, and needed to understand anything that comes next. Good for anyone over the age of ten or so.
Just had to ask that question - that creep Sushin, who kept Tal from getting his Sunstone in The Fall (1st in the series), has somehow been promoted by the time Tal and Milla get back to the castle, and he's scheming... In addition to the great mental pictures the author skillfully paints in this book (for a small example, I kind of had the same reaction as Tal did to the Mother Crone's eyes...) I really liked how 13-year-old Tal and 14-year-old Milla learned how to work together despite their differences. What's really cool is how neither Tal nor Milla change who they are for the other person (though their characters DO grow) and still manage to form a team. Now we don't really know that Tal and Milla like each other, necessarily, and they still argue and tease each other, but as the two face more challenges - sometimes even apart (they get separated and Tal faces the Pit while Milla gets tossed into the Hall of Nightmares), they find ways to get back together and to help one another. I can't wait to see what happens next!
The Castle is a good book for those who like fantasy novels. In my belief the system of magic is the most realistic I have seen in any of the fantasy novels. Garth Nix weaves a great story and leaves you begging for more. I am really looking forward to reading Aenir and all of his other books.
This second book was even better than the first one in the series. How is that possible? It is because it reveals places such as the nightmare room. Now what is the nightmare room? Well, it is as it's named, it is where you're living inside your nightmares. Yep, that is very horrible. Yet, there happened to be one person who had put up with it all and survived! Buy it and read it to see what happened!!
After the Shield Maiden rescues Tal and Milla and after Milla heals from her wounds the two set out on the daring journey to the castle. Tal is a Chosen, meaning the Castle is his home. He is on a mission to save his family from bad Chosens. Millia is an Icecarl warrior, she is out to get the Sunstone for her people so they don't have to live in the darkness and she can become a Shield Maiden. Something she desperatly wants to be more than anything. After jumping a chasm and going through a heatway tunnels the two end up getting captured anyway. Tal ends up in a pit where he learns the true thing about his father's dissapearence and Milla ends up in the dreaded Hall of Nightmares. However with much help from Tal's great uncle Ebbit they manage to escape but can they survive? This is a great fantasy book and recommend it to everyone. I can't wait to read Aenir!