After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bare with me as I still continue to recover.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1. Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

First book of the year! From my LTST.



Title: Castle Waiting
Author: Linda Medley
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 456
ISBN: 9781560977476
Publisher: Fantagraphic Books
Twitter: @fantagraphics
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5/5 stars
Finished: 1-1-09
Challenge: 75 Books 09
Awards: 2007 Eisner Award nominee: Best Graphic Album — Reprint, Best Publication Design (Adam Grano); 2007 Harvey Award nominee: Best Graphic Album — Previously Published; Official Selection, 2008 Festival International de la Bande Desinée de Angoulême (French edition); "20 Essential Albums for Summer 2008," l’Association des Critiques de Bandes Dessinées (French edition); Finalist, Prix de la Critique 2008, l’Association des Critiques de Bandes Dessinées (French edition)

From Amazon:
The multiple Harvey and Eisner award-winning fantasy is now collected in one volume! A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that's not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil — but about being a hero in your own home. The 456-page Castle Waiting graphic novel tells the story of an isolated, abandoned castle, and the eccentric inhabitants who bring it back to life. A fable for modern times, Castle Waiting is a fairy tale that's not about rescuing the princess, saving the kingdom, or fighting the ultimate war between Good and Evil — but about being a hero in your own home. The opening story, "The Brambly Hedge," tells the origin of the castle itself, which is abandoned by its princess in a comic twist on "Sleeping Beauty" when she rides off into the sunset with her Prince Charming. The castle becomes a refuge for misfits, outcasts, and others seeking sanctuary, playing host to a lively and colorful cast of characters that inhabits the subsequent stories, including a talking anthropomorphic horse, a mysteriously pregnant Lady on the run, and a bearded nun.

For the first time, Fantagraphics'
Castle Waiting collects the first volume of the Harvey and Eisner Award-winning* comic book series into one hearty hardcover. Linda Medley lavishly illustrates Castle Waiting in a classic visual style reminiscent of Arthur Rackham and William Heath Robinson. Blending elements from a variety of sources—fairy tales, folklore, nursery rhymes—Medley tells the story of the everyday lives of fantastic characters with humor, intelligence, and insight into human nature. Castle Waiting can be read on multiple levels and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

What a fantastic tale. While nothing major happens in this story, Castle Waiting leaves you completely fulfilled with its characters and charm. While some of the stories may seem a little familiar, the complete package is a refreshing tale that is composed of several stories connected inside the story, as we learn a little of each character through either their actions at Castle Waiting, or the stories that they tell. The whole thing feels very much like The Canterbury Tales.

The current residents of Castle Waiting are just that; they are waiting. Waiting for a new king to take residence in the castle after the last king was killed while trying to protect his daughter from a fate curiously similar to that of Sleeping Beauty. In the meantime, while they are waiting, they take in any stranger who is seeking refuge there, where we meet Lady Jain, who has a secret all her own about her unborn child. (The story leaves several mysteries unsolved, that I hope will be revealed in later editions.) We also meet Prudence, Patience and Plenty, the last remaining original inhabitants of the castle, the metalsmith Iron Henry, castle steward Rackham Adjutant, castle cook Dinah Lucina and her son Simon, the mysterious Dr. Fell, Sister Peace of the Solicitines and Chess, the castle knight. Together they create a hodgepodge of a family that comes together and takes care of their own. It's a great story of diversity and how that diversity can bring people together under then most mundane or special ways.

Linda Medley's story left me laughing in several places, and her art is fresh and unencumbered. I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel!

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