Castle Waiting, vol. 1

Writer(s): Linda Medley
Artist(s): Linda Medley
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN: 978-1560977476
Price: $29.95
Page count: 472
Year Released: 2006
Status: in print
Original Source: Castle Waiting (vol. 1) 1-7; Castle Waiting (vol. 2) 1-6; Castle Waiting (vol. 1) 14-16; "hiatus" issue
Other Collected Edition(s): Castle Waiting: The Curse Of Brambly Hedge (ISBN 978-0965185226); Castle Waiting: Lucky Road (ISBN 978-0965185233)
Genres: all ages; adventure; children's lit; fantasy; historical fiction; humor; satire; teen/young adult
Recommended for Fans Of: revisionist fairy tales
Possibly Objectionable Material: none
If You Like This Book, Try: Bone
Also in This Series: followed by Castle Waiting, vol. 2

Plot Summary
As everyone knows, after Prince Charming woke Sleeping Beauty with a kiss they rode off into the sunset together and lived happily ever after. But what about the rest of the people in the story? Castle Waiting is about what happens to the supporting characters in a fairy tale after the Brothers Grimm (or in this case Charles Perrault) have written that famous closing phrase.

With Sleeping Beauty gone, those who are left behind clean up the bramble-shrouded castle and turn it into a safe haven for people in need. As the story opens, Mr. Rackham, the steward of Castle Waiting, works together with a cast of colorful characters (including Sleeping Beauty's handmaidens, Patience, Prudence, and Plenty) to welcome a pregnant woman by the name of Lady Jain into their fold. As she gets settled in, she learns all about the castle's new residents.

The centerpiece of this volume is the long story of Sister Peace, who spent years in a traveling circus before joining the Solicitine Order of Saint Wilgeforte, a convent made up of members who all share one unusual physical trait.

Meanwhile, Lady Jain begins to reveal her own secrets, including why she has run away from home, and what is so unique about her soon-to-be newborn baby.

My Own 2 Cents
Castle Waiting is a brilliant idea brilliantly executed by Linda Medley. Her characters (particularly Sister Peace) are well rounded, and the story is both humorous and compelling. Some readers have complained that this first volume focuses too much on Sister Peace and her earlier adventures, to the exclusion of the other characters, but Medley's plan from the beginning has been to tell each character's story in full (not unlike Chaucer's Canterbury Tales).

This book is well worth the time of anyone who has a love of fairy tales and enjoys postmodern retellings with just the right amount of humor.