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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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Seventh Tower #02: Castle

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Seventh Tower #02: Castle Cover

ISBN13: 9780439176835
ISBN10: 0439176832
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bestselling author Garth Nix's amazing Seventh Tower series is back--now with a great new look!

The Dark World is a place of ice, wind, and fury. A veil of black covers the sky. In all the world, only the Castle shines with light. Tal and Milla are struggling to make it to the Castle, each on a dangerous mission. For Tal, a Chosen, the Castle is home--even though he is not welcome anymore. For Milla, an Icecarl warrior, the Castle is a strange and mysterious place. Her presence is a threat that the Castle dwellers want to stop...at any cost. Sinister forces are conspiring against them. It will take all their strength to survive.

Synopsis:

Two worlds collide: one spiritual and magical, the other aggressive and warriorlike. The world of the new "Seventh Tower" series is an intricate one, rich in detail and intrigue. Together, Tal and Milla will unravel the Castle's mysteries--and find a place for themselves.

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Shoshana, February 7, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
+ Strong male and female protagonists

- In medias res--can’t stand alone; some POV shifts weaken the tension

This is the second of a 6-book series intended for younger readers. If it is an indication of the next several volumes, they really should be read more as serial installments than as related but separate narratives. I will review them with that assumption unless a different approach is warranted.

Castle continues in a seemingly picaresque style, but as protagonists Tal and Milla progress in their quest, it becomes clear that their personal concerns are embedded in a much larger context of history, politics, and intrigue. These broader elements suggest that what appear to be unrelated plot points will be revealed later as part of a greater pattern. Certainly Tal’s adventures among the Icecarls appear to be more fate than accident from the vantage of the end of Castle. The penetrability of the Castle mirrors the vulnerability of the society of the Chosen. Presumably phenomena such as the Veil, rather than simply serving as a starting point to establish alienness, will ultimately be linked to this world’s history in ways that are not yet evident to Tal and Milla; indeed, they are only at the beginning of their realization that there are questions to be asked.

I would have liked to see more evidence of Ebbitt’s eccentricity and arcane knowledge in The Fall; in retrospect, he seems too sketchily drawn there, even considering Tal’s age and relative lack of interest. I found his role in the Hall of Nightmares completely plausible; his actions related to Tal’s ring much less so. Only another few sentences would have vastly improved this scene and underscored some of the differences between Sunstones; without it, the scene seems deflating. Why do everything Tal has done if the solution to one of his problems is so easy? If it’s so easy, why didn’t we hear from Ebbitt earlier? Alternatively, a sentence or two from Ebbitt about why he was not more forthcoming about his secret knowledge earlier in Tal’s life, or even earlier in his quest, would go a long way toward character continuity.

The mood of Castle is somewhat darker than The Fall, and the shadowguards and Spiritshadows evokes both Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and the demons of Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy. Castle is a good companion piece to Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky, books (sadly, apparently out of print) mirroring many of its events and images. If I were still a high school English teacher I’d use the two as a compare/contrast activity to highlight how “story” may be similar but “plot” different in different narrative frameworks.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780439176835
Author:
Rawlings, Steve
Publisher:
Scholastic
Illustrator:
Rawlings, Steve
Author:
Rawlings, Steve
Location:
New York
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Adventure and adventurers
Subject:
Children's stories
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Imaginary places
Subject:
Adventure fiction
Subject:
Fantasy & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Seventh Tower (Paperback)
Series Volume:
02
Publication Date:
20001031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
YES
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.63 x 5.25 in
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Children's » Series » General

Seventh Tower #02: Castle Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Scholastic - English 9780439176835 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Two worlds collide: one spiritual and magical, the other aggressive and warriorlike. The world of the new "Seventh Tower" series is an intricate one, rich in detail and intrigue. Together, Tal and Milla will unravel the Castle's mysteries--and find a place for themselves.
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