A young peasant girl and her brother kneeled in the smooth gray stones on the edge of the river, filling wooden buckets with water for their master. 

The Castle Corona, also by Sharon Creech, is an excellent fantasy MG novel. It’s the story of a castle, with “a king who longed for a nap, and queen who yearned for solitude, and a prince who loved poetry, and a princess who loved herself, and a spare prince who loved his sword, and a hermit who was wise.” It’s also the story of a village and “a peasant girl who dreamed of flying, and a peasant boy who dreamed of horses, and a master who dreamed of turnips, and an old woman who kept secrets.” Something valuable and mysterious is stolen from the castle, and falls into the hands of Pia and Enzio, the peasant girl and boy. They must figure out why it is so important and what to do with it. Meanwhile, in the castle, the royals are working on that same question, as well as others, such as “What is all this loveliness for?” (the princess asks this one).

The story is about much more than that. It’s about becoming a better person, and about change, and about finding out who you really are. The writing meanders from this to that, in Sharon Creech’s very distinctive and simple style. She often says what each character is dreaming about, and in doing so, revealing something important about them, or what they’ve experienced that day.

But besides that, The Castle Corona is simply entertaining, a story of two poor orphans who are good people, and some spoiled royals who become better people as the book progresses. Sharon Creech brings this world to light, and despite its easiness, The Castle Corona is probably one of my favorite Sharon Creech novels. Because I like reading fantasy, and I think this is the only fantasy she’s ever written.

The book is illuminated by David Diaz. Not illustrated, illuminated. The pictures do look like something out of an illuminated manuscript. They’re quite beautiful, and fit the medieval-like setting of the story very well. They depict the characters, the setting, and the events.

I really love how you can see the changing perspectives of Prince Gianni, Princess Fabrizia, and Prince Vito. They start like Pia and Enzio when they come to the castle, despite the fact that they are peasants. The princes and the princess actually learn from them.

Read The Castle Corona:

  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like Sharon Creech
  • if you like books with castles and royals and peasants

320 pages.

 
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!
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