Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Seventh Tower #2
Genre: Fantasy (MG)
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.
Omigosh! I keep getting sucked deeper and deeper into this series. It's MG but I think it's better written and a heck of a lot more interesting than a ton of YA and even adult novels that I've read lately! I don't know how Garth Nix does it! Sure the writing is easy to read and quick...but somehow he can capture the imagination of an adult an a child at the same time and leave you wanting more more more!
I'm glad we got to see some Underfolk rebels in this book. We barely get a glimpse of them, but I was so excited to find out that they existed! The Rebels..not the actual Underfolk...I mean after all of the condescension that Tal has for any Underfolk you can't help but feel bad for them and wonder how they live. They are basically slaves to the chosen, and like all slaves, at some point they gotta rise up! The rebels help Milla and Tal (though not without threats to their life) get inside the castle and I NEED to see more from them! Who knows what part they play in the intrigue and plotting all over the castle...but I bet it's going to be fabulous!
Tal was a much more likable character this book around. He's begun to question that he doesn't know all about his world or the world outside of the Castle. He still has to depend on Milla for a lot, but I think I can overlook that because of all his growth and development as a character. He's still driven by the love of his family and determination to right the corruption in the castle. And we get to see him do more light magic with his sunstone! I am totally fascinated by light magic...I think it is a totally original and freaking sweet take on magic. Come on..who doesn't love making light weave a spell to create anything from music to physical objects to things like poetry and healing?? SO cool. Tal has to create a staircase made of light and the way that Nix described it made me feel like whipping out some of my old jewelry and trying it myself...That realistic people...definitely a cool find in a MG book where sometimes the logic is forgotten in favor of the "cool" factor...nope...here you get both cool and logic...so yay!
I have to say that the final scene in Castle gave me chills and goosebumps. There's such a connection, such a bond between Milla and Tal, despite their differences and rough background, that you're left feeling like the earth just changed it's orbit!! I honestly am about to throw all of the other books off my TBR pile and just read this series straight through...I can't help it! I want more Milla! More Tal! More Great Uncle Ebbitt! I want this series to be a movie! *Writes letter to Warner brothers* Seriously....this would be a totally kick-butt movie in the right hands what with all the cool displays of light and visual effects. Not to mention how AWESOME a fight with a walrus combo octopus combo unicorn would look...just don't let M.Night Shamalan get a hold of it.. *cough* Avatar: The Last Airbender *cough*