The first book in Linda Medley’s Castle Waiting series was gently paced, but this second volume is positively pedestrian. Not that I’m complaining – the gentle ebb and flow of Castle Waiting is one of its most endearing characteristics, and the lives of the castle’s inhabitants don’t have to be filled with action to make an interesting read.
Its fantasy setting is almost incidental in this book. It defines the characters and binds them to their world, but apart from the occasional bit of magic and a visit from some dwarves (who fit the typical fantasy mould well apart from their lack of a dour nature), you could transpose the gently rolling conversational plot into almost any setting.
Medley’s illustrations are beautiful, and her conversations are filled with mirth and merriment. Her characters are genuinely multi-faceted. The plot doesn’t progresses by making things happen, but by exploring these characters, and letting them interact with one another and the castle around them (which is effectively becoming a character in its own right).
It’s artfully done, a real treat for anyone looking for a graphic novel with a gentle substance to it, that has the confidence explore an untapped vein of fantasy literature that doesn’t rely on war or bloodshed.