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Castle Waiting Hardcover – June 17, 2006

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A set of linked nouveaux fairy tales, this graphic novel extends the story of Sleeping Beauty into a modern, feminist Chaucer for happy people. After Sleeping Beauty leaves with the prince, the three ladies in waiting, Patience, Prudence and Plenty, stay on in the castle, a hobgoblin-infested structure that becomes a refuge for those in need: a pregnant woman fleeing her abusive husband; Sir Destrier, a horse-headed knight who wants a place to rest between adventures; Beakie, a kindly bachelor merchant; and Sister Peace, a bearded nun. The ladies do things like dye their hair red with henna, but mostly they tell stories of their lives. The art is full of humor; we know each character as soon as we see them. The faces are particularly expressive. The stories of the bearded nuns go on a mite too long, but there's still plenty of humor in their invention of a whole order of nuns dedicated to showing up the idiocies of men. Medley's art is both exquisitely detailed and fantastically lighthearted. Though appropriate for all ages, this one-of-a-kind graphic novel is likely to appeal most to smart women in their 20s and older—much older—and to any man who believes in feminism and knows how to laugh. (May)
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From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–With its quiet blend of fantasy, folktales, and character-driven storytelling, this charming collection brings the first 12 issues of an Eisner Award-winning comic-book series to a wider audience. It opens with The Brambly Hedge, which gives the origin of the castle itself. In a comic retelling of Sleeping Beauty, a medieval castle and its loving inhabitants are abandoned when the princess wakes up, finds her Prince Charming, and rides off into the sunset with him. The castle transforms into an outpost of sorts for the unusual, the unwanted, and those just needing a place to hide from the world. Talking chivalrous horses, pregnant mothers on the run, and nuns who were once bearded ladies in the circus are just a few of the colorful inhabitants whose stories fill the remainder of the volume. Medleys storytelling becomes more assured and complex as the series progresses, and she uses flashbacks and stories-within-stories in a manner that creates a rhythm that is both fun and gripping. Hard-edged lines with simple forms create black-and-white artwork that melds nicely with the fairy-tale feel of the stories. This volume is accessible for younger readers but filled with enough layers and depth to satisfy those looking for a bit more sophistication.–Matthew L. Moffett, Fords Theatre Society, Washington, DC
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (June 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560977477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560977476
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Linda Medley, Castle Waiting (Fantagraphics, 2006)

After I finished reading Castle Waiting, I went online and frantically looked for any evidence that there would eventually be a volume 2. If you take this as a stand-alone book, the ending is the very definition of "unsatisfactory"-- a vast number of questions are left unanswered, complex plots just beginning to tie themselves together, a host of characters whose richness and depth has yet to be explored. As the beginning of a sweeping epic, on the other hand, this is just the ticket, and Castle Waiting promises to be the graphic novel answer to the huge, literate fantasy series that have been taking readers by storm recently.

Castle Waiting is the tale of, not surprisingly, a castle, and the host of odd characters who inhabit it. I can't think of a way to even begin explaining the plot of this, as just about anything I could say would constitute some spoiler or another about one or more of the characters, and the characters are what drive this narrative. Perhaps it's more appropriate to say that, while there is a plot to this (in fact, a pretty good number of plots, subplots, etc.), all of them live in the service of letting us get to know Medley's unforgettable collection of characters. The first half of the book gives us an overview of the entire cast; the second focuses on the story of Sister Peace, one of the castle's inhabitants, and how she came to reside there. Medley's motley crew are the finest bunch of malcontents, mysteries, and muddlers I've come across since discovering the wonderful world of Bone, and now that I've read the first book, I'm champing at the bit for the rest of the tale.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Aumiller on February 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Linda Medley's Castle Waiting series is one of the most best and underappreciated comic series of all time. This volume begins with the story called the Curse of Brambley Hedge, the prequel to the Castle Waiting Series, which puts a clever twist on the story of Sleeping Beauty and does a great job of setting up the main series. The first story arc concerns the flight of a young pregnant woman (Jain) from her abusive husband. She finds refuge in Castle Waiting, a magical castle inhabited by unique characters from various fairy tales. In this first story arc the gang has many zany adventures from escaping bandits on the road to a dangerous experiment with hair dye. The second story arc takes place in two different settings. While most of the gang is fixing the roof, Jain and Sister Peace are inside. Jain asks Sister Peace about her past and the telling of that tale makes up the majority of this arc. Castle Waiting is such a great series, and I'm so glad that Linda Medley has been picked up by a new company and is back at work on the series! Look for the arc three issues to start coming out soon!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Dominguez on November 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Finally! Castle Waiting in a harcover trade format. I've followed this book in serial form for 10 years and it's a joy to have it collected in one thick volume. This was the first comic I gave my then 9 year old sister and got her hooked onto reading comics. She's now 19 and we still enjoy reading Castle Waiting together when possible. The story is not over though, Fantagraphics has put out 3 issues (at the time of this review) of Volume 2 about 100 pgs worth. I recommend you go out and pick them up. You do want to know who Pindar's father is right? (if you picked up the single issues you'd have a clue on one of the back covers--thanks Sis for pointing that out). Or how Iron Henry lost his heart? Or where Rackham came from?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Powell on March 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Borrowed a copy from my kids who got it from the library, and set down for an evening read. It's very similar tales to your classic tales Grimm. However it feels like VOL 1, and while the stories within the world are complete, it feels like there are many more to come. Which is a good thing.

It's a nice alternative from the heavy dark/violent stuff that seems to be most of the Graphic Novel books these days. The order of the Nuns is a nice variation of the theme on beauty and personal value.

In addition the women characters are generally strong and not some bunch of whinnying ninnies. So all in all recommended for early teens.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Fannon on February 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Castle Waiting begins as a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but that ends once the princess is woken by the prince. Feeling lost, confused, and just a little betrayed by their princess, her handmaidens decide to stay at the castle after the princess leaves with her new love. The castle becomes known as Castle Waiting, a mythical home for the weary who need a place to take them in. So we meet our young protagonist, pregnant and without a home. Her father once told her of the magical Castle Waiting and so she finds her way there and immediately falls in love with all who live there.

Castle Waiting is wonderful. Broken up into vignettes, we are told various stories about the inhabitants of Castle Waiting, though there are still quite a bit of mysteries that I hope are cleared up in the second volume. The bulk of the book is taken up by a story about a bearded lady's convent. Yes, bearded ladies. Oh, it is wonderful. The art is whimsical and perfect for the story.

I loved Medley's humor, her characters and her art. Which I believe makes the perfect combination for a delightful comic!
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