You know those books where the setting becomes such a part of the book that it’s like another character? Where you can’t quite imagine the story working anywhere else? Well, Janet Fox has got just such a thing going in her new novel, The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle. This is a castle that isn’t a cardboard set.
So that got us thinking about other favorite castles that threw their craggy shadows over other stories we love. Here are some of our favorites. What are yours?
Jason Gallaher–I mean, how can you not say Hogwarts? Just like New York is the fifth lady of “Sex and the City,” Hogwarts is another student/teacher/magical creature of the Harry Potter universe (and such a Carrie, I’m assuming). From shifting stairways to a kitchen that you have to tickle a painting of a pear to get into to the most magnificent dormitory common rooms that made me want to go to boarding school, I am obsessed with Hogwarts.
Andrea Wang–When I was small, I thought the Emerald City of Oz had towers and spires and was surrounded by a moat, just like a real castle. I also didn’t get the part that the city wasn’t really built out of emeralds. I loved all the Oz books so much that one year, I created the Emerald City out of tinfoil and green spray paint for a school project. I used up an entire roll of foil and got into trouble with my mom, but it was worth it!
Carole Gerber found a story at a real Scottish castle–A few years ago I visited a castle in Scotland, which was the summer home of the previous Queen Elizabeth, known as “the Queen Mum.” The castle was huge and drafty, but the gardens were spectacular. I was thrilled to discover a small grave under a huge old old tree on the lawn. The date of death was 1916 and the name the stone was “Fizz Whizzy,” one of the Queen Mum’s dogs. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out where Whizzy got his name. I laughed at the Queen Mum’s dry – I mean wet – humor!
Mylisa Larsen–Well, I immediately think of Hogwarts because, wow, that is a world. Moving staircases and resident funny ghosts and rooms that only let certain people in and the list goes on and on. And then there’s Castle Glower which changes its rooms or adds a new turret or builds itself a wing for purposes that only it knows in Jessica Day George’s Tuesdays At the Castle. I also love Ursula Vernon’s Castle Hangnail. And Castle Hangnail’s staff (best neurotic goldfish ever.)
If you’ve been waiting to step through the door of Janet Fox’s spooky Rookskill Castle, then the wait is finally over because it’s here. Pick up a copy at your local bookstore or online today.