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Castle Waiting

By Linda Medley

Publisher: Fantagraphics

Format: 457pgs, HC, black & white, $29.95

Dewey: 741.5 MED or FIC MED

Subjects: Comics and comic books, etc.; fantasy

ISBN: 1-56097-747-7

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Drawing on Sleeping Beauty and The Canterbury Tales for starters, this revisionist, picaresque Harvey Award- and Eisner Award-winning fantasy loads in numerous sly references to other fairy tales and myths. After Sleeping Beauty's prince sweeps her off to his homeland, the kingdom is deserted except for a handful of retainers remaining in the castle waiting. Later and elsewhere, a young pregnant woman departs under mysterious circumstances for Castle Waiting, by now a legendary sanctuary. The tale follows the lady Jain as she reaches the castle and makes friends with its eccentric residents: the outspoken and warm-hearted cook, the aging ladies in waiting, the stork-headed steward, a taciturn blacksmith, a horse-headed knight, a reclusive scientist in a bird mask, and the bearded nun Sister Peace. Gradually, the story focuses on Peace's unusual and entertaining reminiscences. The charming black-and-white art evokes medieval-style woodcuts but with a much more playful mood. Featuring talking animals, romance, demons, magic, and miracles aplenty, this is a sophisticated and delightful saga for all ages.

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