The Seventh Tower #2: Castle
Scholastic, September, 2000.
Paperback, 224 pages.
Ordering information: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
This second book in Garth Nix's fascinating fantasy series, The Seventh Tower, continues the adventures of Tal, one of the Chosen who live in the Castle, and Milla, a young Icecarl who longs to be a Shieldmaiden. The Dark World in which they live is shielded from the sun by a Veil, which allows no light to pass through. Tal, seeking to save his family, ended up outside the Castle on the inhospitable ice where he met the nomad Icecarls. Now he and Milla are on a mission to get back to the Castle. Milla hopes to bring back Sunstones to earn her right to be a Shieldmaiden and Tal hopes to find Sunstones to allow his ill mother to pass into Aenir to be healed. But once they reach the Castle, new dangers await them: from the Hall of Nightmares to the political machinations of Lord Sushin. Tal and Milla will need all their courage and skills (and some help from Tal's eccentric great-uncle Ebbitt) in order to survive.
Garth Nix has created a wonderful fantasy world with this series. The dark world, where light is the most valued commodity, is filled with magic, intrigue and adventure. The young boy Tal and his reluctant (and somewhat grumpy) companion Milla are an interesting pair and their journey is full of surprises. Garth has a great gift for characterization and pacing, and he has a sly sense of humor which always entertains. We can hardly wait for the next installment in this excellent series.
--Claire E. White