The Castle Corona

Folk Tale / 15 Days

The Castle Corona offers a good-hearted, gently comic fairy tale set in feudal Italy. Using parallel stories that eventually dovetail, Creech introduces the Castle Corona’s sheltered, slightly ridiculous royal family and Pia and Enzio, orphaned peasant children from the nearby village.

Brief, cleverly paced episodes reveal that several fixtures of castle life-the king and queen’s respective hermit advisers, and the court storyteller-subtly engineer Pia and Enzio’s appointment as royal food tasters, for purposes linked to a stolen pouch found by the children early on. The engaging, puzzle-like plot will attract readers, as the novel’s heady themes, from wisdom to empathy to the fate-changing power of story, prompt them to deeper thought.