Castle Waiting opens with a re-telling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty, but after Beauty rides off with her prince, the inhabitants of her former home are left with no one to rule them. Many move away, but a few stay with the castle that is now a sanctuary for travelers and awaiting a new king to claim her. From the opening pages until the end, Castle Waiting never loses its fairy tale quality, the black and white drawings are simple yet pleasant and the nouveaux fairy tales are an enjoyable read.
I understand that part of Medley’s allure is the unresolved “ever after,” but I felt a little cheated when I finished this graphic novel, because I would have liked to know more about Medley’s fairytale world and her characters. I would have liked to know Lady Jain’s past and why her child looks like he does; what is the significance of Jain’s arrival at Castle Waiting; and why Rackham and Chess (and other assorted characters) are depicted as sentient animals. I enjoyed the last few chapters depicting the story of Sister Peace and the Solicitines better than any in the entire book. These final chapters felt like the most complete story in the book with a beginning, middle, and an end.
However, throughout the entire novel, the characters are engaging and these enchanting stories are a lovely way to spend a quiet afternoon.