Castle Perilous is a giant castle with 144,000 rooms that are portals to other worlds. These portals are constantly shifting in and out of other dimensions and occasionally they temporarily open up somewhere on Earth. At those times people may stumble into the castle and not be able to get back out. They become one of the permanent “guests” who have great food, luxurious accommodations, and servants to wait on them. Best of all, they get to explore some of the stable portals leading to exotic places. When Gene, Linda, and Snowclaw each stumble into Castle Perilous, it’s under siege by the jilted lover of the castle’s owner.
Here’s a novel that’s got some fun and whimsical ideas but never really capitalizes on all of its creative potential. I love the premise and the story is amusing, but it lacks passion and depth. The characters are shallow, we spend little time exploring the other worlds, and the humor is rather juvenile.
Castle Perilous is like one of those cool-looking kitchen gadgets you see on TV. It promises to be awesome, but when you get it you realize that it only does one job well and it takes up lots of drawer space, so you would have been better off just using your trusty paring knife. Castle Perilous is gimmicky and doesn’t deliver what it promises. But, still, sometimes gimmicky kitchen gadgets are fun… until you want your drawer space back.
I’d recommend Castle Perilous to a teenager looking for a fluffy fantasy read. Fans of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series or Robert Asprin’s MythAdventures are likely candidates. Castle Perilous is the first in an eight-book series. Because I like the premise so much, I may give the second book, Castle for Rent, a try, but my guess is that this series is just too light for me.
Castle — (1988-1994) Publisher: Imagine life in an ironically magical world where 144,000 doors separate fiction from reality. A place that can hypnotize even the most grounded philosophy major and deliver a fantastical rhyme to his reason. A place where a best buddy resembles a shaggy carpet, and adventures surpass a boy’s dreams — welcome to Castle Perilous.