The children and I finished listening to The Castle Corona while in the car the past few days.
Truly, Sharon Creech isn't one of my favorite authors. I've read Walk Two Moons and Bloomability, and I was disappointed by both of them. I picked this up on a whim because it had a king and a queen, a princess, and a castle -- all components that my Sass loves in a story.
I decided to buy this book on audio because we needed a new book on CD for the car, and I'm glad I did. It's told very much like a storyteller tells a fairytale, and I honestly don't know that we would have liked it as much in book form. The reader also gave an excellent portrayal of the orphans, with enough innocence in her voice to make it believable.
While the book starts in naming the royals, ultimately the book centers around two orphans, Pia and Enzio and a mysterious pouch they find. While I didn't find the mystery particularly difficult to sort out, my children enjoyed going back and forth with theories. It seemed to me that the author spent most of the time analyzing archetypes and the philosophical reason for the journey rather than moving forward with the plot. I like those sorts of novels though, so I wasn't bothered by it, but a person who prefers completely plot-driven books will be disappointed.
Strangely, I was pleased that the names in the book were Italian rather than the English or French names and place-names that are usually found in books that are set in a similar period. It made the story all the more enchanting for me.