Lee, Tanith. Wolf Tower (1998). 223 Pages. Puffin. $6.99
The Claidi Journals: Book 1
There is the House and Gardens, and then there is the Waste. Claidi is bored and miserable, she serves the awful Lady Jade Leaf, and is trapped by the Rules and Rituals of the House. Should she dare to deviate, speak out, or disregard a Rule or Ritual, she could find herself banished to the Waste.
That isn’t seeming like such a bad fate, at the moment. Especially if she gets to make her escape with the handsome Prince Nemian. What awaits her in the Waste is not what she expected, and Claidi, free at last, learns more about herself and her world with every day.
I stole this. This book.
I don’t know why. It looked… nice, I suppose, and nothing has been nice for years. Well, not often.
It was in h er stationery chest, out of which she sometimes makes us– mostly me– get her a piece of silk paper or thick parchment. Then she doodles a few stupid lines of awful “poetry.” Or a foul painting, like used washing-water in the Maids’ Hall with something dropped in it– lime juice or jam. And then we all have to applaud. “Oh! How clever you are, Lady Jade Leaf. What bright-shining genius!” Because she”s royal. And we are not. Oh no. We couldn’t ever do anything wonderful like that.
Claidi’s world is simultaneously similar to (they have ice cream) and different from (there are still roving bandits and places like the House) our world, which can be tricky to pull off. It is, however, well done.
Claidi herself is a very interesting character; she starts off as a rather meek maid, and grows in determination and personality as her story progresses. At first, things just happen to her, but by the end of the book, she seems ready to make decisions for herself. At times, Claidi is inconsistent; on one page, she says that she is not good at science, on another she talks about the microclimate of the House and how it disrupts storms. But, for the most part, the issues are easily overlooked.
As a whole, with an endearing character who grows into an interesting character, the book is well worth reading. It gets a 4/5.