Select one of the keywords
Castle of Dreams: Stories from the Kare Kano Creator    by Masami Tsuda order for
Castle of Dreams
by Masami Tsuda
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Kare Kano was one of the first dramatic shojo titles released by Tokyopop. Through it, Masami Tsuda shows that she has a flair for telling believable high school romances, as also evidenced by the second half of Castle of Dreams. The first half of Castle of Dreams shows Tsuda can also pen a pretty good fantasy story.

Castle of Dreams is a compilation of short stories divided into two sections. The first section, subtitled the Sorcerer Series, features three tales loosely connected by a sorcerer. Each of these three stories - In the Forest, I Am the Mermaid, and Castle of Dreams - is a fantasy with an exotic setting. These tales are all very beautiful and flowing with a definite fantasy feel.

After Castle of Dreams, the non-fantasy part of the book starts. The first story in that section is The Room Where an Angel Lives, a touching Victorian tale of hard work, family, and romance. The final three stories - Awkward Relationship, I Won't Go, and Because I Have You - are more typical of Tsuda's high school romances. These three are definitely more modern with a more hurried feel. While the others still have the good flow seen in the first half of the book, Because I Have You gets bogged down with too much dialogue.

Because of the disparity between the two halves of Castle of Dreams, I would have liked to see it broken into two volumes - as it must have been released in Japan, based on Masami Tsuda's sidebars. All in all, though, Castle of Dreams is a nice collection of short manga.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews