sheep had wandered inside to chew the tapestries. He also didn’t particularly like waiting for hours for the Ambassador of Bendeswe, only to find that the Castle had removed the door to the ambassador’s room, trapping the man inside. Of course, the king had to admit that there was usually some strange logic to the Castle’s movements. The Ambassador of Bendeswe, for instance, had turned out to be a spy, and the sheep … well, that had all been mere whim; but there was still logic to be found if you looked hard enough. King Glower admitted this freely, and he made it clear that he respected the Castle. He had to; otherwise he would no longer be king.
The Castle didn’t seem to care if you were descended from a royal line, or if you were brave or intelligent. No, Castle Glower picked kings based on some other criteria all its own. Celie’s father, Glower the Seventy-ninth, was the tenth in their family to bear that name, a matter of tremendous pride throughout the land. His great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather had become king when Glower the Sixty-ninth’s only heir had turned out to be a nincompoop. Legend had it that the Castle had repeatedly steered the old king’s barber to the throne room via a changing series of corridors for days until the Royal Council had him declared the next king, while the young man who should have been Glower the Seventieth found himself head-down in a haystack after having been forcibly ejected from the Castle through the water closet.
King Glower the Seventy-ninth, Lord of the Castle, Master of the Brine Sea and Sovereign of the Land of Sleyne, knew when to leave well enough alone. He married the beautiful daughter of the Royal Wizard when the Castle guided them into the same room and then sealed the doors for a day. He paid attention when the Castle gave people larger rooms or softer chairs. When his older son, Bran, kept finding his room full of books and astrolabes, while his second son Rolf’s bedroom was moved next to the throne room, King Glower sent Bran to the College of Wizardry and declared Rolf his heir.
And when little Celie was sick, and the Castle filled her room with flowers, King Glower agreed with it. Everybody loved Celie, the fourth and most delightful