Castle in Danger takes place in the Middle Ages and tells of beautiful, kind Emma, who lives with her rich father in a huge castle and who becomes friends with a brave peasant when he saves her life. Readers ages nine to twelve will receive a number of stories of Emma's adventures as she faces thieves, mystery, battles, a journey through a forest, and more.
Woven into its plot are all the trappings of the Middle Ages, from jousts and fairs to holidays - and Karen Rautenberg's attention to rich historical details is what sets her story apart from others: that and the inclusion of political struggles and dreams. From trappings of the supernatural that permeate peoples' lives and help them make sense of their world ("Look, someone threw squashes, turnips, onions and cabbages all over that cottage," said Nicholas. "It's the witches. I heard that witches fly on their brooms with their cats. They play tricks and scare us on this night," Emma exclaimed while they were jumping on their horses.") to the sights, smells and sounds of the times ("That night, visiting nuns, monks and friars, wearing long woolen tunics, sat at the wood burning hearth in the great hall. They were going on a journey to a holy cathedral the next day. Emma joined many other guests who were roasting apples and chestnuts in the fire."), Castle in Danger is replete with scenes key to understanding the Middle Ages, and will delight middle school readers looking for a lively rendition of the period, packaged in the guise of an adventure and mystery.