Goblins in the Castle

( 8 )

Overview

What moans at midnight in Toad-in-a-Cage Castle?
Toad-in-a-Cage Castle was filled with secrets — secrets such as the hidden passages that led to every room, the long stairway that wound down to the dungeon, and the weird creature named Igor who lived there. But it was the mysterious night noises that bothered William the most — the strange moans that drifted through the halls...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$6.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (99) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $2.29   
  • Used (83) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

What moans at midnight in Toad-in-a-Cage Castle?
Toad-in-a-Cage Castle was filled with secrets — secrets such as the hidden passages that led to every room, the long stairway that wound down to the dungeon, and the weird creature named Igor who lived there. But it was the mysterious night noises that bothered William the most — the strange moans that drifted through the halls of the castle where he was raised.
He wanted to know what caused them.
Then one night he found out....

Another adventure awaits fans of Bruce Coville. William has lived in the castle all his life, but it isn't until he's eleven that he discovers Igor, who lives under the castle. When William accidentally releases a hoard of goblins, he and Igor must go to great lengths to undo the damage.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
ALA Booklist A shivery treat for readers, who will identify with the stalwart William as he ferrets out the castle's scary secrets and rights a long-existing wrong.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671727116
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 129,110
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Coville

Bruce Coville was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1950. Before getting published he earned his living as a toymaker, a gravedigger, a cookware salesman, an assembly line worker, and finally as an elementary school teacher. Bruce has published more than 100 books, which have appeared in over a dozen countries around the world and sold more than 16 million copies. Among his most popular titles are My Teacher Is an Alien, Into the Land of the Unicorns, and The Monster’s Ring. In 2001 he founded Full Cast Audio, an audiobook company dedicated to creating unabridged, full cast recordings of the best in children’s and young adult literature. Bruce lives in Syracuse with his wife, Katherine, who has illustrated many of his books. For more information about Bruce, check out BruceCoville.com.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Discovery in the Dungeon

I was found on the drawbridge of Toad-in-a-Cage Castle on a cold December night. I was naked, they tell me, wrapped only in a blanket and tucked in a basket. If the Baron had not been out riding that night he would not have seen me, and I would have been buried beneath the snow by morning.

To the surprise of Hulda, his housekeeper, the Baron didn't send me away. Instead, he hired a nurse to come and take care of me.

I liked Nurse, despite her unusual fondness for toads. However when I was about five she fell into the moat and was eaten by something or other.

After that I pretty much took care of myself.

I had the run of the castle and could go anywhere I wanted — except the North Tower, which was always locked. Naturally, I wanted to know what was up there. But I learned early on not to ask about it. Questions upset people.

Not that there were many people to upset; only the Baron, Hulda, and Karl, the young man who tended the library.

I liked Karl. He was very smart, and when he had time he would give me lessons. However, this did not happen often, because caring for the library was a big job. (The Baron owned so many books he had had to knock out the walls between seven rooms to hold them all!)

Most of what I knew about the outside world came from the books Karl shared with me.

The library itself was my favorite place in the castle. Its floor was covered by a thick, soft carpet, its walls made of dark wood. Mazes of tall, book-crammed shelves filled the interior. The windows, which curved out from the side of the building, were twice as tall as a man; the huge velvet curtains that covered them used to be red and were still soft and warm. On cold days I liked to take a book and curl up on one of the sills. Wrapping a curtain around me like a blanket, I would alternate between reading and staring out at the distant village, the forest, the mountains.

I often wondered what it was like out there, beyond the castle walls that I had never left.

From one of the windows I could see the North Tower, which was shrouded in mist on even the sunniest of days.

One rainy evening in October Karl was repairing books, Hulda was sleeping, and the Baron was hidden away with one of the mysterious visitors that sometimes came to the castle gate. I was on my own, as usual. For some reason — perhaps because the voices that moaned along the hallway outside my room had been so loud the night before — I couldn't settle down to read.

I went to my room and played with Mervyn, the rat I had tamed the year before. When he ran off, I decided to go to bed. Slipping out of my clothes, I pulled on my nightshirt, then drew aside the curtain surrounding my bed and climbed beneath the covers.

I couldn't sleep.

A streak of lightning sizzled through the night. I liked to watch lightning, so I got up and sat by my window. But the lightning did not continue. After a while I grew tired of watching the thick drops splat against the glass and decided to go exploring. I had been exploring the castle for years and still hadn't discovered everything about it — partly because it was so huge, partly because it had so many secret passages and hidden rooms. These were what I looked for when I explored. To find them I pushed bricks, moved picture frames, and fiddled with the knobs carved in the mantelpieces of the fireplaces.

Lighting a candle, I went to my own fireplace, which was tall enough to stand in. I pushed a certain brick and the fireplace swung around, putting me in the passage behind it.

I had discovered this passage when I was only six. Once in it, I could get into any other room on my floor. But since it was my floor, since I was the only person living there, it didn't do me much good.

The worst thing about the secret passages was that they were so dark. When I first started exploring I had tried taking torches with me, but somehow the Baron always found out and told me not to. I understood why; some passages were lined with wood, or even drapes, and it would have been easy to start a fire in them. Finally I had started carrying candles. They didn't provide much light, but they were better than nothing, and the Baron never said anything about them.

About a hundred feet from my room a hidden stairway led to some secret rooms in the East Tower. Holding my candle before me, I made my way to the steps, then climbed three flights to a room dominated by a clock several feet taller than I am. I had seen this clock many times without ever really looking at it. But on this day I felt a hunch about it.

Opening the glass-paneled door, I put my hand inside, The wood behind the counterweights seemed solid. But when I climbed a chair and moved the hands of the clock to point straight up, as if it were midnight, I heard the familiar whisper of a sliding panel. The back of the clock had disappeared!

I jumped off the chair. Squeezing my way through the clock's door, I found myself in a narrow passage. Keeping one hand against the smooth, cool stones of the wall, I moved slowly forward. Even with the candle, I didn't notice the stairway going down until I put my foot on a spot that wasn't there.

The jolt knocked the breath out of me. Had I not been going slowly, I probably would have broken my neck falling down that stairwell, which stretched as far as I could see, no matter how high I lifted the candle.

I began to count as I walked. Fifty steps. A hundred steps. Two hundred steps. By now I must be down among the wine cellars.

Three hundred steps? I began to wish I had changed back into my clothes. The air was cool down here.

I had to be far past the wine cellars now, all the way to the dungeons. I shivered. I had never been to the dungeons before. In fact, I only knew they existed because Karl had told me about them, hinting that they held dark secrets.

Four hundred steps. Four hundred and fifty.

How far into the earth does this stairway go? I wondered as I neared the five hundredth step. But number five hundred was the end of it. Keeping my left hand pressed against the wall, I moved slowly forward.

Fifteen paces brought me to a wooden door held together by thick iron crosspieces.

I could either turn back or open the door. Grasping the latch, which was enormous, I struggled to lift it without making any sound. It's hard to say why I felt a need to move so quietly. I was sure I was alone. But something about moving in the darkness inspires silence.

Besides, I liked to keep secrets.

When I managed to lift the latch the door swung open easily.

I saw a light flickering in the distance.

My heart began to beat more rapidly. Who could possibly be down here?

Again I thought about turning back. But my curiosity was driving me on, and I felt confident I could move so silently no one would know I was coming — though I don't think even then I really believed there was anyone there.

I started toward the light. Soon I could tell that it came from beyond a curve in the wall. As I continued forward I could see the outlines of the stones in the floor. The wall itself was damp and slightly chill beneath my fingers. Even so, I pressed myself against it when I reached the curve. Inching my way forward, I saw the source of the light — a torch, stuck in a bracket.

To my astonishment, I also heard someone singing! The voice was little more than a low growl, but the tune was rollicking.

I could not make out the words.

I stopped and tried to talk myself into turning back. But in my whole life I had never met anyone besides Nurse, the Baron, Hulda, and Karl. I had to know who was down here.

Dropping to the floor, I set my candle down and began to creep forward. Beyond the torch an open door led to the source of the singing.

Closer I crept, closer still, until I had almost reached the door. I took a deep breath.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I poked my head around the corner.

Copyright © 1992 by Bruce Coville

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

To the surprise of Hulda, his housekeeper, the Baron didn't send me away. Instead, he hired a nurse to come and take care of me.

I liked Nurse, despite her unusual fondness for toads. However when I was about five she fell into the moat and was eaten by something or other.

After that I pretty much took care of myself.

I had the run of the castle and could go anywhere I wanted -- except the North Tower, which was always locked. Naturally, I wanted to know what was up there. But I learned early on not to ask about it. Questions upset people.

Not that there were many people to upset; only the Baron, Hulda, and Karl, the young man who tended the library.

I liked Karl. He was very smart, and when he had time he would give me lessons. However, this did not happen often, because caring for the library was a big job. (The Baron owned so many books he had had to knock out the walls between seven rooms to hold them all!)

Most of what I knew about the outside world came from the books Karl shared with me.

The library itself was my favorite place in the castle. Its floor was covered by a thick, soft carpet, its walls made of dark wood. Mazes of tall, book-crammed shelves filled the interior. The windows, which curved out from the side of the building, were twice as tall as a man; the huge velvet curtains that covered them used to be red and were still soft and warm. On cold days I liked to take a book and curl up on one of the sills. Wrapping a curtain around me like a blanket, I would alternate between reading and staring out at the distant village, the forest, the mountains.

I often wondered what it was like out there, beyond the castle walls that I had never left.

From one of the windows I could see the North Tower, which was shrouded in mist on even the sunniest of days.

One rainy evening in October Karl was repairing books, Hulda was sleeping, and the Baron was hidden away with one of the mysterious visitors that sometimes came to the castle gate. I was on my own, as usual. For some reason -- perhaps because the voices that moaned along the hallway outside my room had been so loud the night before -- I couldn't settle down to read.

I went to my room and played with Mervyn, the rat I had tamed the year before. When he ran off, I decided to go to bed. Slipping out of my clothes, I pulled on my nightshirt, then drew aside the curtain surrounding my bed and climbed beneath the covers.

I couldn't sleep.

A streak of lightning sizzled through the night. I liked to watch lightning, so I got up and sat by my window. But the lightning did not continue. After a while I grew tired of watching the thick drops splat against the glass and decided to go exploring. I had been exploring the castle for years and still hadn't discovered everything about it -- partly because it was so huge, partly because it had so many secret passages and hidden rooms. These were what I looked for when I explored. To find them I pushed bricks, moved picture frames, and fiddled with the knobs carved in the mantelpieces of the fireplaces.

Lighting a candle, I went to my own fireplace, which was tall enough to stand in. I pushed a certain brick and the fireplace swung around, putting me in the passage behind it.

I had discovered this passage when I was only six. Once in it, I could get into any other room on my floor. But since it was my floor, since I was the only person living there, it didn't do me much good.

The worst thing about the secret passages was that they were so dark. When I first started exploring I had tried taking torches with me, but somehow the Baron always found out and told me not to. I understood why; some passages were lined with wood, or even drapes, and it would have been easy to start a fire in them. Finally I had started carrying candles. They didn't provide much light, but they were better than nothing, and the Baron never said anything about them.

About a hundred feet from my room a hidden stairway led to some secret rooms in the East Tower. Holding my candle before me, I made my way to the steps, then climbed three flights to a room dominated by a clock several feet taller than I am. I had seen this clock many times without ever really looking at it. But on this day I felt a hunch about it.

Opening the glass-paneled door, I put my hand inside, The wood behind the counterweights seemed solid. But when I climbed a chair and moved the hands of the clock to point straight up, as if it were midnight, I heard the familiar whisper of a sliding panel. The back of the clock had disappeared!

I jumped off the chair. Squeezing my way through the clock's door, I found myself in a narrow passage. Keeping one hand against the smooth, cool stones of the wall, I moved slowly forward. Even with the candle, I didn't notice the stairway going down until I put my foot on a spot that wasn't there.

The jolt knocked the breath out of me. Had I not been going slowly, I probably would have broken my neck falling down that stairwell, which stretched as far as I could see, no matter how high I lifted the candle.

I began to count as I walked. Fifty steps. A hundred steps. Two hundred steps. By now I must be down among the wine cellars.

Three hundred steps? I began to wish I had changed back into my clothes. The air was cool down here.

I had to be far past the wine cellars now, all the way to the dungeons. I shivered. I had never been to the dungeons before. In fact, I only knew they existed because Karl had told me about them, hinting that they held dark secrets.

Four hundred steps. Four hundred and fifty.

How far into the earth does this stairway go? I wondered as I neared the five hundredth step. But number five hundred was the end of it. Keeping my left hand pressed against the wall, I moved slowly forward.

Fifteen paces brought me to a wooden door held together by thick iron crosspieces.

I could either turn back or open the door. Grasping the latch, which was enormous, I struggled to lift it without making any sound. It's hard to say why I felt a need to move so quietly. I was sure I was alone. But something about moving in the darkness inspires silence.

Besides, I liked to keep secrets.

When I managed to lift the latch the door swung open easily.

I saw a light flickering in the distance.

My heart began to beat more rapidly. Who could possibly be down here?

Again I thought about turning back. But my curiosity was driving me on, and I felt confident I could move so silently no one would know I was coming -- though I don't think even then I really believed there was anyone there.

I started toward the light. Soon I could tell that it came from beyond a curve in the wall. As I continued forward I could see the outlines of the stones in the floor. The wall itself was damp and slightly chill beneath my fingers. Even so, I pressed myself against it when I reached the curve. Inching my way forward, I saw the source of the light -- a torch, stuck in a bracket.

To my astonishment, I also heard someone singing! The voice was little more than a low growl, but the tune was rollicking.

I could not make out the words.

I stopped and tried to talk myself into turning back. But in my whole life I had never met anyone besides Nurse, the Baron, Hulda, and Karl. I had to know who was down here.

Dropping to the floor, I set my candle down and began to creep forward. Beyond the torch an open door led to the source of the singing.

Closer I crept, closer still, until I had almost reached the door. I took a deep breath.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I poked my head around the corner.

Copyright © 1992 by Bruce Coville

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    One of the best books I have ever read.

    This book has lots of stoping points, This book is a highly recomended choice for teachers. But one flaw is an abrupt ending.But I think you'll have loads of fun reading this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    THE BEST SCARY BOOK EVER

    have you ever wanted to read a scary book that hooks you up every chapter in-stead- of classic not-so-scary- Goosebumps, or too scary scary stories to tell in the dark? eh? this book is perfect for you jam packed with classic creatures along the way you will find a classic hear-warming and SCary book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2005

    Favorite Book

    This is my favorite book that Bruce Coville has written. I love all of the imagery that he uses in describing the castle and all of William's adventures. I hope that he writes a sequel to this, but I don't know how he could possibly top this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2002

    childhood classic

    I first read this book when I was eleven or so (I am 20 now) and have loved it ever since. I still find myself cringing at the thought of the William and his friends going through that dark cave on the ledge and it getting smaller and smaller! It's a great book for younger readers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2002

    Goblins in the Castle

    With suspense and adventure on every page and beutifully-created characters cleverly interwoven in an unparalleled plot, this story is truly a page turner. In addition, the ending is one that ties all loose ends created during the story, except for the developing relationship between the hero of the story, William, and his friend Fauna. Nonetheless, this book remains one among the best that I have ever read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2000

    Scary

    This was one of the first real 'horror' books I read. It kept me up all night, both out of fright, and just plain wanting to find out what happens next! I recommend this for any young fan of horror or fantasy books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)