When I first saw this set, I was very iffy. I loved the fact they still included the dragon and the evil wizard like the old Castle theme, but the tower seemed tiny, and very unfinished. I wasn't too pleased when I finished building it, because of that very reason. The main tower seemed really unfinished. It is only "half" finished, so the back of the jail is open and the tower doesn't have a backside. It almost begs you to buy a second so you can finish it yourself.
That's what I thought at first, but after a few days of fiddling around with it and looking at it every time I enter my room, it really has grown on me. The Dragon is fantastic, I like the new design for the head, and the minifigures are great. I like the new variation of the Dragon Knight and the two Lion Knights that are included are great as well. I think the one soldier with all the armor should have had a horse, but the catapult included makes up for that. The Princess has a hairpiece used in the Friends line to make use for the small crown piece. I think it works and looks great. Better than the overused brown/black braided hairpiece.
The Wizard is by far my favorite part of the set. It too had to grow on me but now I really like it. I really like the slimmer black beard that used and the torso and leg printing is AMAZING. Even his eyes have red lining on them; he looks evil- and he should. I love his staff as well.
*If you read his character description on the Castle website, it says he uses potions to control his army.* (More on that later.)
The tower/bridge section:
On ground level there is a rat and a hole in the wall for the rat, I like the minor attention to detail there. Behind the entire tower (still on ground level) is a small table with a goblet and piece of cheese. I am very glad they included this in the set. There is a nice, sturdy staircase that fits the tower well that leads to the jail. The jail is very simple, you can fit the princess in there very nicely. The biggest con here is there is no back wall- but that's a sacrifice used for playability. One more level up, there is a room with a giant red crystal sitting on a stand. I like to imagine that is what allows the Wizard to control the dragon. Why else would it be there? On that same level there are two flags and a shield used for decor; very nice. The top part of the tower is an empty place for the wizard to stand.
The bridge is one of my least favorite parts of the set. It looks great and would potentially work great, but there is one problem. There is no way for anyone to get across. If it was extended a little outwards, so there was room for the soldiers to cross it, it would be fantastic. On the bridge there is a small catapult.
The dragon's "nest" is my favorite part of the set. There is a lot more to it than it seems. Of course there is the big empty spot to place the dragon, but below that is a treasure chest filled with gold. A few more gold coins wouldn't have hurt to fill it up, but oh well. It doesn't feel too lacking. Now behind all that is the best part- if you pull down the spiderweb, there is an entire laboratory for the wizard to mix the potions I mentioned earlier. There are two jars, one green and one red, a skeleton leg torch, and two keys inside. You can easily fit the wizard inside and I feel Lego went above and beyond including this.
The Knight's catapult that is included is also very nice, it looks perfect and works like a charm. The only thing I would like to change about it is if it could have swiveled.
Overall, this set is definitely a set I recommend getting if you're collecting the Castle line. It's essential and is a set that really will grow on you. The minifigures are fantastic, the dragon and catapult are great additions are the tower is a decent outpost for the Dragon Knights.