I definitely dig the feeling of the piece. There are some unclear elements though, like the shapes at the top of the frame and I think it would totally serve your piece to have the castle in the background, which you're probably already planning on doing. Also you might want to try to have the tree turning into the composition, because it kind of feels like it's taking my eye up and out of the frame instead of into the picture.
Definitely has a mood. If I didn't know the story, I don't think I would be able to tell that was an owl holding a birdcage. The "magic sparklies" are a little confusing. I would agree with Katie in clarifying the shapes of the tree. And Joringel's pose might just be a little TOO melodramatic, but that could just be a personal preference.
I agree with Liz for the most part. The owl should be clearer, and more menacing/powerful somehow. Joringel is totally helpless in this part of the story. However, I don't think he's too melodramatic. I say push it to the max. Joringel was just owned by the witch and lost his gf. I would even suggest changing the angle so we can see his face and his reaction to the owl.