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Jones' Howl's Moving Castle

Novel by Dianna Wynne Jones

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An amazing piece of high fantasy full of humour, action, and a bare touch of romance.

  • Jun 16, 2010

Spoilers will be had.

First of all, if you have not read the novel and only have seen this Miyazaki movie: Forget everything you know about Howl's Moving Castle.

This book was my introduction to Diana Wynne Jones, and is still my favourite by her. Her writing style, her way of describing the happenings of the world, the rich lyrical way that she portrays, well, everything... it's amazing.

Her characters grow magnificently throughout the book. While it follows Sophie primarily, third person limited, everyone does get their moment. For instance, the chapters detailing Howl's family and life back home in Wales give deep insight into his character that you frankly can't get from Sophie, who is befuddled the whole time.

It starts with Sophie Hatter being a quiet, self-admitting boring young lady who acts more like an old woman, and by the end she's evolved into a brilliant budding witch married to the heartthrob of the land.

Both sequels (Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways) are good but neither of them is as good as the original.

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June 29, 2010
I loved the movie, so maybe I should check out the book!
June 17, 2010
Sounds promising! Thanks for your review.
June 19, 2010
No problem! I'm a bit rambling in my review, but I hope I got the point across.
More Howl's Moving Castle (book) reviews
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Cute novel.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
A very interesting story with intriguing plot twists and well-written characters.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Just as amazing as the movie, but also delightfully different.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
beautiful concepts!
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
To this day one of my favourite books.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
A very good read!
review by . September 13, 2009
Pros: A unique tale with nifty goodies     Cons: I never liked Howl     The Bottom Line: Close to five stars, but not quite - maybe I'm just picky about my books these days...     Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle has origins, and those origins are here, with the creation of Diana Wynne Jones’s book of the same title. The moment I heard the movie came from a book, I sought it out (since, oh, March? April?). I’ve …
review by . April 22, 2009
When I recently picked up Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones, I was actually rereading it.  I first read it a couple years ago, wanting to read the book before I saw Miyazaki's movie. Back then, I was of the opinion that this was one of the rare instances where the movie was actually better than the book. Which is not to say the book is bad--far from it, it's quite good. But it also requires careful paying attention to details or, if you're like me and get so lost in a story that you …
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M. Kristiansen ()
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Member Since: Jun 16, 2010
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About this book


Grade 6 Up Sophie Hatter reads a great deal and soon realizes that as the eldest of three daughters she is doomed to an uninteresting future. She resigns herself to making a living as a hatter and helping her younger sisters prepare to make their fortunes. But adventure seeks her out in the shop where she sits alone, dreaming over her hats. The wicked Witch of the Waste, angered by "competition" in the area, turns her into a old woman, so she seeks refuge inside the strange moving castle of the wizard Howl. Howl, advertised by his apprentice as an eater of souls, lives a mad, frantic life trying to escape the curse the witch has placed on him, find the perfect girl of his dreams and end the contract he and his fire demon have entered. Sophie, against her best instincts and at first unaware of her own powers, falls in love. So goes this intricate, humorous and puzzling tale of fantasy and adventure which should both challenge and involve readers. Jones has created an engaging set of characters and found a new use for many of the appurtenances of fairy talesseven league boots and invisible cloaks, among others. At times, the action becomes so complex that readers may have to go back to see what actually happened, and at the end so many loose ends have to be tied up at once that it's dizzying. Yet Jones' inventiveness never fails, and her conclusion is infinitely satisfying. Sara Miller, White Plains Public Library, N.Y.
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ISBN-10: 0061478784 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780061478789 (pbk.)
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
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