Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle #1
Published: April 22nd 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published in 1986)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
I think we ought to live happily ever after.
I honestly did not know that this was a book until a few months ago when my friend mentioned it after I told him I watched the movie for the first time. I can’t believe that this book has been around for nearly 30 years and I just finally read it!! I noticed right away that this was much more involved than the movie was and a lot if interconnecting side plots that came together in the end.
In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.
Sophie starts off working in her fathers hat shop with her stepmom and sisters. After her father dies, her sisters goes to apprentice somewhere else and leaves Sophie in the hat shop by herself. Sophie has a reason for everything, such as she can’t do a lot of things because she is the eldest and therefore she will be the one to always fail. She brings this up multiple times when something goes wrong or she is blamed for something, and my only complaint is I wish she had another excuse. As the oldest in my family, I didn’t like that she was constantly putting herself down. Although, she does have a lot of character growth by the end and hopefully in the next book she won’t use that as a crutch anymore.
If I give you a hint and tell you it’s a hint, it will be information.
Howl was much more vain and shallow in the books than in the movie. The movie kind of glossed over it, but in the book you could really see all of Howl’s flaws. For a wizard who claims to be very cowardly, he always stepped up when someone was in trouble. Which I thought was very noble of Howl, and almost made up for his other character traits. Almost.
Look. Survey. Inspect. My hair is ruined! I look like a pan of bacon and eggs!
The plot in this book was very fast paced and constantly moving. It seemed as if there were 3 or 4 scenarios going at one time and then at the very end they all came together. The Witch of the Waste was a much more formidable opponent than she was in the movie, and I liked her character a whole lot more. It made more sense for her to put a curse on Sophie than in the movie (maybe I need to go watch the movie again).
Overall, this book was highly entertaining, and I recommend it to everyone!