Posted on Monday, October 9th, 2006 at 9:14 am under Children's/YA, Fiction

Title: Howl’s Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Fiction — Young Adult

Why I liked this book: Old-fashioned fairy tales about magic castles, talking fireplaces, and possibly-evil wizards should, in my estimation, always include an underlying emotional story about how to understand your own talents and find your place in the world.

Shy Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three sisters, and finds herself quite inconveniently cursed to live as an old woman. She realizes she can’t go on as she is, so she marches off to find the Wizard Howl, whose moving castle is usually found skulking outside of her town of Market Chipping. Once inside the castle she finds a fire demon in the fireplace, a sweet-natured apprentice who’s in love with her sister (but which one?!), a flighty wizard who may or may not be evil, and a castle that is nothing like it appears on the outside. Once she’s come to terms with all of that, she finds herself in the middle of a quest for a missing wizard, protecting a family in modern Wales, a search for the King’s lost brother, and the fight against the witch who cursed her. And her role in all of those quests, problems, and fights is nothing at all like she would have expected… nor are her powers.

Diana Wynne Jones, with typical dazzling skill, pulls together what feels like twenty disparate storylines in one neat and tidy climax — as all fairy tales should end. This was a fun, smart, and interesting read, even if it is ‘juvenile’ fiction.

The College Libraries own a copy of this book — check Bearcat for the call number and to see if it’s on the shelf.

Leave a Reply