Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Series: Howl’s Moving Castle #1
Published by Greenwillow Books on April 22, 2008 (first published in 1986)
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Pages: 336 : Paperback edition
Source: Checked out from my local library
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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.
This came highly recommended to me from the lovely Chantal over at CK’s Reading Corner (if you recall, she’s also the one that I tried to set up a Game of Thrones buddy read with before), so when I first picked this up I had high expectations. And surprisingly, they were not let down!
The writing style was something I had to kind of get used to at first since it’s written a bit abruptly. The sentences, while eloquent, often are short and straight to the point, which is not something you see extremely often these days with novels. Most of the time writers want to stretch out what they’re going to say in long and winding sentences, but this skipped around all that.
That being said, I did think the ending was a little abrupt. There was so much build up and for a two chapter conclusion, that left me a tad disappointed (and is the reason I gave this 4 stars out of 5). However, since I do think this is meant for someone much younger than my age range, I can see why it was written that way.
I told Chantal on Twitter, while I was reading this, that I wished I had read this back in 6th grade, or earlier, so I could have that nostalgia of reading it from a young age and “growing up with it” so to speak. I probably would have read this around the same time that I was getting into Robin McKinley’s fantasy books (which are awesome by the way and everyone should go read them).
I really liked this overall though and am very excited to watch the movie that was adapted from the novel. My library also has a couple editions of the graphic novel adaption, so I’m going to pick those up too and see if I can imagine the world a little better if it’s drawn out for me.
Thanks again for the recommendation Chantal!