Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: Howl’s Moving Castle presented me with the dilemma of liking a book, but not loving it. For one, the writing was difficult for me to engage with. I struggled with the flow of the words because the structure differed so much from the way my mind wanted to construct the sentences. It is an odd occurrence, but I find that it sometimes happens…
In terms of characters I consider Howl to be the most interesting and the most infuriating. Throughout the story he presented an enigmatic front in combination with temper tantrums more suited to a young child than a man. The romance between he and Sophie had absolutely no build-up, much to my dismay; the reader can tell it is going to happen yet there was nothing palpable to give credence to the emotions presented at the end. I think the best thing I can say about all of the characters in Howl’s is that they all have snappy and witty dialogue to keep the reader entertained.
Further entertainment also comes from the quirky creation of the world the story inhabits. Howl lives in a moving castle controlled by a fire demon he is linked with. The castle has a door that can lead to different locations, and there is magic involved since Howl is a wizard and so are many others. If you are a fan of quirky fantasy stories then I can see this as being a good option for you. My advice would be to not expect a sweeping adventure from the story because you are not going to get it.