Monday, May 28, 2012

Howl's Moving Castle Review

Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Release date: August 21, 2001 (First printing: 1986)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Pages: 329
How I got it: Library 
In which a witch bewitched the hatter's daughter--and then some... 
Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, a land in which anything could happen, and often did--especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up. Which was often. 
As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes Sophie stayed in her father's hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery. 
Now Sophie must seek her own fortune. Which means striking a bargain with the lecherous Wizard Howl. Which means entering his ever-moving castle, taming a blue fire-demon, and meeting the Witch of the Waste head-on. Which was more than Sophie bargained for...
I want to love fantasy, I really do. ...But I just don't. Fantasy novels rarely ever hold my attention, and Howl's Moving Castle was not the exception. I enjoyed the characters and the quirky humor Wynne-Jones effortlessly infused into the story, but I just seemed to find myself all too willing to put it down.

I'll start with my favorite part of the novel: Sophie.What a wonderfully feisty heroine! Even when she's an old lady, does she ohhh I don't know, curl up in a ball and the woods and then stare out a window for four months. NOPE. She's like, "K." and does what needs to be done. She was so cool.

The plot had a lot going on. Maybe it seemed like that because I wasn't fully invested in it to begin with, but that's just my opinion. However, it all tied together in the end, which was really cool. But still. A lot going on.

Howl's Moving Castle is a classic YA fantasy, but sadly it wasn't for me. While I in no way disliked this novel, I did end up finding myself indifferent throughout the book. However, if you haven't read this yet, I'd still recommend it so you can experience Wynne Jone's clever writing style and story-telling. Also because it's one of my best friends all time favorite books.

Plot: Seemed kind of scattered, but elements of it were cool.
Characters: Sophie was awesome. Michael and Calcifer were pretty cool too, and while sometimes I found Howl annoying I did like him.
Writing: Really good.
Ending: Tied everything up nicely.
Kid friendly? Very!
I put this one down a LOT.
Yep, sorry Sophie, your story just didn't hold my interest and adoration like I wanted it to, but I have mad respect for you and your author. And if I ever grow to like fantasy, I'll totally give you another try.


  1. So sorry you didn't dig this. I love fantasy and have been wanting to read this one for some time. Thanks for your honest thoughts. :)


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