Friday, January 10, 2014

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle is a YA fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, appropriate for all ages – young and old!

Many of you have probably already read Howl’s Moving Castle, as apparently it is a classic I’d never heard of until a new bookish friend clued me in.

As the eldest of three sisters in the land of Ingary, Sophie knows she’ll never amount to anything. That is just the way it is. Her lot in life. If she were ever to try at anything, she would surely fail.

That’s why when her stepmother sends her second eldest sister to study at a pastry shop and her youngest, the one destined to be the most beautiful and successful per tradition, to apprentice under a female wizard whilst Sophie simply stays in the hat stop they own – she doesn’t mind.

Maybe it’s a bit solitary, but she has one-sided conversations with the hats all day long as she embellishes them in the she believes their personality deserves.

One day, though, her quiet life is disrupted when the feared Witch of the Waste enters the hat shop and, for some reason, wants to take out some frustrations on poor Sophie.

Before she knows it, Sophie has been bespelled into an old lady! Her only hope is to reach the also much feared Wizard Howl who lives in an ever-moving castle and is rumored to eat the hearts of young girls he ensnares.

And so begins Sophie’s adventure…

Howl’s Moving Castle was such fun!!!

Initially, there was a gentle delightfulness that was, I thought at the time and now disagree with, a bit slow. Sophie starts out as a really easygoing character, resigned to her life – practical and taking everything in stride without complaint.

Howl’s Moving Castle became increasingly funny and surprising – and I was becoming more and more charmed. I felt it just kept getting better and better.

I loved the way Sophie’s personality morphed into a feistier, outspoken version of herself once she was transformed into an old woman.

The wordplay, quirkiness, and joyfully eccentric fantasy vibe sparkled as Howl’s Moving Castle went places I didn’t expect, always keeping me on my toes. I was truly enchanted, happy and enthralled in its wittiness and cheerful character development.

Everything tied together in such a way that I urgently need and want a reread!

What a unique breath of fresh air it was! It’s awesome!

Plus, I adore the fact that it could be read by a child (perhaps it’s slightly confusing with its complexities, but it would still be enjoyable and appropriate) or an elderly person. Not to mention everyone in between!

Whimsical entertainment! Now, I want the two companions and to dive into more Diana Wynne Jones!!

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