The main reason I decided to read Howl's Moving Castle, by Dianna Wynne Jones, is because of the recent movie version of it. I haven’t actually seen it, but I am a big enough fan of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away that I know I’ll get it when it comes out on DVD. Besides that, I’ve read Jones’ Chrestomanci books, and loved them, so I was reasonably certain that I would enjoy this book.
I was right; I did enjoy it. This book shows Jones’ flair for creating memorable characters and exciting plots. Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of Sophie, a young girl who is turned into an old woman by the curse of the evil Witch of the Waste. Sophie moves into the castle of the lecherous wizard Howl and agrees to attempt to free his pet fire demon, who will break her curse if she succeeds. From there, things get even more interesting…
This book, as with some others I have reviewed, is written primarily for children. However, it is sophisticated enough that it can be enjoyed even by adults. The only thing I didn’t like about this book (and this may have only been my imagination) was that the opening chapters seemed to use language that was a little too simplistic, even for a children’s book. Still, by the time the action started up, I was too much into the plot to notice it anymore. I give this one 4 yo-yos.
Coming soon, Code of the Woosters (for real this time)!