Title: Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1)
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
PubDate: March 5, 2009 (first published in 1986)
Page count: 302
“In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.”
Oh my god this book is amazing! I loved the movie then loved the book as much! I’ve watched the movie a hundred times before and finishing the book just made me love it even more. The book is actually very different from the movie but both are brilliant and charming and entertaining! 🙂
Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three sisters and always blames it for her misfortune. Their family owns a hat shop and when her father dies, being the oldest, the shop automatically becomes hers to manage while her sisters get send away to do what they’ve always wanted to do. Sophie doesn’t really mind making hats, at first, but at some point she realizes that interesting things always happen to someone else but not to her. Again, she blames it to being the oldest and it doesn’t really help when she attracts the attention of the Witch of the Waste who puts her under a nasty spell of turning her into an old woman. It leaves her no choice but to go and seek out her own fortune in hopes of breaking the Witch’s spell. It then leads her to Howl’s ever-moving castle. Everyone fears Howl because he’s a wizard who collects young girls’ hearts. But Sophie, being an old grumpy woman now, doesn’t fear Howl anymore. So she insists her way into Howl’s castle and soon finds herself bargaining with a fire demon to break her curse.
I really enjoyed Sophie and Howl’s story! Everything in this book is brilliant and the characters are all charming and mysterious in their own way. Howl is sooo adorable! He’s conceited and powerful yet he’s very sweet and funny. And it’s sad that people think of him as evil when in truth he’s just a fine young man who’s trying to get away from the real-evil Witch of the Waste. Sophie, on the other hand, is bossy, stubborn and at times grumpy, which I think is because she’s now old (and we know how old people can be sometimes). I loved how she can boss around Howl and Calcifer! Lol.
Calcifer and Michael are both endearing. They grow to love Sophie as she spends time with them and Calcifer and Sophie’s relationship is funny! It’s said that only Howl can make Calcifer do things but with Sophie, Calcifer cowers down. I guess it has something to do with Sophie always threatening and bullying Calficer. Hahaha. But really, Sophie only has to bribe Calcifer for him to obey. Tsk. Calcifer is a fire demon who has some contract with Howl that he thinks Sophie can break. In return of breaking his contract, Calcifer promises to break Sophie’s spell. Michael is sweet. Movie-Michael is extra sweet (and younger) but novel-Michael is lovable just the same.
Howl and Sophie make a good pair. While Howl likes it dirty, Sophie likes it clean. Hahaha. Their interactions always cracked me up especially when Howl complains how Sophie likes to clean. It’s also funny how Howl can be sooo dramatic at times especially when it comes to his appearance. And I feel like Howl actually enjoys teasing Sophie sometimes.
“Annoyed?” said Sophie. “Why should I be annoyed? Someone only filled the castle with rotten aspic, and deafened everyone in Porthaven, and scared Calcifer to a cinder, and broke a few hundred hearts. Why should that annoy me?”
And Howl might be vain and conceited but he has conscience, you guys!
“I didn’t mention the matter before.” said Howl. “because the king might have thought you should have had the sense to sell him another dud. I had a conscience about it. Conscience. Notice that word, Mrs. Longnose. I had a conscience.”
Howl also reminds me of Kell from Shades of Magic series. Or rather, when I read ADSoM, Kell reminded me of Howl. I pictured Kell to be like Howl, a mysterious, powerful Wizard who everyone fears. And, and! They’re both my favorites! ♥
Howl’s Moving Castle is probably one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read (and watched)! It’s just so beautiful and whimsical and entertaining that I’ll read it again and again until I turn 90! It’s a magical and fun read that will surely entertain you!
Howl said, “I think we ought to live a happily ever after.” and she thought he meant it.
“And you’ll exploit me,” Sophie said.
“And then you’ll cut up all my suits to teach me,” said Howl.
* * *
More about Howl? Sophie thought desperately. I have to blacken his name! Her mind was such a blank that for a second it actually seemed to her that Howl had no faults at all. How stupid! “Well, he’s fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,” she said. “Half the time I think he doesn’t care what happens to anyone as long as he’s all right—but then I find out how awfully kind he’s been to someone. Then I think he’s kind just when it suits him-only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don’t know, Your Majesty. He’s a mess.”