Tuesday 15 October 2019

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - Book Review

Amanda Kennedy

Although I’ve seen the Studio Ghibli animated movie more times than I can count, I regret not having previously read the novel on which it is based.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

In the land of Ingary, where seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, Sophie Hatter attracts the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her. Determined to make the best of things, Sophie travels to the one place where she might get help - the moving castle which hovers on the nearby hills.

But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the hearts of young girls…

I really rather enjoyed this short novel, and there are many differences between this and the animated feature film. Most importantly, we discover where the Wizard Howl originated from, and much more detail as to why The Witch of the Waste hopes to defeat him. In my opinion, the book is more magical, and though undoubtedly I imagined the characters in their Ghibli forms, I found my reading added much more depth to what is already in my heart a fantastic story.

Howl’s Moving Castle is actually part of a trilogy set in the same “world”, which I hope to eventually read through. However, I plan to wait until I can read them in actual book form (since I read through this as a paperback on loan from the library) rather than downloading to my kindle.

Reviewed by Amanda Kennedy on October 15, 2019. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is available from all good booksellers (and probably your local library!).

Amanda Kennedy / Book Blogger, Writer & Editor

Amanda is a lifelong learner and book lover who lives in the North of England with her family and several cats. She writes book reviews, literary news and bookish articles here on All My Pretty Books.

To learn more about Amanda's own work, visit her personal website.


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