Howl's Moving Castle

Diana Wynne Jones
Howl's Moving Castle Cover

Howl's Moving Castle


Really fun. Having seen (and loved) the Miyazaki film first, I had to fight the expectations of character motivations and actions. That done, this story was a good read that did wrap itself up a neat bow almost too quickly at the end. There were also some major differences from the film.

First off, excellent character development, with plots and subplots galore. Sophie and her sisters are strong female characters, the latter getting a much larger role in the book compared to the film. Shy and self deprecating Sophie really comes into her own as an old person, not afraid to speak up for herself or others.

The settings were beautifully described, though war rates only a distant mention and doesn't intrude as it does in the film. One of the doors leads to a completely different place, and I won't spoil the fun but will note that it was wonderful, if too brief.

Originally released in 1986, it was an ALA notable book but did not win an award until 20 years later, shortly after the release of the film. Jones released a sequel in 1990, followed by another in 2008. This is the first book I have read by this author, and look forward to reading more.