Tuesday, July 22

Oldies: Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle
Diana Wynne Jones

Greenwillow Books (1986)
Age: Grades 4 - 8
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: witchcraft, curses, reputation,

Sophie, as the eldest of three sisters, knows she is doomed to fail in finding fortune and so is content to run her father's old hat shop. Upon a visit from an irate Witch of the Waste, however, Sophie is cursed into an old woman. She determines, then, to go to the Wizard Howl--known in her town to feast on young women's hearts and steal their souls--and strike a deal with his fire demon to break her curse. In return? She must break the contract that binds the demon to Howl. In her quest, though, she may discover there's more to Howl--and herself--than she realizes.

In a completely unbiased sense, this book is a rather charming story of mistaken impressions, magical maladies, and daring deeds. Who is really the hero? Or villain? How will Sophie fare in the end? Unfortunately, my review is marred by the fact that I seem to prefer the more modern style of fantasy novels; that is to say, stronger character development or complexity. This book was definitely more focused on the story. There were weird gaps or jumps in the characters development that made me confused, but were necessary to move the plot along. I was left going "wait...what?" a lot. I just didn't fall into it; I didn't completely love the land or characters. I'm just...meh.

So if you're curious, my rating is: ★★★

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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