Monday, 27 June 2011

Howl's Moving Castle

Level: Youth
Genre: Fantasy > High Fantasy
Obtained: Borrowed from a friend
Reviewed by: Nic Echo
About the Book: 
In this folklore like book, Sophie has already determined she is doomed to fail since she is the eldest of three children so it seems to be only fair that she is going to be the one to be stuck with tending the hat shop. It could be much worse, and worse it becomes when the evil Witch of the Waste comes to visit the hat shop and places a terrible curse on Sophie. This curse ends up turning Sophie into a ninety year old woman, unable to tell anyone about the curse. Sophie then ends up at the castle of Howl, a wizard known for eating young girls' hearts, and there she meets Calcifer, a fire demon who has a contract with Howl. Calcifer ends up noticing the spell on Sophie and says he will remove her curse if she figures out how to break the contract between Cal and Howl, which is just the beginning of Sophie's magical journey.

Rating: 10/10
I originally found this book from the Miyazaki film. Having loved the movie, I wanted to read the book, and I was not disappointed. Although I still think the movie is excellent, I found the book more wonderful. Jones did an excellent job of mixing both adventure and humour into her world. Also, the head nods toward the general fantasy genre are excellent, such as how Sophie is doomed to fail since she is the eldest. The characters are also fun, and you get a great sense of them without going into nitpicking details yet there is enough details that the character isn't bland or boring. The plot was a page turner through out, even if you have seen the movie. There are plenty of twists, some which are fairly clear to see and others that jump out at you, such as where the black portal leads. I seriously cannot recommend this book enough. It's an easy read with a punch that both kids and adults can enjoy. Jones can bet that I will be picking up more of her books in the future.

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