Review: Howl’s Moving Castle [1986]


howls-moving-castleAuthor: Diana Wynne Jones
Year: 1986
Publisher: HarperCollins

From GoodReads:

In which a witch bewitched the hatter’s daughter – and then some….

Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, a land in which anything could happen, and often did – especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up. Which was often.

As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes, Sophie stayed in her father’s hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery.

Now Sophie must seek her own fortune. Which means striking a bargain with the lecherous Wizard Howl. Which means entering his ever-moving castle, taming a blue fire-demon, and meeting the Witch of the Waste head-on. Which was more than Sophie bargained for….

I Say…

Truly magical… page after page I turned made my imagination widen and envisioned everything in full color. I found some similarities with Harry Potter and Howl’s Moving Castle. Somehow J.K.Rowling must’ve loved Diana Wynne Jones’ creations. The mere mention of invisibility cloaks and magic spells instantly gave me a hint that Ms. Rowling was influenced a great lot by the great fantasy writer.

I am almost in a hurry to finish the book, wanting to get to the part where Howl will eventually fall in love with Sophie. But when I got to the end it seems that Howl was already in love with Sophie since the day he saw her. Now that is what the book is about, you flip thorough those pages until you find answers as to how one character gets revealed to the other and how each character will end up… like a thrilling ride to the land of magic and adventure. A whole lot better than Studio Ghibli’s version, but the Howl I have seen in the movie is more loveable than the one I’ve read from the book. You can spot a number of differences between the book and the movie, and I’d say it’s best to read everything first.

After this I think I might be reading more Diana Wynne Jones’ books…