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House of Many Ways
Synopses & Reviews
Charmain Baker is in over her head. Looking after Great-Uncle William's tiny cottage while he's ill should have been easy. But Great-Uncle William is better known as the Royal Wizard Norland, and his house bends space and time. Its single door leads to any number of places—the bedrooms, the kitchen, the caves under the mountains, the past, and the Royal Mansion, to name just a few.
By opening that door, Charmain has become responsible for not only the house, but for an extremely magical stray dog, a muddled young apprentice wizard, and a box of the king's most treasured documents. She has encountered a terrifying beast called a lubbock, irritated a clan of small blue creatures, and wound up smack in the middle of an urgent search. The king and his daughter are desperate to find the lost, fabled Elfgift—so desperate that they've even called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, can the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer be far behind?
Of course, with that magical family involved, there's bound to be chaos—and unexpected revelations.
No one will be more surprised than Charmain by what Howl and Sophie discover.
"Longtime fans and new readers alike will revel in Jones's self-assured return to the realm she charted in Howl's Moving Castle, a riff on English and German fairytales, and its Arabian Nights — themed sequel, Castle in the Air. When bookish, utterly selfish Charmain leaves home to care for her ailing great-uncle's magical house, she surprises herself by discovering her own hidden talents — and ends up helping save the kingdom of High Norland from the fearsome Lubbock. Brought up by her doting parents to be utterly 'respectable' (which in her case translates to being astonishingly useless), Charmain is an unlikely heroine. Yet she easily holds center stage, even when the flamboyant Wizard Howl (of Moving Castle fame) appears midway through the novel. Beguiling enough on their own, Charmain's big and small adventures (bickering with the boy who comes to stay; attempting housework with hilarious results; mediating the disputes of the disgruntled tiny blue men who work behind the scenes) gain an added urgency thanks to the lurking menace of the Lubbock, who is easily among the scariest villains Jones has ever created. A tale to luxuriate in. Ages 12 — up. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When Charmain is sent to look after Great-Uncle William's house while he is away being cured by the elves, she is unprepared for the house itself. But she "is" prepared for reading--and that makes her indispensable to the Wizard Howl, in this sequel to "Howl's Moving Castle."
About the Author
Diana Wynne Jones has been writing outstanding fantasy novels for more than thirty years and is one of the most distinguished writers in this field. With unlimited imagination, she combines dazzling plots, an effervescent sense of humor, and emotional truths in stories that delight readers of all ages. Her books, published to international acclaim, have earned a wide array of honors, including two Boston Globe-Horn BookAward Honors, the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award for having made a significant impact on fantasy, and the World Fantasy Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Acclaimed director and animator Hayao Miyazaki adapted her international bestseller Howl's Moving Castleinto a major motion picture, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Diana Wynne Jones lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor emeritus of English literature at Bristol University. They have three sons.
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