If you only know this story from the (admittedly wonderful) movie, you're missing out on: Welsh rugby fight songs, sibling swaps, parallel worlds, possessed guitars, and so many hats! Though the novel is told from Sophie's perspective, the shrewd reader can piece together events and motivations that Sophie is only on the periphery of, especially on a reread. (As for me, I've read this book at least six times over the years, and I'm about to pick it up again.) Recommended By Madeline S., Powells.com
I don't think I've read from anyone able to paint an atmosphere the same way (or as well) as Diana Wynne Jones. The characters are so lovable, and the character development?? Chef's kiss. This is my favorite place to escape to; I've read it over six times at this point. I'm about five seconds away from writing an entire essay/analysis on why this book is good, but I'll stop here. Recommended By Seb D., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl — and herself — than first meets the eye.
"Wynne Jones' castle is a marvelous conceit — four doors open onto four different locations, and the whole is moved by Howl's talking fire demon, Calcifer. In this first of three interconnected stories...Wynne Jones creates the memorable characters who believably people her country of Ingary in an alternate, late Victorian-era world." Children's Literature
"Jones has created an engaging set of characters and found a new use for many of the appurtenances of fairy tales — seven league boots and invisible cloaks, among others....Jones' inventiveness never fails, and her conclusion is infinitely satisfying." School Library Journal
Hayao Miyazaki's Academy Award-nominated film introduced the Wizard Howl to new fans. Now the classic novel and its companion, "Castle in the Air," are back in these new editions featuring new cover art.
About the Author
Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards — and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter — her books were filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.