Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Howl's Moving Castle (Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones

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 saw the movie version of Howl's Moving Castle a week ago and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The book, though, differs from the movie in so many ways so if you've seen the movie, reading the book doesn't feel like you're just rehashing the movie and vice versa.

Sophie Hatter has been cursed by the Witch of the Waste after giving her a hat that the Witch was not satisfied with. After leaving her home, Sophie finds herself in the castle of Wizard Howl, a fearsome wizard who is said to eat the hearts of young maidens.

In terms of plot, the book has more interesting stories and subplots. However, I prefer the Michael, Calcifer and Howl that are found in the movie. In the book, Michael is already 15 years old. I prefer the younger and cuter Michael in the movie since I feel that he is more endearing. Calcifer was also friendlier in the movie.

Also, it was easier for me to see the love story of Sophie and Howl unfold in the movie. In the book, the development to their happy ending was much too subtle for me as to be almost non-existent.

That said, I can't really decide which one I like more, the book or the movie. If you've seen the movie, make sure you read the book. You're sure to enjoy it.

  1. Brilliant concept and plot.
  2. Well-fleshed out characters that are easy to sympathize with.
  3. Witty writing.
  1. It's a little bit gross in parts.
He was such a dashing specimen too, with a bony, sophisticated face-really quite old, well into his twenties- and elaborate blonde hair. His sleeves trailed longer than any in the Square, all scalloped edges and silver insets.
  1. You like magic.
  2. You liked the movie version.
  3. You like the idea of a magical, moving house filled with quirky characters.



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