Tuesday, February 1, 2011

                      Howl's Moving Castle (Castle, #1)     

   Title: Howl's Moving Castle

   Author: Diana Wynne Jones

  Publisher: Various

 Release Date: first published 1986

Summary (Goodreads):
In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.
After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.
The Hatter sisters--Sophie, Lettie, and Martha--and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.
In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?
Diana Wynne Jones's entrancing fantasy is filled with surprises at every turn, but when the final stormy duel between the Witch and the Wizard is finished, all the pieces fall magically into place.

 This is the first book review of the Loving the Review Challenge.
I didn't know there was a book until after I saw the anime, so I was expecting it to be exactly like the movie and was surprised when it wasn't. Although it was similar, it was not identical. There were a few differences in the book, for example, Micheal, Howl's apprentice, was Sophie's youngest sister's age, about 15, it seemed like he was much younger in the movie.
Sophie, the oldest of three girls is appointed apprentice to her stepmother, Franny, at her hat shop. She is left alone to attend the shop when the Witch of the Waste stops by and puts a curse on Sophie. Not knowing what else to do she sets off the find the Wizard Howl, thinking that she'll be safe from him because he's only interested in young pretty girls. When she stumbles into his moving castle she makes a deal with the demon, Calcifer, in exchange to break the demon's contract with the wizard, he will break her curse. In the process she learns new things about herself and finds out that the Wizard Howl is not all thats he's made out to be.
This is one of the few times the movie is better than the book, for me, that don't happen very often. This book was a fantasy that had adventure, humor, and a little romance. Will I read the next book, probably if I can find it, finding this one was hard for me.



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