Monday, June 22, 2015

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones Review

"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."

Now, this book has been released a long time ago (or so it seems). I could had bothered to read it years ago, but I didn't. Anyway, Howl's Moving Castle is about magic and a curse. It is humorous, and it is dark in some portions. However, it is perfect for younger readers and remains perfectly acceptable for those who love wizards, witches, curses, and magic. 

Sophie is the eldest daughter and feels like she is cursed for life. Then it actually happens. She gets accidentally cursed by the loathed witch, Witch of the Waste, and ages sixty years or so. Old and wrinkled, she learns the delights and horrors of being an elder. Of course, she makes the best of her situation and her curse. She makes her way to Howl, who is a wizard with a reputation of eating young women's hearts, so he could remove the curse on her. Sophie is a very, very adorable character, who slowly learns that there is something special about her. 

Howl is the vainest wizard of the kingdom, or so it seems. He is full of weird plans, and he knows strange spells involving goo. Seemingly self-absorbed, selfish, and probably also, self-anything, Howl is a powerful wizard who holds the possible cure to Sophie's curse. Despite his Gilderoy Lockhart tendencies (some magical problems), he is surprisingly not shallow. He is actually a complicated guy, who simply lets his eccentric side get better of him. 

The story is refreshing, and I absolutely adore its humor. Twisted, entertaining, and old, Howl's Moving Castle is a lovely tale that brings me back to the younger years. Gosh, it has fairy tale tropes and it has something new. 

However, I have one minor issue. The romance between Howl and Sophie is odd and weird, and I honestly expected some buildup to it. They have a great friendship with each other, an even greater respect, but it doesn't feel right for them to be actually together. Howl has to work for it, and Sophie isn't exactly prime material. 

In conclusion, Howl's Moving Castle (I keep capitalizing the O in "Moving" by accident) is an exciting book that makes me look forward to getting old and ancient. Seriously. I'm very serious. Imagine what I could get away with when I'm old.

It opens up so many new possibilities. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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