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Howl’s Moving Castle (No! Not the movie, the book!)

Saturday, March 31, 2012
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...

Goodreads Summary

Sophie is the oldest sibling out of three girls, and seems to believe that working in her fathers’ hat shop is her destiny. On May Day she is courted by a handsome man, then later that night was turned into an old lady because the Witch of the Waste didn’t like her. She seeks out help to break a curse that cannot be spoken out loud. While trying to find help she follows a walking castle. Once inside, she meets a fire demon who promised to break her spell if she breaks his. Sophie later finds out it’s Howl’s domain, who was also the man that was courting her. She has heard many rumors about him, like eating girls hearts and souls. The book revolves around trying to break the fire demons spell as well as her own.

The movie Howl’s Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki was actually an adaptation of the book written by Diana Wynne Jones. This movie is definitely one of my favorites, but you’ve got to admit that it leaves you with many unanswered questions. It’s like some scenes are cut out and you’re left wondering, “why did that happen?”
The book is definitely different. You get to know the characters further and everything seems more logical. Sophies sisters – yes, she has two not one – play a more dominate role, and you get a background on Howls actions. The original black triangle actually takes you to England and Wales, not the uncles’ cabin, and Sophie is afraid of Turnip Head. These little differences make the book more fascinating than the movie (Sorry, Miyazaki!). Even if you didn’t like the movie, I recommend the book. It has adventure, romance, mystery, comedy, and drama.

This takes you on a whole new path and every question you’ve asked during the movie will be answered within a few hours of reading. There are two more books that follow up Howl’s Moving Castle, so the journey isn’t over.

Five stars

*Reviewed by Rachel*


  1. I'm so glad to read this review! I loved the movie, but just didn't get certain things. I chalked it up to that whole ambiguity and vagueness factor which is very popular in anime. I am absolutely checking this book out, thanks for the heads up!

    -Kate the Book Buff

  1. Lioness said...:

    Someone who finally read the book!!! People rarely even know that there's a book >.<
    Thank you for reviewing it- more people will know now :D

  1. I loved both the book and the movie, but there was something about the book. Howl's Moving Castle has to be one of my favorite books (I often reread it). The two other books were great as well.