House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

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Synopsis

Charmain Baker is in over her head. Looking after Great-Uncle William's tiny cottage while he's ill should have been easy. But Great-Uncle William is better known as the Royal Wizard Norland, and his house bends space and time. Its single door leads to any number of places—the bedrooms, the kitchen, the caves under the mountains, the past, and the Royal Mansion, to name just a few.

By opening that door, Charmain has become responsible for not only the house, but for an extremely magical stray dog, a muddled young apprentice wizard, and a box of the king's most treasured documents. She has encountered a terrifying beast called a lubbock, irritated a clan of small blue creatures, and wound up smack in the middle of an urgent search. The king and his daughter are desperate to find the lost, fabled Elfgift—so desperate that they've even called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, can the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer be far behind?

Of course, with that magical family involved, there's bound to be chaos—and unexpected revelations.

No one will be more surprised than Charmain by what Howl and Sophie discover.

 

About Diana Wynne Jones

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Diana Wynne Jones (www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk) was the multiple awardwinning author of many fantasy novels for children, teenagers, and adults. Her book Howl's Moving Castle was made into an Academy Award–nominated major animated feature by Hayao Miyazaki. She received the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Married to the medievalist J. A. Burrow, with whom she had three sons, she lived for many years in Bristol, the setting for many of her books. Diana Wynne Jones passed away in March 2011, after a long illness.
 
Published May 22, 2009 by Greenwillow Books. 441 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for House of Many Ways

Kirkus Reviews

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This third book in the Howl's Moving Castle (1986, etc.) series introduces Charmain, a crankily respectable girl in the kingdom of High Norland.

Jun 01 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

Publishers Weekly

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Longtime fans and new readers alike will revel in Jones's self-assured return to the realm she charted in Howl's Moving Castle, a riff on English and German fairytales, and its Arabian Nights–themed sequel, Castle in the Air .

May 19 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

AV Club

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But it's actually the second Howl's sequel, after 1990's Castle In The Air, and like Castle (and like many of the other books in Jones' "series"), it's only tangentially related to the first book, with some common characters turning up toward the end.

Jul 16 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

Christian Science Monitor

And when darkness had fallen upon the land, the people cried out for a champion to deliver them from their troubles.

Nov 25 2008 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

The Bookbag

Yes Pages: 336 Date: March 2009 Publisher: Harper Collins ISBN: 0007275684 Charmain Baker doesn't particularly want to look after her great uncle's house while he's ill, but she does want to get out of her own house, where her mother stifles her with respectability.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

The Bookbag

Yes Pages: 336 Date: March 2009 Publisher: Harper Collins ISBN: 0007275684 Charmain Baker doesn't particularly want to look after her great uncle's house while he's ill, but she does want to get out of her own house, where her mother stifles her with respectability.

Jan 01 2013 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

Fantasy Literature

But even though she is defined as a fairly unsympathetic sort — spoiled, lazy, cranky — I find myself liking Charmain more from the beginning of the book than any of the other characters in this series.

| Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

Youth Services Book Review

But move into his house she does, and there she encounters an enchanting dog, little blue people with bulbous noses who have a penchant for chopping things down, an apprentice wizard whose every spell goes wrong, and the legendary Sophie, Howl, and the fire demon Calcifer.

Apr 09 2010 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

New York Public Library

As the novel progresses, Charmain learns about more than books and magic, she learns how to grow up and take care of herself, even when that means admitting she might need some help.

May 24 2009 | Read Full Review of House of Many Ways

Reader Rating for House of Many Ways
87%

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