Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

75%

13 Critic Reviews

In my umpteenth re-reading of the book for this DIK review, I realize I still love it as much as ever. It is, in my opinion, one of the best novels ever about finding yourself and about the nature of love...It is a book that I can highly recommend for both teenagers and adults.
-All About Romance

Synopsis

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.

 

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 September 25, 2012 by Greenwillow Books. 340 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Computers & Technology. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Howl's Moving Castle
All: 13 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 3

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Nick Danger on Mar 19 2004

While the middle section of the novel is likely longer than it needs to be, Wynne Jones’ breezy style and clever diction push the reader through the less eventful sections. Despite the meandering nature of the plot, events tie together very nicely by the time the final page has been turned.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Nick Danger on Mar 19 2004

Among her best novels is Howl’s Moving Castle, a pure joy of a story that takes familiar elements from fantasy...While the middle section of the novel is likely longer than it needs to be, Wynne Jones’ breezy style and clever diction push the reader through the less eventful sections.

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Dear Author

Above average
Reviewed by Janine on Jan 15 2014

With Sophie in her seventies and Howl pursuing young women left and right, I didn’t feel that there was that kind of spark between them until pretty late in the story. A romantic angle can really help to engage me but here it was only partially successful in doing so.

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All About Romance

Excellent
Reviewed by Rike Horstmann on Aug 07 2015

In my umpteenth re-reading of the book for this DIK review, I realize I still love it as much as ever. It is, in my opinion, one of the best novels ever about finding yourself and about the nature of love...It is a book that I can highly recommend for both teenagers and adults.

Read Full Review of Howl's Moving Castle | See more reviews from All About Romance

Common Sense Media

Above average
Reviewed by Matt Berman on Jul 27 2015

Diana Wynne Jones writes the old-fashioned kind of fantasy: fascinating and original, but slow and meandering...Eventually there's a nice climactic showdown...Die-hard fantasy lovers adore this and other Wynne Jones books, but those who need action, adventure, or a clear plotline may find it too murky.

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Birmingham Public Library

Good
Reviewed by Tressa on Oct 01 2014

If you’re looking for a perfect bedtime story or read-aloud, look no further. Howl’s Moving Castle is a fairytale like no other. It reads like a classic, even while it pokes fun at tropes in traditional fairy tales. It full of mystery, magic, and it contains a cast of wonderfully developed characters.

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New York Public Library

Good
on May 04 2009

In terms of fantasy novels, Howl's Moving Castle is one of my favorites. The world Jones creates is fully realized without ever getting boring or limiting the reader's imagination...I also adore this story because it is romantic, thrilling, and completely absorbing.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by avalancheLily on Aug 08 2015

Sophie gets tangled up in a mess of missing persons, species-changing persons, identity-swapping persons, royalty, and the Witch of the Waste’s old grudge…against Howl...Howl’s Moving Castle is an easy read involving a convoluted plot told with delightful charm and matter-of-factness.

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Shelf Love

Above average
Reviewed by Teresa on Mar 09 2012

For me, much of the pleasure of this book lies in the characters, rather than in the plot, which is at times overly convoluted. The castle’s residents—Sophie, Howl, Calcifer, and Michael—form something of an impromptu family, with all the benefits and annoyances that come with family life.

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Medieval Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Meghan on Apr 21 2011

The fantasy characters themselves can be a riot with each of their very distinct personalities. In particular, I thought Calcifer in the fire was a fun character, and I was intrigued by the relationships Howl had with people outside the castle...Howl’s Moving Castle is exactly as wonderful as you suspect it is. Read it! You won’t be sorry.

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So Many Books, So Little Time

Good
Reviewed by So Many Books, So Little Time on Jul 23 2013

I fell immediately in love with the characters of Howl’s Moving Castle. I felt a kinship with Sophie from the off...I thoroughly enjoyed this and I’m so, so glad I’ve finally read it. This is one that I’ll read to my children when I have them. Howl’s Moving Castle is a story of a type of magic best devoured as a child.

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http://www.greenmanreview.com

Good
Reviewed by Lory Hess on Aug 04 2015

Jones is a master at creating fast-moving stories full of surprises...she never leaves us feeling empty or cheated at the end. Her books have a quality I can only refer to as "heart," not in any cheaply sentimental sense...Once you enter the land of Ingary, I'm sure that you won't want to leave.

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Ex Libris

Good
Reviewed by Andrea on Apr 07 2011

My favourite parts, even after so many years, are Howl's hair-dye incident and his resulting tantrum; and when he catches a cold, he's such a typical crybaby male when he gets sick...If you're looking for an amazing fantasy with wonderful characters, unique setting, and excellent writing, read this!

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Reader Rating for Howl's Moving Castle
91%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1236 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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