Post number fifty-two is for Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle, another required reading assignment for my Fantasy Lit course. I had obviously heard of this book before, but for some reason I had it in my mind that the book was a graphic novel, probably because they made an animated movie out of it (not that that necessarily correlates, but I’m thinking that was my thought process), so kind of avoided it because I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels. But I found this book to be utterly charming and well worth the read. In fact, I think I might just have to purchase it, I enjoyed it so much.
Brief spoilery thoughts follow.
I loved the nods to fairy tales throughout, with the eldest not being able to seek her fortune because she’s the eldest, and the youngest getting to do what she wants and being able to seek the man of her dreams, etc., and I loved the references to Fanny as the step-mother who wasn’t actually evil, etc. I also liked how prevalent magic was throughout this, and how it wasn’t something that people were necessarily afraid of, but rather took advantage of for their own uses. I found Howl absolutely delightful, even when the reader thought he was out breaking hearts, and Sophie was a wonderful narrator and fantastic character, with her inability to see what was going on with herself and how she was actually the one holding herself back. And Calcifer was wonderful as well; I loved how he and Howl both were wanting Sophie to find a way to break their contract, because neither one of them wanted to go bad. And the ending just made me smile and smile and smile some more, it was just so darn cute. <3
Anyway, I recommend this story for sure, especially if you’re a fan of magic and fairy tales, and happily ever afters. :)