Howls Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's books
Series: Howl series book 1
Amazon: Howls Moving Castle
Synopsis: In the land of Ingary, where seven league boots and cloaks of invisibility do exist, Sophie Hatter catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell.
Deciding she has nothing more to lose, she makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls… There she meets Michael, Howl’s apprentice, and Calcifer the Fire Demon, with whom she agrees a pact.But Sophie isn’t the only one under a curse – her entanglements with Calcifer, Howl, and Michael, and her quest to break her curse is both gripping – and howlingly funny!
Review: So I would imagine that most people know Howl’s Moving Castle as a beautiful Ghibli film, but it is in fact, loosely based upon this wonderful book by Welsh Author Diana Wynne Jones.
This book, along with The Hobbit, is one of my favourite childhood reads and I still pick it up now. The characters and the wonderful world they live in continuously draw me in, and the fact the book features Wales is always a plus. The book, I think, is very different from the film. There is no war for Howl to fight in, and the witch of the waste plays a much bigger part, but I think these changes make the book worth reading.
I would also have to admit that the characters are slightly different too. Sophie grows into a beautifully strong woman, and I think this growth is presented differently in the film. Howl is also different in the books, but I think this is mostly because there is more time for his character to develop.
This book for me is a classic, and it is a book that I know I will eventually be reading to my own children.