Today’s Throwback Thursday selection is Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
First, a synopsis from Amazon:
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!
I completely agree with the synopsis — this is such a fun book! And, if you’ve seen the Miyazaki film, you’ll be surprised at how much of the book actually makes it into the film!
The story follows Sophie Hatter, who is mistakenly put under a curse by the Witch of the Waste. She is turned into an old woman, and decides to seek out the wizard Howl to try to break her curse. She encounters Calicifer, a fire demon, and makes a pact with him to attempt to break her curse instead.
This actually reminded me a lot of the old Kings Quest PC games — the seven league boots, the door with different portals — so many odd magical things that are so fun to read about! The book is charming in its entirety, and the author continues Howl and Sophie’s narrative into two further books: The Castle in the Air and The House of Many Ways.
I especially loved the allusions to other works of literature: the poetry of John Donne and Shakespeare, The Lord of the Rings, and Alice in Wonderland are all present. These allusions are delightful and fun to look for.
And look at the gorgeous new cover they’ve released!! Isn’t it absolutely lush?