Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

4.3 (142,404 ratings by Goodreads)
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In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.

After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.

The Hatter sisters--Sophie, Lettie, and Martha--and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?

Diana Wynne Jones's entrancing fantasy is filled with surprises at every turn, but when the final stormy duel between the Witch and the Wizard is finished, all the pieces fall magically into place.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 329 pages
  • 108 x 172 x 26mm | 158.76g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Harper Trophy
  • 006441034X
  • 9780064410342
  • 104,048

Back cover copy

In which a witch bewitched the hatter's daughter -- and then some. . . .

Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, a land in which anything could happen, and often did -- especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up. Which was often.

As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes, Sophie stayed in her father's hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery.

Now Sophie must seek her own fortune. Which means striking a bargain with the lecherous Wizard Howl. Which means entering his ever-moving castle, taming a blue fire-demon, and meeting the Witch of the Waste head-on. Which was more than Sophie bargained for. . . .
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Review quote

"Jones has outdone herself in this frolicking, warmhearted fantasy. Thoroughly enjoyable -- a wonderful blend of humor, magic, and romance". -- Publishers Weekly
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Rating details

142,404 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 51% (72,950)
4 32% (45,799)
3 13% (18,460)
2 3% (3,817)
1 1% (1,378)

Our customer reviews

As a child I remember being entertained for days by this book, re-reading it again and again. It gripped me in a world so vivid and amazing I yearned for it to become a reality that I could visit, childish I know but honestly its one of the most wonderfully written books I've ever come across. Words cannot convey that. One can only experience it for more
by Mia
Also published in <a href="">"A Cup of Coffee and a Book"</a> I am one of those rare persons who still haven't seen the movie by <u>Hayao Miyazaki</u>... I know, I know... prepare your torches and pitchforks to hunt me down. So, I was completely caught my surprised while reading this book. Which was a nice thing though because this book was simply amazing. The first word that popped into my head when I first finished this was: <b>adorable!</b> It is indeed such an adorable and cute story I couldn't put it down. There were some parts were I laughed out loud and almost rolled on the floor laughing, others I just kept smiling. I labelled this book as <i>one-of-those-you-can't-read-in-the-street-without-making-a-fool-of-yourself</i>. A nice label by the way since I do make quite a fool of myself in the street while reading a book. The characters were a pure delight. They were so funny and original I wished they were real and not characters written in a book. <u>Sophie</u>, turned into a 90 years-old lady, is always complaining and nosy. She really managed to bring the true nature of a "grandmother" despite her young years. Being the elder daughter, she thought her fortunes were always doomed until destiny proved her wrong. She is, indeed, one of the luckiest girls in Ingary without even knowing. She was mature enough to embrace her misfortune, being transformed by the Witch of the Waste, and keep moving forward in order to change it. But she caught up in the webs of Howl's adventures and Calcifer's treaty. She would worry about others despite of herself but she also had a selfish side. In fact she was so human I would love to meet her personally. <u>Howl</u>, the wizard everyone is afraid and scared because she captures young girls and eats them, is my favourite character! When we first meet him he seems quite shallow, vain, conceited and doesn't care about anyone but himself. He's character was a bit nerving and hard to appreciate at first, with all the tales told about him ringing in my mind. But as Sophie, and ourselves, come to know him better, he's not the monster everyone thinks. As the plot unfolds, he's turned into quite a lone guy who can't help being the way he is and whose destiny is crossed by a spell he has to avoid at all costs. And then, when we finally realise he's a great heart and falls in love with Sophie - best part in the book for me when he comes to rescue her - I can't help but adore him. <u>Calcifer</u>, the fire demon and the <i>person</i> in charge of moving the castle, was a character I had a difficult time to know what to think of him. At first he sort of scared me. I didn't know whether he was evil or not, what he's plan was and all. The word <i>demon</i> here, however, doesn't actually mean <i>evil</i>. Calcifer became a character needed in the story, his riddles and he's humour being a very appreciated. I loved him as I loved Howl. The storyline was very well developed since it hooks us in chapter one till the very end. It's hard to put it down for a minute 'cause you just want to read more and more and get to know what's going to happen. It was intriguing, funny and very smart. It had a bit of melodrama from Howl which I found extremely delightful. And there was also a chapter in which we are taken to the present day each added a bit of fantasy to the story and made me laugh so hard with the description of Sophie in the car. Howl's Moving Castle is an adorable (need to find another word for this), hilarious and delightful read for every age. I say it's a <b>must-read</b> for certain!show more
by Leonor (Ner)
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