Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Quick Reviews of Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Despite the confusing titles, Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky is an entirely different story from Diana Wynne Jone’s Castle in the Air. Castle in the Air also seems to be an entirely different story from Howl’s Moving Castle (book 1 in the series), with an entirely new setting and cast of characters (for the most part). 

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

2294535

Series: Howl’s Moving Castle Trilogy, Book 2

Genres: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Fantasy, Romance

Format: Audiobook, narrated by Jenny Sterlin

Rating: 4 stars

Description:

In which a humble young carpet merchant wins, then loses, the princess of his dreams.
Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, there lived in the city of Zanzib a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer named Abdullah who loved to spend his time daydreaming. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a magic carpet.
That very night, the carpet flew him to an enchanted garden. There, he met and fell in love with the beauteous princess Flower-in-the-Night, only to have her snatched away, right under his very nose, by a wicked djinn. With only his magic carpet and his wits to help him, Abdullah sets off to rescue his princess….

Quick Review:

Despite the confusing titles, Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky is an entirely different story from Diana Wynne Jone’s Castle in the Air. Castle in the Air also seems to be an entirely different story from Howl’s Moving Castle (book 1 in the series), with an entirely new setting and cast of characters (for the most part).

In the beginning, I found the story rather slow, and kept wondering where the connection to Howl’s Moving Castle was. However, I kept plowing through and was eventually well rewarded! A fantastic surprise awaits in this magical Aladdin-esque fantasy!

(This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge in the category “A Book Without a Love Triangle”.) 

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Series: Howl’s Moving Castle, Book 3

Genres: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Fantasy, Romance

Format: Audiobook, narrated by Jenny Sterlin

Rating: 3.5 stars

Description:

When Charmain is sent to look after Great-Uncle William’s house while he is away being cured by the elves, she is unprepared for the house itself. But she is prepared for reading–and that makes her indispensable to the Wizard Howl, in this sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle.

Quick Review:

While I do remember liking this book a lot (certainly more than Castle in the Air) the last time I read it, I found it much too young and basic this time through. However, this may entirely depend on me and my changing preferences, but may also have to do with the slightly younger and less mature main character.

This book also features a new cast of characters and setting at the beginning of the book, which is more like Howl’s Moving Castle than Castle in the Air is, then brings Sophie, Howl et al. in at the end in supporting character roles. The magic in this book is also quite strange and rather creepy, and didn’t appeal to me in the same way the magic features in the other books did.

Overall, House of Many Ways is a rather disappointing end to the series. I recommend watching Howl’s Moving Castle, reading the book if you like the movie, then ending there unless you’re dying for more Diana Wynne Jones. And also give her other books a try — and let me know! I’ve never read anything of hers besides this series.

(This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge in the category “The Last Book of a Trilogy”.) 

Advertisements

One comment on “Gwen’s Quick Reviews of Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

  1. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge FINALE!! | Gwen & Kate's Library

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: