A Random Blog of Everything I like
The reason why I wanted to read this novel is because I have seen the animation by Ghibli Studio under the same title…it was a great animation, just like all Ghibli’s animation. My friend told me that the book has different story than the animation…so I was curious about it and started reading the novel. And I admit, it is different…but I like them both. (I’ll write the animation’s review once I have time to watch it again)
Howl’s Moving Castle was written by Diana Wynne Jones. I’ve never heard of her before. After reading her discography, judging from the title, I think she specialize her works in fantasy.
The story happened in the land of Ingary when magic and supernatural things still exist. On the hill near a small village called Market Chipping stood a moving castle that belongs to Wizard Howl. People in market chipping were told that Wizard Howl was a cunning wizard that loves to eat young girls’ heart. But the truth about the castle and Howl were revealed when Sophie Hatter came into that castle.
Sophie Hatter was the eldest of 3 sisters and bound to be the unluckiest of all 3. Her family owned a hat shop. When her father died, her step mother, Fanny, decided to send her daughters to be someone’s apprentice. Lettie Hatter, the 2nd sister, who was also the prettiest, was sent to a famous baker and Martha Hatter, the youngest, was sent to Mrs. Fairfax to learn about witchcraft. As for Sophie, she had to stay in the hat shop and became Fanny’s apprentice. Months later, Sophie visited Lettie and realized that Lettie and Martha had switched places because they wanted to do what they like not what Fanny like.
Sophie decided to do the same thing, but something terrible happened to her before she had a chance to leave. The famous Witch of the Waste cursed her to be an old woman. Out of her confusion, she came into Howl’s Castle. She had nowhere to go and insisted to stay in the castle. She met Michael, howl’s apprentice, and Calcifer, howl’s fire demon. Calcifer knew that Sophie was cursed by the witch and he offered her a bargain. Calcifer wanted Sophie to break his contract with Howl and then he will help get rid of Sophie’s curse.
Sophie couldn’t believe her eye when she saw Howl, she had met Howl on her way to meet Martha. Howl (Howl Jenkins) was a man in his twenties that didn’t look like cruel wizard. Howl like to make girls falling in love with him and then left them heartbroken. He was stubborn, childish and narcissistic…he would spent hours in bathroom just to make him looked good.
Howl did not say he allowed Sophie to stay but he didn’t throw her either. Sophie stayed as the clean lady and soon became famous as Mrs. Sorcerer or Mrs. Witch. She often fought with Howl and Howl often called her by many names. It was really fun to read their relationship, a nosy old lady who was actually still very young kept bothering a selfish, flamboyant, and irritating young wizard.
Basically, beyond all the conflict with the Witch of the Waste, the story is actually about love, how the love grows slowly between Sophie and Howl…but it is wrapped nicely in a magical way. There’s so much fun reading how they annoyed one another 🙂 and dragging everyone else in their confrontation.
I really enjoy reading this book and therefore I give this book 4 stars out of 5 (I really like it).