Book Reviews and Highlights

Howl's Moving Castle

Diana Wynne Jones

  • Action & Adventure
  • Fantasy & Magic
  • Girls & Women
  • Juvenile Fiction
  • In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven- league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.
  • Chapter One: In which Sophie talks to hats | Page: 5
  • #first-sentence #ingary #birth-order
  • In the middle of the night Sophie was woken by someone snoring. She jumped upright, rather irritated to discover that she was the one who had been snoring.
  • Chapter Three: In which Sophie enters into a castle and a bargain | Page: 32
  • #funny #sleep #snoring
  • Sophie sniffed. “I’m old,” she began. But it was just as the Witch had said and the fire demon had guessed. Michael said cheerfully, “Well, it comes to us all in time. Would you like some breakfast?”
  • Chapter Four: In which Sophie discovers several strange things | Page: 39
  • #aging #old
  • The tall young fellow in a flamboyant blue- and- silver suit who had just come in stopped in the act of leaning a guitar in the corner. He brushed the fair hair from his rather curious glass- green eyes and stared back. His long, angular face was perplexed.
  • Chapter Four: In which Sophie discovers several strange things | Page: 40
  • #youth #young #male-desc #men-desc #howl
  • It was odd. As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief.
  • Chapter Five: Which is far too full of washing | Page: 45
  • #aging #old #women-desc #female-desc #sexism
  • “Yes, you are nosy,” said Howl. “You’re a dreadfully nosy, horribly bossy, appallingly clean old woman. Control yourself. You’re victimizing us all.”
  • Chapter Five: Which is far too full of washing | Page: 51
  • #agism #old-woman #female-desc #women-desc
  • Anyway, Sophie’s experience told her that tantrums are seldom about the thing they appear to be about.
  • Chapter Six: In which Howl expresses his feelings with green slime | Page: 64
  • #tantrums #human-condition
  • Up and backward it went, rags fluttering, arms wheeling in protest, up and out, and on and on, until it was a soaring speck in the sky, then a vanishing point in the clouds, and then not to be seen at all.
  • Chapter Eight: In which Sophie leaves the castle in several directions at once | Page: 78
  • Mrs. Fairfax answered the door herself. She was one of those plump, comfortable ladies, with swathes of butter- colored hair coiled round her head, who made you feel good with life just to look at her.
  • Chapter Eight: In which Sophie leaves the castle in several directions at once | Page: 82
  • #women-desc #female-desc
  • Calcifer and Michael exchanged glances. “Did he forget to spend at least an hour in the bathroom this morning?” Michael asked. “He was in there two hours,” said Calcifer, “putting spells on his face. Vain fool!” “There you are, then,” said Michael. “The day Howl forgets to do that will be the day I believe he’s really in love, and not before.”
  • Chapter Nine: In which Michael has trouble with a spell | Page: 88
  • #love #vanity
  • “Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the Devil’s foot. Teach me to hear the mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy’s stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind. Decide what this is about Write a second verse yourself”
  • Chapter Nine: In which Michael has trouble with a spell | Page: 90
  • #poem #magic
  • Howl unlocked the wavy- glass door with one of his keys. It had a wooden notice hanging beside it on chains. RIVENDELL, Sophie read, as Howl pushed her into a neat, shiny hall space.
  • Chapter Eleven: In which Howl goes to a strange country in search of a spell | Page: 105
  • #lotr #rivendell
  • Megan shook hands with both of them in a restrained, disapproving way. She was older than Howl, but quite like him, with the same long, angular face, but her eyes were blue and full of anxieties, and her hair was darkish.
  • Chapter Eleven: In which Howl goes to a strange country in search of a spell | Page: 105
  • #women-desc #female-desc
  • For a fierce schoolteacher, Miss Angorian was astonishingly young and slender and good- looking. She had sheets of blue- black hair hanging round her olive- brown heart- shaped face, and enormous dark eyes. The only thing which suggested fierceness about her was the direct and clever way those enormous eyes looked and seemed to sum them up.
  • Chapter Eleven: In which Howl goes to a strange country in search of a spell | Page: 109
  • #women-desc #female-desc
  • “If thou beest born to strange sights, Things invisible to see, Ride ten thousand days and nights Till age snow white hairs on thee. Thou, when thou returnest, wilt tell me All strange wonders that befell thee, And swear No where Lives a woman true, and fair. If thou—”
  • Chapter Eleven: In which Howl goes to a strange country in search of a spell | Page: 112
  • #poem #magic
  • Howell has gifts in the same order as hers. It seems as if those of high ability cannot resist some extra, dangerous stroke of cleverness, which results in a fatal flaw and begins a slow decline to evil.
  • Chapter Twelve: In which Sophie becomes Howl’s old mother | Page: 120
  • #wizardry