Books by the English author Diane Wynne Jones always make a strong impression on the reader. That is why film adaptations of her works are not long in coming. The author of “Spirited Away” Hayao Miyazaki, created the anime of the same name based on the novel “Howl’s Moving Castle”.
In the house of the sorcerer William Norland, space and time do not obey the laws of physics, everything there works in a magical way. Just through one door you can get to a wide variety of places (other rooms of the house, the royal library and even the past). The young girl Charmain, who is a relative of the sorcerer, is trying to understand how the magic house works.
As a result, she finds herself in the center of royal dramas. The king and his daughter want to find out the reason of the bad state of the kingdom and to find the lost Elfgift. They ask for help from the witch Sophie, who is already familiar to the reader from “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Castle in the Air”.
Sophie brings with her three companions: the fire demon Calcifer and two little boys. One of them is her son, and who is the second is yet to be solved.
The book creates an immersive setting, particularly in portraying the old cottage’s enigmatic and labyrinthine corridors. While it deviates from traditional gothic novels, it captures similar elements with its detailed depiction of the isolated and picturesque house to which the main character must acclimate.
Charmain is an interesting character in the book, and she is partnered with Peter. This boy comes to work with her uncle as an apprentice, unaware he is not there. Although Peter is arrogant, Charmain’s constant annoyance with him is sometimes amusing. Characters from the previous book make a comeback, similar to what happens in Castle in the Air. The twist was unexpected and delightful.
Although this novel has some humorous moments, it is much darker than the previous two. The introduction of the Lubbock, a humanoid insect that lays eggs in people’s stomachs, makes the story even more sinister.
These eggs hatch and kill the host, or, in the case of females, they look like regular humans and live normal life while attempting to create more Lubbocks. They are so sinister that they could have been villains in a horror novel instead of a whimsical fantasy book.
The only downside is that it cant to provide a satisfying conclusion to the Howl novels. However, it’s not a serious issue. However, since the author Diana Wynne Jones passed away shortly after the book’s publication, perhaps this wasn’t possible.
If you’re a fan of classic fantasy books, you should check out Diana Wynne Jones. She was a highly acclaimed author who won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. Neil Gaiman once said she was “the best writer for children of her generation.”
Some of her most famous books include the World of Howl series. She also wrote the Chronicles of Chrestomanci and the Dalemark Quartet, both well-loved series.
Out of the three novels in the Howl series, the third and final one resembles the tone of the first book more closely than the second. Consider the books as novels that coexist within the same world instead of a trilogy since there isn’t a significant overarching plot connecting them.
However, it’s still advisable to read them in sequence. If you have read the previous two books, it’s highly recommended to complete the series by reading this one.