Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back to the World of Howl

Diana Wynne Jones. House of Many Ways. Harper Collins: 2009.

House of Many Wayss is the next installment in the world of Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air. Like many of Diana Wynne Jones' books, it takes place in the same world but with a different set of main characters; in this case the book stars a young girl who loves to read and has a talent for magic. She finds herself house-sitting for her great uncle the Wizard of Norland and working in the castle library trying to solve a mystery, where she runs into characters from the previous books, has great magical adventures, and runs into elves, kobolds, and the fearful lubbokin!

This is another fun adventure in Diana Wynne Jones' magical imagination and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good fantasy about wizards and fairy tale castles. I was impressed that Diana Wynne Jones created a character who loved to read and didn't know how to do anything practical, but her penchant for reading neither saved the day exactly nor did the story moralize about putting down the book and taking action. Instead, Jones made a balance between reading and practical experience an ongoing struggle and created a character with some very real flaws in her tendency to be intemperate and imperious and yet made her lovable and well-meaning as well. These touches make Jones' books smart as well as fun and magical and I will keep coming back as long as there are more to read. If you haven't read Howl's Moving Castle, you don't need it to understand this one, but it's a great place to start to become addicted to Diana Wynne Jones' books.

1 comment:

  1. Her new book, Enchanted Glass, is also a very lovely read!