Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Title: Castle in the Air
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Series: Howl's Moving Castle #2

Publication: August 7th 2001 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1990)
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Cover Rating: 3/5
Overall Rating: 5/5



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...








Reading Castle in the Air was a spur in the moment decision for me. I hadn't given the book much thought every since I bought (which was a while ago) because I doubted it would be as good as Howl's Moving Castle. Ha! I was so wrong. It wasn't better than its predecessor but I enjoyed it just as much. 

I am really impressed by the imagination of the author (bless her soul). This book was such an aventure that I jumped in right away and let it take me away to the lands of Rashpuht, Ingary and the castle in the air. It was fantastic.

I really liked the main character, Abdullah, who was a humble but funny and smart carpet merchant. And also liked Flower-in-the-Night and how she wasn't just another princess. She was actually strong-minded and had her own intellectual ideas. I even liked "the soldier" even though he was quite selfish and tricky. Really, this book was full of diverse and unique characters that you can't help but like. Even the djinns!

I loved the Arabic feel of the book with the genie, djinns, magic carpet and everything else in between. I haven't quite read a book like it before (aside maybe from Howl's Moving Castle). And of course it was absolutely amazing to be back in Kingsbury and meet all the familiar characters over again like Lettie, Suliman, Calcifer and of course let's not forget Sophie and Howl! I don't want to give away too much but I was almost giving up hope of seeing Howl again in this book but let me tell you: nothing is as it seems! And gods... how I loved it! It was really nice to see what Sophie and Howl's life is like now. I missed them.

Overall, Castle in the Air is a magnificent sequel to Howl's Moving Castle. It might feature other characters in the lead but they're just as amazing and unique. I would recommend this book to everyone who has read Howl's Moving Castle and even if you haven't read that book yet, get on it and read the sequel too because it's full of amazingness!




Favorite Quotes:
“I am a believer in free will. If my dog chooses to hate the whole human race except myself, it must be free to do so.”
“I can't abide people who go soft over animals and then cheat every human they come across!”
“Tell me of this wizard Howl of yours."
Sophie's teeth chattered, but she said proudly, "He's the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. If he'd only had time, he would have defeated that djinn. And he's sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly, and you can't pin him down to do anything."
"Indeed?" asked Abdullah. "Strange that you should speak so proudly such a list of vices, most loving of ladies."
"What do you mean, vices?" Sophie asked angrily. "I was just describing Howl!”




About the Author:
August 16, 1934 - March 26, 2011
Diana Wynne Jones was the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed fantasy stories, including the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.

For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/autobiog.htm


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