Howl's Moving Castle

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Howl's Moving Castle is a novel by Diana Wynne Jones and published in 1986. The story revolves around a young woman named Sophie and her interactions with a free-spirited wizard named Howl. Sophie would normally be targeted by the womanizing Howl, but a witch has cursed her into an old woman in which Howl has no interest. I learned about this book after seeing the animated movie which I adore and prefer over the book. While they're about the same theme, the movie is very different from the book, eliminating most of the characters or merging them together and removing the connection with the real world.



  • The idea of a castle that can move around is only made more exciting that it is also in several places at once!
  • Several of the magical characters (the turnip-headed scarecrow, Calcifer, the dog man, etc.) are very interesting and you're constantly wondering if they're evil.
  • Having a dimensional door that bridges the gap between a world of high fantasy and the modern world is a really cool idea.
  • Despite Howl being a lazy womanizing crybaby, I find his desire to remain a free spirit relatable.


  • There is little excitement in the book. It's mostly descriptions and conversations, and while there is an epic battle between the Witch of the Wastes and Howl, it's only described from a distance, lessening it's interest.