Howl’s Moving Castle

When I was on my movie kick a couple of years ago (before I started reading books all day every day) I bought several anime movies.  Of these, several were films directed by Hayao Miyazaki.  One of these movies that I purchased was Howl’s Moving Castle.  I never knew that it was based off a book, and I never found out until I was wandering through my local Barnes & Noble the other day and saw it sitting on the bookshelf.  Seeing as I loved the movie, I decided I would buy the book as well.  I read it today and absolutely loved it.  On with the review.

Book Stats

329 pages (paperback)


Stand alone book


The story centers on three main characters, Sophie, Howl, and Michael.  While the book is written in an omniscient viewpoint, it focuses mostly on Sophie.  Sophie is a wonderful character who gets through her problems often through sheer persistence.  Howl is a bit of a slacker who tries to avoid doing any work that he can avoid and has a wonderfully sarcastic attitude towards the world.  Michael is Howl’s apprentice who helps Sophie adjust to living with the wizard.


The name of the world is never given, but the world is a typical medieval world with wizards running around changing things.  The most interesting thing about the setting is Howl’s castle.  As per the title of the book, his castle moves on it’s own.  This is interesting and plays an interesting part in the story.


Sophie is the oldest of three sisters and she works in a hat shop.  After her father dies, her two sisters are sent off to apprentice with a baker and a wizard while Sophie stays at the hat shop.  After working at the shop for some time, Sophie gets frustrated and takes it out on a customer, who happens to be the Witch of the Waste.  This doesn’t bode well for Sophie as the Witch curses her and makes her age so that she is closer to 90 years old.  After this she sets out to get away from her old life and ends up living with Howl and Michael.


Although it’s never really fair to compare the book to the movie, in this case, both are excellent.  The first half of the book and movie are essentially the same, but while they differ from there they are both excellent.  I loved this book and read it in one day, I didn’t want to put it down.

Overall Grade

I loved this book, and for that matter, I loved the movie as well.  They’re both excellent and I highly suggest both.  But this review is for the book, which is what this score is for.


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