Castle in the Air

Castle in the air by Diana Wynne Jones.  I heard about this book after reading Howl’s Moving Castle, also by Jones.  This book is called a companion to Howl’s Moving Castle, but I would consider it more of a sequel.  While the book does stand on it’s own very well, I think if you were to read this before Howl’s Moving Castle there would be some small spoilers by the end of this book.  So I’d recommend Howl’s Moving Castle first, but they’re both good books.

Book Stats

383 pages

Fantasy

Companion/Sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle

Characters

The book follows Abdullah, a young man living is Zanzib, a desert city south of Ingary (where Howl’s Moving Castle takes place).  When his father died, he was given just enough money to purchase a booth and some inventory to make a living selling carpets.  Although he was not given much, he makes a good living and is content with his life.  During the book he also meets a soldier (who isn’t named until the very end of the book, so I won’t give his name here either).  The soldier he travels with is very resourceful and helps Abdullah throughout his journey.

Setting

The book starts out in a desert city, but later Abdullah travels to a more standard fantasy setting, picture medieval towns and castles and whatnot and you’ll get the setting of the book pretty well.

Plot

Abdullah’s life is fairly mundane, he lives just outside of the bazaar and makes his living selling carpets.  He’s quite good at his job and his location on the outskirts of allows him to get some rare items.  He is very shocked when one day a man comes in and sells him a magic carpet.  That night he falls asleep on the magic carpet and is transported to a garden where he meets Flower-in-the-Night, a princess with whom Abdullah instantly falls in love.  Shortly after they meet, Flower is captured by a djinn.  Using his magic carpet Abdullah decides that he has to go rescue her.  This leads him on an adventure where he meets some interesting magical characters and gets involved in solving a much bigger problem than 1 missing princess.

Enjoyment

I liked the book, but I didn’t tear through it the way I have some other books.  None of the characters were terribly deep, and the plot was pretty straightforward, although there were some surprises that came from the side characters later in the book.  It’s not the best book I’ve read recently, but it was a nice quick read and it was nice seeing some of the characters from Howl’s Moving Castle again.

Overall Grade

Not as good as Howl’s Moving Castle, but it was a fun read that I enjoyed, I’d suggest it to people looking for a fun and quick read.

7/10

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