House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones.  This book is listed as the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle, and it chronologically follows both Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air.  It’s yet another fun and quick read by Jones, who is probably one of the better writers of YA fantasy novels that I’ve ever read.

Book Stats

404 pages

Fantasy

3rd book in its series (after Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air)

Characters

The main character in this book is Charmain, who is a very sheltered young girl who spends most of her time reading books.  She was an interesting character as Jones played up the contradictions between Charmain being very intelligent and book smart while having almost no practical experience in anything.  The other main character of this book is Peter, who is sent to be an apprentice to Charmain’s Great-Uncle William.  Peter has a little more knowledge about the magical world that they find themselves in, but he is a bit of a klutz and is also lacking in experience.  Both of these characters were well written and fun to read, although my favorite parts of the book were seeing Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer again in this book.

Setting

High Norland, which is a kingdom in the same world as Ingary from Howl’s Moving Castle.  As I said in my review for Castle in the Air, think medieval England with magic.

Plot

Charmain is sent to look after her great-uncle’s house while he is recovering from being sick.  While there, she meets Peter who is supposed to be an apprentice under her great-uncle.  They quickly find that the house is far from being a normal house, with constantly changing passages that lead you to many different areas.  Just before staying at the house, Charmain sends a letter to the king asking to help with any work that they may have for her to do in their library.  While there, she gets involved in with wizards, witches, and a mystery that may effect the kingdom for years to come.

Enjoyment

The book was a fun read.  Charmain was an interesting character and the world that the book takes place in is just fun to read about.  In many ways the best parts of this book were the parts with the characters that I enjoyed from the other books in the series.  It’s not the deepest book in the world, and Charmain isn’t the most dynamic character, nor does she undergo a great change throughout the course of the book.  While these may be marks against many books, this book still works and is fun to read the whole time.  Being a YA book, it’s also a very quick read (despite being just over 400 pages, I read the book in 1 day).

Overall Grade

If you enjoyed Howl’s Moving Castle as much as I did I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book as well, it’s a fun read.

8/10

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1 Comment

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle is a book I’ve been meaning to read. My daughter loves Diana Wynne Jones!

    Reply

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