Book Reviews

Castle In The Air – Book Review

Book Title: Castle In The Air
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Romance
Target Audience: Young Adult
Publication Date:  December 6th 2012 (first published 1990)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Paperback

“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.”

Why I chose this book

As I mentioned in my review of Howl’s Moving Castle I absolutely love the film and the book made things even better. So discovering that it wasn’t only a book but a trilogy then I guess I need to read them all to see what happens to Sophie and Howl next.          

What it’s about

Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2)

Far to the south in the Land of Ingary, lives a young carpet merchant called Abdullah. In his dreams, he is the long-lost son of a great prince. This dream is a complete castle in the air… or is it?’

Abdullah’s day-dreams suddenly start to come true when he meets the exquisite Flower-in-the-Night, daughter of the ferocious Sultan of Zanzib. Fate has destined them for each other, but a bad-tempered genie, a hideous djinn, and various villainous bandits have their own ideas. When Flower-in-the-Night is carried off, Abdullah is determined to rescue her – if he can find her.

A high-spirited ‘Arabian Nights’ fantasy, the dazzling sequel to ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’.

What I thought

I will start by saying I didn’t dislike the book. However, the magic from the first book and film didn’t seem to be there in this one. Of course, there is still magic as there is the bad-tempered genie (completely understandably so) and the Djinn but there is a lack of something that I just can’t quite put my finger on. 

Abdullah’s flowery way of wording things just didn’t cut it for me and as charmed as he might be by Flower-in-The-Night (yes that is the name of the love interest) intelligence doesn’t mean she can’t be beautiful and thin. These are things that shouldn’t matter. Just like not everyone with glasses is nerdy. I really couldn’t connect with him and I’m honestly surprised that the solider was able to put up with him for so long. Abdullah was super annoying. 

At one stage I was considering DNFing it but I slugged through it and eventually, Abdullah stopped with the overcomplicating of sentences and got to the point at the request of the genie. 

I do not want to give any spoilers away but I will say this Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer are in this story eventually and once they arrive it does get better as they still have the same wit and charm as they did in the original. Lettie is in here too but I am wondering what happened to Sophie’s other sister Martha.

Star Rating

Have you ever read Castle in the Air? What did you think of it?

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