Sophie Hatter lives a quiet, boring life in Market Chipping, Ingary, working in her family’s hat shop. But her life takes a turn for the bizarre when the Witch of the Waste turns her into an old woman.
Afraid her family won’t recognize her, Sophie turns to the only person who may be able to break the witch’s spell: the wizard Howl, who supposedly eats the hearts of beautiful women and lives in a moving castle with his apprentice Michael and a fire demon named Calcifer.
But there’s more to Howl—and Sophie—than meets the eye. And together the moving castle’s occupants go on adventures whose outcomes may decide the fate of the kingdom.
I read this while nursing myself through a cold, and although my recollection is a bit fuzzy (I was sleepy and unfocused most of last weekend), it was a lovely read. Adventure and danger and magic, oh my!
You can’t help but love Sophie and feel bad for Howl, who — despite spreading nasty rumors about himself in order to prevent anyone’s asking for his assistance — always ends up coming to the rescue.
As with The Seer and the Sword, Howl’s Moving Castle is a great book for introducing readers to fantasy and adventure novels. I’d love to hear it read aloud by a good storyteller.