Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones

Of all of the Ghibli movies Howl’s Moving Castle has got to be my favorite. I’ve re-watched it over and over again and I plan on getting a quote from it tattooed on my body at some point in time. When I realized that it was a book, it became even better.


During my visit with my BFF in Portland we went to Powell’s Books, a freaking MASSIVE bookstore. I wanted to move in, but that’s beside the point. It took some looking, but I finally found Howl’s Moving Castle. I read most of it on the long flight from West Coast to the East Coast, finishing it just the other night.

The book is so little like the movie, I was surprised. I can’t say that it was a bad surprise. Instead, I see these as two separate things, one by Jones and another by Miyazaki. I adored this and plan on reading it to my children someday.

Sophie is the oldest of three daughters, destined to never make anything great of herself and she takes that destiny to heart. Yet, when the Witch of the Waste wanders into her shop, mistaking Sophie for one of her sisters, the curse changes the course of her destiny. Now burdened with old age, Sophie loses a lot of her inhibitions and fears.

This is how she finds herself in Howl’s castle, talking to Calcifer the fire demon. They make a deal, he’d break her curse and she’d set him free. Only, she would have to fulfill her part of the bargain first and she doesn’t even know where to begin. Her journey leads her across the world and even into Wales, in some points.

This was the kind of book I’d read to my kids and I plan on grabbing more by Jones to add to my collection. The book and movie deviate a lot from one another after Sophie finds herself in Howl’s castle. The book Sophie has a lot more magic and a lot more spunk, honestly.

It’s 3.99$ on Amazon Kindle right now. Give it a look.


Author: Leah Chiasson

I am a twenty something geek, wife, writer, and all around goofy girl. I am a freelance writer as well as the author of Marked For The Hunt, available on, and the coming sequel, Marked as Prey. You can find me on and on my Patreon site!

7 thoughts on “Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones”

  1. Oh man, I get this book a while back and still haven’t read it, but I LOVE the movie! I’ll definitely have to give it a read soon<3

    1. Totoro is a great place to start. Kiki’s Delivery Service, too. They’re light and fun. Princess Mononoke is dark and violent, but graphically beautiful and has such a great story. Spirited Away won ALL the awards.

      1. I watched Spirited Away for the first time a month ago and really liked it – will try Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service next πŸ™‚ I love light and fun so sounds like the best choices for me.

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