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Search tags: Castle-in-the-Air
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video 2016-10-03 20:44

I’m so frustrated at myself over last month, I was dying to finish Winter even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to thanks to my week off work. I’m also annoyed I didn’t get to finish Castle in the Air whilst I was off so I could start the final book. But I guess you can’t help being ill.



Last month I treated myself to the second installment by Victoria Averyard, Glass Sword and the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Mass. Due to my preference to read a series all together I’ve been slowly collecting them, somehow not realising Empire of Storms was the fifth book!! Which means I can finally start reading next year, had I realised sooner I would have started them this year.


I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to start reading this month at home. I’ve got a couple of series still on my list I need to start but I’m also toying with the idea of reading some stand alone books. Give myself a bit of a break.

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review 2016-03-15 01:37
ED 411-Castle in the Air
Castle in the Air - Diana Wynne Jones

This story is based off Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights. This story takes place in the world of Howl's Moving Castle. Abdullah spends a lot of his time daydreaming. When his dreams start coming true, he is thrilled until things start to go bad. Abdullah must set off on a quest to save the princess and live happily ever after. I would implement this story in the class room to teach cause and effect. I would have students create individual charts to fill in while reading the story. This story is intended for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. 

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review 2015-03-26 23:18
Wonderful Series!
House of Many Ways - Diana Wynne Jones

Title: House of Many Ways

Series Title: Howl's Moving Castle (#3)

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Original Published Date: 2008

Pages: 404

Edition Language: English

Format: Paperback

Category: Fantasy, Children, 


Summary: (from Goodreads:) When Charmain Baker agreed to look after her great-uncle's house, she thought she was getting blissful, parent-free time to read. She didn't realize that the house bent space and time, and she did not expect to become responsible for an extremely magical stray dog and a muddled young apprentice wizard.

Now, somehow, she's been targeted by a terrifying creature called a lubbock, too, and become central to the king's urgent search for the fabled Elfgift that will save the country. the king is so desperate to find the Elfgift, he's called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, the great Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer won't be far behind.

How did respectable Charmain end up in such a mess, and how will she get herself out of it?


Review: I love this series so very much! I have been taken a very long time to finish it, because now I am sad: I WANT MORE HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE!!!!!! *many, many tears and lying on the floor, hitting it with fists and feet* And I know I will never get it, because dear Mrs Jones can no longer be brilliant - God rest her soul!

I enjoyed the book. Like Castle in the Air Howl, Calcifer and Sophie are not the main characters in this book, but is minor characters. I wish so much Jones had wrote another book about them!!


House of Many Ways is not Howl's Moving Castle and it is probably impossible to write another book as brilliant as the first one. House of Many Ways is, although, very joyfully. There is more normal days (as normal as it can get in a wizard's house) described in this book, rather than in Castle in the Air (the second book), which was more out-on-an-adventure-book. Of course there is adventure in it, but because of this - and other reasons - it reminded me a bit more of the first book, than the second book had - and that pleased me a great deal. 


Charmain, the heroine, is a character I really enjoyed. She is useless in a household, she is a bit rude, she is a bookworm (always a good sign) and she is ginger(!!!!). Waif (the dog) is a good and sweet helper, but Peter (I guess he is the male main character) is a bit... Nah. He kind of disappointed me. I have always thought Diana Wynne Jones was good at creating creative, different and original characters, but Peter was really just... plain. I mean - compared to the gallery of the characters in Howl's Moving Castle ... I can tell with those characters what kind of person they are and in a lot of details, too. Peter... I actually can't say much, other than his magic skills is terrible. It disappoints me. Not good enough!

No big plot twists this time, which surprised me. Once again, not as good as the first book.


My big problem with House of Many Ways and for that sake also Castle in the Air is actually that I would love them, if I didn't every single time expected Howl to come any time and steal all the spotlight, and be let off disappointed. But... Howl was rather hilarious in this book, once again! He and Sophie is really the perfect match! Fortunately, even though they only are minor characters in the book, they are very less minor here than in Castle in the Air. 


Looking at the book alone I enjoy many of the things I also enjoyed with the others - the language, the writing style, setting etc. etc. AND! not to forget: Diana Wynne Jones' wittiness! Which is the biggest reason I absolutely adore her and this series. 

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video 2015-03-16 12:18
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review 2015-02-19 18:58
Is This Really a Castle in the Air?
Castle in the Air - Diana Wynne Jones

Since this is the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle, I really wanted to like this book. But I just couldn’t get into it. So the plot goes as follows: a young guy named Abdullah lives in the Sultanates of Rashpuht and sells carpets for living, but dreams of being a prince. By an odd chance, he comes into possession of a magic carpet that flies and that later takes him to a sultan’s daughter, who falls in love with him and is ready to marry him after meeting him only two or three times. Unfortunately, just before the young couple can elope, the princess is stolen by a djinn, and for the rest of the book Abdullah is trying to rescue her.


My problems with the book:


1. Where are Sophie and Howl? I bought the book so I could read more about them. Well, they do come up closer to the end, but the book is not about them, and that was a disappointment.


2. How is this different from other formulaic boy-battles-evil books? It isn’t. And I guess I expected more from Jones after Howl’s Moving Castle.


3. Is this feminism? Jones does address inequalities between men and women here and there, like for example, when Abdullah tells the sultan’s daughter, who is extremely ignorant, that men can marry more than one woman, but women can’t, the girl says, “Oh, that’s unfair.” Then the topic is promptly dropped, and when at the end of the book, a guy—another guy, not Abdullah—marries two women, it is treated as totally okay. O_O


4. Could this book be racist? So, to find the sultan’s daughter, Abdullah travels from the Sultanates of Rashpuht, a southern country where he lives, to Ingary, which is a northern country in the book. And so we get to hear about both places, and the South is shown as a barbaric place ruled by a barbaric sultan while the North has flowers and wizards, and women are not as oppressed, so it’s a really good place.


5. Is the plot logical? So, a sultan’s daughter meets a stranger in her garden who tells her he is a prince, and she falls in love with him and decides to elope with him after seeing him only two or three times. I don’t know—I’m not a sultan’s daughter—but I can’t imagine any princess deciding to just run off with a stranger. I know that’s how usually fairytales go, but isn’t this book the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle that was built on questioning and undermining fairytale tropes?


But apart from these problems, it was a good book. :)

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