I am an avid reader of fantasy, but until recently I had never read the Howl's Moving Castle series by Diana Wynn Jones. It is a classic, and had long been on my list, but I just seemed to always find something else – until recently, that is. And when I finally read it, I was not disappointed! Why did I wait so long?! This is fabulous series with hidden gems and little surprises awaiting you in every book. I was both delighted and impressed with Jones’s ability to surprise me and give me little unexpected treats in every story. Wonderful! These are technically companion books, meaning they have connections to each other but could be read on their own, however, I think they are much richer and deeper when read together and in order. There are three books in the series: Howl's Moving Castle, The Castle in the Air, and The House of Many Ways (which is my favorite!) For a great description of all the varied, complicated, and wondrous adventures in Howl’s Moving Castle check out the fan video below (the first video). For a live action trailer, also put together by a fan and using various movie clips, check out the second video below. It is fantastic and I would love (wish) to see this book turned into a live action movie, using this cast!
For more great fantasy novels check out some these books:
- Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier
- Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce
- Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
- Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
- The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
- The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove
Howl’s Moving Castle by Jones was also turned into an anime movie. Although different than the book in many ways, it is still an enchanting and fantastical story. Howl’s Moving Castle (the anime movie) is written by Hayao Miyazaki and is similar to some of his other anime such as Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Also, if you like fantasy and anime or are interested in learning more about anime, graphic novels, and manga don’t miss our Teen Graphic Novel, Manga, and Anime Club coming this fall. Each one will meet one Thursday a month at 4:00pm. Here are the upcoming dates and themes, but for more information and registration check out our Program Calendar.
- September 10th: Hayao Miyazaki Movie Trailers and Anime Discussion
- October 8th: Graphic Novels to Tell Your Story – featuring realistic graphic novels
- November 12th: Manga, Anime, and Japanese Culture