“Howl’s Moving Castle” Review

Title: Howl’s Moving Castle

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Date/year published: 1986; Audio recorded 2008

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy,

Format: Audio, narrated by Jenny Sterlin

Why did I choose to read it: It’s on quite a few “Best of” and “Must Read” lists and is considered a modern classic. Plus, I’m a fan of YAF (young adult fantasy).

Synopsis: A teenaged girl is transformed into an old crone by an angry witch. As an old woman, she takes up housekeeping for the evil wizard, Howl. She helps search for a lost prince, tries to catch a falling star, travels to strange lands (Wales), and has many magical experiences.


I’m not sure why I didn’t read this one sooner, except that it came out during my teen years, and I was trying to get through school and all the required reading while my beach reads at the time included Tolkien and L.L.M. Montgomery. Also, I remember someone I didn’t like, or whose opinions I didn’t value, raving about it. I don’t remember who, or what the scenario was, just that I never thought I’d enjoy it based on their rave review. It’s a head scratcher, because I’ll be honest, when I read the synopsis on the Libby app, I wondered why I hadn’t read it before now. Such is one’s reading life. Just like food, our tastes change over time.

I chose the audio version because I’ve found that narrators of YA books are fun to listen too. I enjoy the silly voices and inflection. I’m glad I did, the charecters came to life and I found myself giggling out loud.

The story moved along, and had a number of fantasy and fairytale tropes, but they were delightfully handled and well written. So much so, that a few of them snuck up on me and had me wondering how I didn’t see it coming.

Would I re-read or recommend it?

Heck, yeah! I enjoyed it so much, I bought a print version so I can reread it when I need a quick, fun, light, silly, read.