Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Castle in the Air
Castle in the Air is a sequel to companion to book set in the same world as book written by Diana Wynne Jones where Howl also appears. I loved Howl's Moving Castle, so I really was expecting more of the same in this book. And I really shouldn't have because this book is not about Howl, and he is not even important to the story.

This book is about Abdullah, a carpet merchant on the distant land of Zanzib. A disappointment to his father, and with a prophecy made at his birth that he knows nothing about, Abdullah is quite happy living in his booth at the edge of the Bazaar and spending his days daydreaming (and occasionally selling carpets). Everything is fine until a merchant sells him a magic carpet. Soon all his daydreams start to come true.

While reading this book, I spent most of the time trying to figure out how it related to Howl's Moving Castle. Every new character that appeared had me thinking “Is this Howl in disguise?”, “Where's Sophie?” and so on. Which, as expected, takes some of the fun out of reading.

Castle in the Air is quite a good story, and stands very well in its own. Yes, Howl and Co. do appear (eventually), but this book is about Abdullah. He is quite a wonderful character, that I can't help but relate to (it must be all those daydreams). And all the other characters that appear throughout the novel are so funny, each very different (and that means something when there about 30 princesses in there).

If I started this book with expectations of a story with the characters from the first book, by the time one of them finally appeared I only wanted to know about these new amazing characters.

Like its predecessor, this book has its fill of funny (and silly) moments, without ever sacrificing the story to humour. But, unlike Howl's Moving Castle, the inspiration for Castle in the Air comes from Arabian folklore and myths, giving it a Arabian Nights (or Aladdin) feel to it.

This is a good book, one that I feel that everyone should read – young and adult readers alike.


Other Reviews: Libri Touches


  1. I read "carpet merchant" and my brain went "Aladdin-Aladdin-Aladdin", stupid right? But then in the end you say the story does have an Aladdin vibe. Weird! (or maybe the word "carpet" in any context makes us see Aladdin and Jasmime flying around, singing their hearts out and falling in love :D)

  2. Yep, is very much Aladdin. And there is a genie in a lamp as well. Arabian setting + Carpet Merchant = instant Aladdin. Add some princess(es) and a Magic Carpet and there is no way to avoid the comparison.

    Still, lovely book.

  3. *after reading it*

    It is Aladdin, or I should say, Aladdin is Castle in the Air! Oh Disney...I love you, but you really need to stop stealing plotlines, stories, characters, and so on. Shameful!

    Loved the book :3

  4. :D

    It has so much more than Disney's Aladdin - all those princesses!

  5. They kick ass! :D (even little Valeria xD)