Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (1986)
Description: In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Withc of theWaste was another matter.
After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to torrorize the country again. She had threatened the King's young daugher and had killed the Wizard Sulliman, who had been sent to deal with her. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.
The Hatter sisters - Sophie, Lettie, and Martha - and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.
In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, nothing wand no one are quite what they seem to be. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? What is the mysterious contract that binds the Wizard to Calcifer, his fire demon?
Review: We enter a fantastical world where witches and wizards are part of everyday life. In this world is Sophie, who gets caught up in a duel between the Witch of the Waste and the King, as well as the Wizard Howl himself. This was a fun fantasy novel filled with twists and turns. It kept my imagination going and I couldn't wait to read more. A great book, especially for the young adults.
Score: 4 out of 5
Movie Connection: In 2004, famed director Hayao Miyazakai brought this book to the big screen and it became one of the highest grossing Japanese film in history. It really is a great movie and should be on your "to see" list if you haven't seen it already.