A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{January 19, 2011}   Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Plot: Abdullah is the son of a a carpet salesman with a small booth on the edge of the market. And every day and night he dreams of palaces and princesses. After buying a magic carpet from a mysterious traveller, his dreams suddenly seem to be coming true. But when his princess is stolen away by a Djinn, a Djinn bent on capturing all the princesses in the world, he sets off on a dangerous and magical journey to save her.

At this rate, I’ll have read all of Diana Wynne Jones’ books by the end of the year. ^_^ I can’t believe that I didn’t discover her earlier. I’ve yet to find one of her books that I didn’t enjoy.

Castle in the Air is the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle though the link between the two novels is not immediately clear. I didn’t find it quite as funny but then Howl’s Moving Castle is hard to beat in that respect. One the other hand, it was a really exciting adventure that draws heavily on the magical conventions of the 1001 Nights.

Abdullah meanwhile is a great hero. He isn’t a fighter; he gets out of most situations through flowery flattery and fast talking. I loved his cleverness and his eloquence as well as his absolute devotion to Flower-of-the-Night. Most of all though, I loved the thirty princesses who came in all shapes and sizes and were each intelligent and strong in their own ways. It’s a shame they got so little “screen time”.

The whole thing comes to a very satisfying ending full of transformations, trickiness and love. Definitely worth a read.

Challenge: Into the Old World Challenge (5)


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