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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Sequel
Having read Howls Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, I was waiting for this to come out with a great deal of anticipation. And I can safely say that it was worth the wait.

Howl, Sophie and Calcifur make a welcome return and have more prominent roles in the story, which was a welcome surprise. The new main character Charmain, a sheltered young woman sent to...
Published on 28 Jun 2008 by Mr. C. McMartin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars okay
Not really for me sorry it's a library copy and in very good condition and very well priced you pay more for the postage
Published 4 months ago by Tinkerbell


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Sequel, 28 Jun 2008
By 
Mr. C. McMartin "c_man_uk" (Ayrshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Many Ways (Hardcover)
Having read Howls Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, I was waiting for this to come out with a great deal of anticipation. And I can safely say that it was worth the wait.

Howl, Sophie and Calcifur make a welcome return and have more prominent roles in the story, which was a welcome surprise. The new main character Charmain, a sheltered young woman sent to take care of her wizard uncles magic house, is an engaging character who gradually comes to realise that she has magical talents of her own.

If I have any complaints to make its only that the villains of the story, the lubbock and the lubbockins, never really seemed like much of a threat in the story. And the ending, although satisfying, was slightly abrupt.

Overall this story is definetely worth a read, though I definetely recommend reading the first 2 books first if you havn't done so already.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read by Diana Wynne Jones, 18 Aug 2009
By 
Paula Mc (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Many Ways (Paperback)
What a fun read! I have read the previous two books in the series, 'Howl's Moving Castle' & 'Castle in the air' and enjoyed them immensely, books to be kept and shared with my nieces and nephews. 'House of Many Ways' was a great tale and it included my favourite characters, Howl and Sophie, plus the introduction of some new characters. There are some genuine laugh out loud moments, I have never laughed so much at the actions of one little white dog called 'Waif', if you get the chance, read the Howl series, you will thank me for it.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doors through space and time, 20 July 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: House of Many Ways (Hardcover)
A few years ago, Hayao Miyazaki made a gorgeous anime movie based on the classic fantasy novel "Howl's Moving Castle," about a wizard and the artificially-aged girl who falls for him.

It must have made Diana Wynne Jones nostalgic for her flamboyantly-dressed, quirky wizard hero and his little family, because he plays a pivotal role in "The House of Many Ways." And the rest of the book is the kind of work Jones has been producing for many years -- a complex, tight little plot full of magical mysteries and bizarre problems, and at least one gutsy adolescent hero.

When the Wizard of High Norland falls ill and has to be hospitalized by elves, his great-great-niece-by-marriage Charmain is roped into taking care of his cottage.

But Charmain has a rather difficult time with the magical cottage and all the odd spells it contains. She also struggles with the cooking, cleaning, vast seas of soapsuds, a timid dog, a tribe of angry kobolds, and the arrival of Uncle William's new apprentice Peter -- who never gets magic quite right. In the middle of all this, she finds that she has a new job working with the King in his library.

But there are no fewer problems in the King's mansion, where Charmain is ordered to find information on something called the Elfgift. And the sorceress Sophie Pendragon -- along with her toddler, fire demon and cutesy, too-smart "nephew" -- have arrived to do some investigating as well. But even with powerful wizards nearby, this conspiracy's key may lie with Charmain -- and the vile magical creature lurking near the House of Many Ways...

It's been almost twenty years since Diana Wynne Jones last visited Howl, Sophie, Calcifer and the magical moving castle -- although they're presented so freshly in this book that you wouldn't know they'd ever been gone. And though Charmain is indisputably the heroine of this piece, she still gets the spotlight stolen by Howl -- or "Twinkle" -- whenever he appears.

And around this, Jones crafts a complex plot full of magical Elfgifts, missing gold, elves and a very suspicious heir to the throne. There are various minor plot threads, puzzles and developments that don't seem very important at the time, only to have Jones suddenly weave them all together. And I'll say this -- she knows how to spin up a brilliant fictional conspiracy.

And it's written in Jones' signature style, with plenty of English villages, castles, and wizards, and plenty of mildly eccentric characters -- not to mention the forays through the various space'n'time-bending doorways. Plus a wacky sense of humor, of course ("How DARE you do that! I'm not used to it!"). Charmain produces most of this, with her disastrous (and bubbly!) attempts at keeping house.

Charmain is a pretty good heroine for the book -- she loves books and dogs, and has been living with a mother who thinks magic and housework aren't nice or respectable. You can guess how long that lasts. And she works well alongside the understandably irritable Peter, a likable kid who has more real-world experience than Charmain has ever had.

And then there's the Howl Brigade -- our favorite wizard spends most of the book disguised as a truly nauseating, golden-curled, lisping child, which understandably drives Sophie crazy. His cleverness, power and vanity are undiminished, but it's a relief when "Twinkle" stops lisping. And the fire demon Calcifer gets to play a pivotal role in the story.

"The House of Many Ways" could as easily be called "The Story of Many Ways" -- a brilliant, sparkling book full of fantastical humor and mystery. Definitely a must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great read!!, 7 Feb 2009
By 
Jorna Begum "Icecream-lover" (U.K, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Many Ways (Paperback)
It was a typical DWJ book, it was fun, exciting and kept you hooked from the first page. I thought that it was in some ways better than castle in the air because this time sophie, howl and calcifer are more focused on and have more of a part in the story but the book is nowhere near as good as howls moving castle (like anything is). I just wish that it was a little bit longer and more thorough with it's plot and it unlike castle in the air does not really go into the emotions of the new characters as much. Thank you DWJ for another fantastic book and I hope theres another sequel very soon!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to house of fun!, 20 July 2009
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Many Ways (Paperback)
This may be a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, but it stands on it's own as a independent story about a spoilt teenage girl called Charmain who becomes involved in a magical adventure after being lumbered with house-sitting for her sick wizardly uncle.

Her Uncle happens to be the Royal wizard and his absence requires the attendance of another wizard to look into the royal dealings, meanwhile Charmain is getting to grips with a house whose doorways seem to lead to a variety of different places depending on how you enter them. This gives the book a charm of its own and is the source of much of the story and a device to allow Charmain to get to many places whilst at the same time adding a lot of mystery.

Charmain is not alone in the house, she is accompanied by her Uncle's new apprentice Peter and an enchanted dog called Waife who never seems to stop eating! You initially expect there to be a budding romance between Charmain and Peter but it quickly becomes clear that Diana Wynne Jones doesn't wish to follow the standard fairytale and resists the formulaic style of many other books.

Instead the story focuses almost entirely on Charmain, a believable character and no doubt one who many readers can identify with. She is a strong minded teenager who although used to having people dote and look after her, is capable of looking after herself though she still has a lot to learn. The book really is a journey for her and by the end of it she is a very different and more likeable character. It's her love for books which brings her into employment of the King in the royal library and leads to meeting with Sophie Hatter, who is there with an annoying child and her own son (to whom Howl is the father).

Howl fans will enjoy any reference to him, Sophie, and of course Calcifer - but the three take a back seat in this book. They do play a pivotal role, but they don't steal the show from Sophie who is centre-stage. I was really pleased that Calcifer had a big role in the book, I was worried that he might end up simply sitting in the fireplace.

In a nutshell: Diana Wynne Jones brings us another eclectic story which meanders everywhere before everything is neatly tied up at the end. The ending built up nicely but then seemed a bit flat, but by the last page you did felt hat you'd enjoyed a good adventure with a new character you'd like to read more about, and some familiar ones it was great to experience once again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..., 4 Jun 2011
I read Howls Moving Castle after watching the movie a couple of years ago and loved both of them.

I stumbled across this book not too long ago and gave it a read, a very good sequel, but can also be read as a very good stand alone book.

All in all I loved it and finished it very fast, could barely put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books...EVER!, 26 Jan 2011
This review is from: House of Many Ways (Hardcover)
this is one of the best books i have read yet in all my 14 years!i picked it up in a church jumble sale for 5p and i wasn't able to put it down!!! i saw the manga movie of howls moving castle and all confusing parts (about who howl and sophie were)i love all the different worlds!! so interesting and it inspired me to read other diana wayne jones books!i love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful, 22 Sep 2010
By 
Furio (Genova - Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Many Ways (Paperback)
Just a little short of "The Little Prince" or "Pinocchio" this wonderful little book has the uncomparable charm of those works written for kids but capable to address adults as well.

The writing is neat, precise, orderly, just like the world of little Charmain, the book's flawed main character. The plot is simple but not dull and moves forward convincingly and easily in a fairy tale world left undescribed -which is very good- but self evident and vivid in the reader's imagination which is even better.
All the characters are believable and have something to teach to everyone but with a splendid lightness of touch.

I would heartily recommend this novel to everyone: though it belongs to the Howl's series it can also be read as a standalone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff!, 31 July 2010
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This review is from: House of Many Ways (Paperback)
I am a huge Howl's moving castle fan, and although I wished there was more of Howl and Sophie, this is a really good read all on its own. I'm a little older than the target market, but I tend to read anything that's magical or mythical. It has all of Wynne-Jones quaint charm in her writing, her tough no-nonsense female protagonist, and the very warm and well rounded characters. If you loved Howl's moving castle, then this is definitely worth a look. Castle in the air was passable to me but it doesn't touch the house of many ways. As I read I kept waiting for Howl and Sophie to turn up, but the story made me forget all about it until they showed up. I would recommend!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice follow-up to "Howl's Moving Castle", 12 Jun 2009
By 
jackyswings (Wiesbaden, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: House of Many Ways (Paperback)
I just found out that there is a follow-up to one of my most-beloved fantasy novels, "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones (a real must read).
The "House of many ways" is also a great read even though it lacks the depth and imagination of it's predecessor. However, it is great fun to follow Charmaine though her adventures and meet Howl and Sophie again!
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House of Many Ways
House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones (Paperback - 5 Mar 2009)
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