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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2002
'Castle in the Air' is Diana Wynne Jones' sequel to the marvelous 'Howl's Moving Castle'. Far from being just an update of the previous story, 'Castle in the Air' introduces us to brand new characters right from the start. The story takes us on an action-packed adventure with new protagonists Abdullah and Flower-in-the-Night, before meeting up with Howl and Sophie towards the latter part of their journey. A variety of twists and turns guide the plot, with plenty of sorcery and a few laughs thrown in for good measure. Highly entertaining as a story in its own right, and for fans of Howl, this will not disappoint.
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on 23 February 2001
The wonderful thing about Diana Wynne Jones' writing is that her characters are so perfectly formed. The heroes have good days and bad days, get grumpy, do the wrong thing just like real people do. This is a great follow up to Howl's Moving Castle, although, as with many of Jones' books, it is not a straight sequel and old characters are not the mainstay of the story. This book made me laugh from beginning to end and remains one of my favourites.
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VINE VOICEon 24 October 2014
Great sequel to "Howl's Moving Castle".

Unusually for a sequel, especially a fantasy novel following on from a previous volume, initially, the story, characters and even the setting have little (or, apparently, nothing) in common with the earlier work. Instead of the faux-medieval land of Ingary, with Walled Cities, Kings and Witches, Hat shops and Bakeries we have an Arabian Nights type Eastern setting with Deserts, Bazaars and Djinn. But with the magic of Diana Wynne Jones firmly still in place, "Castle in the Air" is every bit as entertaining and involving as its predecessor.

Abdullah, our carpet seller hero, is a funny and worthy character. His adventures in land of Raspuht are fast moving and action -packed. It's almost a shame when (about half way through) we leave the the city of Zanzib without quite tying up all loose ends and the scene shifts to Ingary.

The later parts of the book do allow DWJ to revisit the characters from "Howl's Moving Castle"..a book which ended rather frenetically.. and show the fate of the various heroes and heroines. This time out, more lengthy closing scenes give a chance to properly establish what happens to everyone.

Funny and perfectly plotted and paced, this adventure of young wizards and witches is, for my money, far superior to the rather more clunky "Potter" books.
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on 5 October 2014
This sequel to Howl's Moving Castle follows a new protagonist, Abdullah the carpet merchant in a neighboring country, as he embarks on a journey to follow his heart's desire and the prophecy made at his birth. The story is very much inspired by The Arabian Nights and pulls you into the same magical experience as the first book. What I was most excited about when reading this book was the knowledge that Abdullah would somehow come to meet Howl and Sophie. My only wish after finishing this book is that it would have focused even more on them. Still, it was an enjoyable read and always a blast to see more of Howl and company!
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on 2 May 2015
Thoroughly enjoyable, kept me guessing just where the characters from the first will show up. I did manage to guess correctly for some of them but others surprised me. I missed the original characters not being the ones we follow as I loved them so much, but it was also interesting to see the relationship between the original characters from someone else's point of view. However it doesn't have the same humour as the first or the same inventiveness. But enjoyable just the same. Overall it was good but as is often the case it is not as good as the original.
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on 26 July 2004
Diana Wynne Jones doesn't really do sequels. That would be too straightforward. And, you know - deep down, it's not really what you want anyway. We want every one of her books to be another wonderful, inventive but above all NEW adventure (plus maybe a smattering of familiar faces).
And that's exactly what Castle in the Air is.
If you haven't yet read Howl's Moving Castle (Hurry! The film is almost finished!) do so first. Do so now! It's a much better book, particularly on the first reading and adds a great wealth of depth to minor characters appearing later on.
If you have read Howl - ENJOY!!! This is a great book in its own right (no mean achievement) and will grow for you with every reading.
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on 8 February 2001
Castle in the air is a great sequel to Howls moving castle. Howl, Sophie, Calcifer and the gang appear very subtley throughout the story, making you slap your head at the end when you realise who they are. As after the first book the characters seemingly settled down, it makes sense to introduce new characters. Abdullah is a bit wet, as is flower in the night, but the book is worth reading just to meet the two fat twins Abdullah is set to marry. Excellant read. One of DWJ's best.
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on 24 February 2001
This book is less of a sequel, more of a loosely connected little gem. I loved it. The whole story of a magic carpet that goes places you dream of- excellent! Who hasn't wanted one of those? And the castle in the air itself is one of those things you catch yourself looking out the window for while you're reading the book.
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on 4 January 2013
Castle in the Air is the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle in that Howl and his entourage make an appearance. It is set in the same countries as HMC: Ingary and Strangia, at some not-distant time (maybe a year or two) after the events of the first book. However, rather than following Sophie and Howl, the book's main protagonist is a young man named Abdullah, who lives in the far-off city of Zanzib in Rashput, which lies across a wide and sandy desert from Ingary (I don't think it is the same Waste as in HMC). Abdullah is a young carpet merchant, who is sold a seemingly genuine flying carpet from someone who needs some quick gold. The carpet is the catalyst for a sweeping adventure that takes Abdullah to a garden, to prison, to the desert, to Ingary, and finally puts him over all others in the land. Castle in the Air is the most adventure DWJ offers in her Howl trilogy and is a must-read for any fans of Howl.
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on 10 January 2014
A nice follow on but it took a long while to see how it relates to Howl. Out of the three books this came a close second, with the first and third book tied for first place. Good plot, more mythical than the first, almost felt like Aladdin at first but that soon changed!
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