Summary Charmain is volunteered to take care of her Great-Uncle William's cottage when he becomes ill and needs to leave with the elves for treatment. With little knowledge in magic, Charmain is alone to experience the cottage and its many paths which lead from the bedrooms to the caves under the mountain. Soon Charmain learns her uncle, who is the Royal Wizard Norland, is searching for the Elfgift with the king and his daughter. Will Charmain be able to help them to save the kingdom before it is too late?
Review Structure of the Book While the story starts off fast, it slows down soon after. The characters always receive the information at the right moment. Great-Uncle William's home can travel to the past but it is only used for one scene. The limited way it is used doesn't expand the story at all. And as the other books in the series, everything is resolved and the bad guys are gone.
Characters Charmain is a young girl who never had to do anything because her mother always did it for her. While she learns how to cope on her own, she never grows as a character. Her personality stays the same throughout the entire novel and she gets what she wants at the end. Peter is there to fulfill the story for one aspect mainly. He doesn't grow as a character either.
Final Thoughts While I enjoyed this novel more than Castle in the Air, it does not compare to Howl's Moving Castle. I wish Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer were the main characters. I wanted to know more about Howl and the others instead of Charmain. If you finished the first two books in the series, I recommend you read this book to see how the series ended. ...more
Summary Because of his disappointment in Abdullah, his father only gave enough money to open a modest booth in the Bazaar after his death. Abdullah daydreams of being a son of a prince and betrothed to princess when he is not selling carpets. On an ordinary day, a stranger visits Abdullah’s booth to sell him a magic carpet. After some hesitation, Abdullah purchases the carpet from the stranger. The night Abdullah sleeps on the carpets changes his life completely.
Review Structure of the Book The book is a solid read. The pace is quick and the conflict escalates at the right moments. The world Jones’ created is expanded beautifully without repetition. The only drawback is the prophecies. They are written in way they don’t add anything to the story except to keep the main character alive. Everything is resolved by the end of the novel.
Characters Abdullah is a very different lead than the last book. He is very humble and polite to everyone. Flower-in-the-Night is the princess with a ridiculous name but it fits with Abdullah’s daydreams of a princess. Many characters from the first book return. Some are in different shapes and forms, but do not take away from Abdullah’s story.
Final Thoughts The tales of princesses, genies, djinn and magic carpet is done very well. Yet, I can’t bring myself to say I loved the book as much as Howl’s Moving Castle. I never connected to the lead character at all. But if you enjoyed the first book and reading stories with magic carpets, then this is the right book for you. ...more
Therez looks forward to traveling to Duenne in the spring. Yet for her trip to happen, her father must secure contracts for the family business and status. After a business party at her home, she learns her father has agreed to marry her to a man she fears more than her father. She runs away from home when she realized her mother and brother agree with the marriage. She changes her name to Ilse to avoid her father’s agents.
She misplaced her trust in a man named Alarik Brandt who ruined her as they traveled to Duenne. She runs away from Brandt and finds herself at Lord Raul Kosenmark’s pleasure house. As she weaves her way into the life of the Lord Kosenmark, she realizes there is more at stake than her life.
Structure of the Book
Overall the book is a decent read. The beginning is very brutal and will make some readers uneasy with Ilse being raped. Ilse does not use the word rape, but I cannot call it anything else. I needed to step away from the book, after reading her ordeals with the caravan and Brandt. The main problem is the long middle with no action. It drags on for page after page. With the introduction of magic and past lives, I expected more of this during this section. But none of it happened until the latter half of the book. Only the political intrigue kept me interested. Towards the end it picked up again. At the same time, it rushed through to fit everything in. The magic, mention of past lives, and her knife training all happen late in the book. There wasn’t time to fully enjoy any of it
In the beginning, Ilse goal was clearly stated but then it was lost during the middle part of the book. At the end, she regained a goal but not one I’m convinced of. Also I expected passion from her based on the title, but I was left cold from her actions and thoughts. She remained a victim throughout the story.
Raul did not strike me as a romantic interest at all. He is everything Ilse wanted to run away from. He controlled those around him for his own needs. The romantic connection between the two of them happened toward the end of the book. Then his courtship of Ilse was rushed and left me unconvinced.
Novel felt uncompleted because the middle ended too late. The characters did not grow because of it, and the ending rushed to fit everything in. The only part worked out was the political aspect. I will pick up the second book for this series because I want to know how Raul and Ilse will prevent a war in the kingdom....more
As the eldest sister, Sophie is doomed to fail if she leaves home to seek her fortunes. When the Witch of the Waste targets Sophie for reason uSummary
As the eldest sister, Sophie is doomed to fail if she leaves home to seek her fortunes. When the Witch of the Waste targets Sophie for reason unknown, the witch puts a spell on Sophie and she turns into an old woman. Knowing she can’t let her Stepmother see her like this, Sophie leaves home and starts a journey into the hills.
There she encounters the Wizard Howl’s moving castle and makes her way inside. Sophie makes a bargain with a fire demon living in the castle, deals with Howl who is rumored to eat girls’ hearts, and face the Witch of the Waste. Everything she knows changes as she learns the truth about herself and the Wizard Howl. http://www.marilynmuniz.com/2011/04/h...
Structure of the Book
Howl’s Moving Castle is a delight to read. I finished in one sitting and kept forgetting to make notes for this review. The story is seamless and moves forward at a good pace. The novel is filled with details and information to make the world come alive. When we learn where Howl is from, it was the last thing I expected but it fit in with the world perfectly. Every challenge is resolved by the end of the book.
Sophie and Howl are both wonderful characters. They are both flawed and need to overcome those flaws to solve their trials. Yet, they still remain flawed characters at the end. My favorite character is Calcifer, Howl’s fire demon. All his antics brought a smile to my face. I’m happy Sophie fulfilled his wish.
I can’t believe it took me all these years to read it. The world became a part of my mind as I read. The book is an excellent read for every age group and readers of fantasy....more