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Ico: Castle in the Mist
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Ico: Castle in the Mist

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  811 ratings  ·  71 reviews
A boy with horns, marked for death.

A girl who sleeps in a cage of iron.

The Castle of the Mist calls for its sacrifice: a horned child, born once a generation. When, on a single night in his thirteenth year, Ico's horns grow long and curved, he knows his time has come. But why does the Castle of the Mist demand this offering, and can the castle keep Ico's destiny from inter
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2005)
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Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I should write two reviews here: one for folks who love _Ico_ the videogame, and one for folks who have never heard of it. (If you're in between, flip a coin and read both.)

_Ico_ was a 2001 videogame (for the Playstation). I loved it; I still love it. It remains a landmark in atmospheric, engaging videogame storytelling. Notably, it was almost entirely wordless. Everything was conveyed through architecture, lighting, the body language of the protagonists, and -- most important -- the p
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is the novelization of a beloved video game, so there is some possibility that my joy in reading it is biased by my fond memories of the engaging mystery and emotion of the game. That being said, I think it would also be a great read for lovers of fantasy who have NOT played the game, even if they do not recognize the places and moments that conjure up game nostalgia for those who HAVE played it. The author takes some artistic liberty filling in gaps in the game world's story, but I am assure ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed this book. I knew before reading it that it was based on a video game, but I've never played it. I think the story in this book was very successful, but I had some problems with the way it was constructed.

The beginning, for me, was the best part. The writing was wonderful and as Ico's backstory was filled in the character was really coming alive for me.

In the middle, it started to be much less organic. Here you could tell that the book was based on a video game. Every scene se
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hands down the best video game novelization, I have ever encountered. Really tempted to give it a five star but I try to reserve that for works that alter my perceptions or strike me in a really profound way.

Having never played the actual game, I can't attest to the similarities or the connections between the two. The novel focuses primarily on a young boy who is sent as a sacrifice to a castle surrounded in mist. There is a great deal of mystery and a plethora of unknowns working behind the cur
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

イコ - 霧の城
a story of an unknown place,
.. told in an unknown age.

I haven't played the game, but I still loved this beautiful book, gorgeous descriptions and characterizations ~<3
Ugh, deleting this one is really the hardest, because mine was the *first* review for this book on GoodReads.

Oh well. What must be done will be done.

Read the review on my blog:
This could be so good, or so, so bad.
Actually it could be "meh", but I'm not even considering it at this point. Rise up with dignity or go down in flames, I say.
When Miyuki Miyabe comes to ICO she writes a world she has made her own. As she states in “Preface,” given “free reign with the story and world found in the game” by the producers and creators, she found her “own path through the tale.” She uses and develops elements and characters, but “the order of events, the solutions to puzzles, even the layout of the castle have changed.” The designated status as novelization honors the originators of her inspiration, but make no mistake that Miyabe lends ...more
Franklin Teixeira
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ico é um garoto que nasceu com um par de chifres. Isso significa que quando alcançar certa idade ele será oferecido para o Castelo na Névoa, uma fortaleza misteriosa que se alimenta de sacrifícios como ele. É lá que ele conhece Yorda, uma jovem prisioneira do castelo, e os dois buscam uma maneira de escapar de seus destinos cruéis.

Ico é originalmente um jogo de PlayStation 2, da visão do diretor Fumito Ueda. Miyuki Miyabe, uma das romancistas contemporâneas mais bem sucedidas no Japão, decidiu e
Jamie Galea
ICO is a Playstation2 game that's revered for being one of the most beautifully minimalistic games ever made. It's haunting and moving in a way most games aren't. While Alexander O. Smith's translation is technically great, Miyuki's adaptation just doesn't work out so well. Half of this book is backstory to the events of the game, and just doesn't work.

Granted, it needs to be there because it'd be a much shorter book otherwise, but it comes across as plodding.

The story starts out fairly interesting, filling in Ico's backstory and taking him through the castle. Eventually it switches to Yorda to cover a lot of the same castle wandering material, with flashbacks to her backstory. And it drags. And drags. Finally I realized I didn't really care to finish this story.
Lucas Norberg
A warm little Studio Ghibli-like adventure.
Tereza Vargova
3,5 star
Anna Hepworth
Very pretty story, lush language and detailed set pieces. However, given that it is a novelisation of a computer game, the pacing is just a bit odd.
I went in this book completely blind. It was interesting but I could feel how it was a game after some point. The story was quite engaging and I would have loved to learn more of this unverse. This is something I reproach to this book, to not dig deeper. It stays on the surface, close to what – as I learned later – is the story line of the game but it would have deserved more, so much more.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi, japan
Read review at:

This is definitely one of the most special book cases I've encountered so far. In case you didn't recognise this cover, this is a book adaptation of the PlayStation 2 game ICO. I am aware that this is a popular game and there definitely will be some who have actually played it (and loved it). But there also will be some of you who haven't even heard about it. Having said that this book was a must for me as well as for the video games to boo
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ico: Castle in the Mist is a novelization based upon the video game from a decade or so back. The story follows the plight of a boy who is born with horns on his head. As a horned child, he is a "Sacrifice" to the power residing in the Castle in the Mist. All that is really known about the Castle is that some dark god or other entity lives there that must be appeased by sending the boys and girls born with horns on their head to stay there once they reach a certain age.

The story here is about th
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ico: Castle in the Mist is an interesting though mostly bland take on the artful PS2 game ICO. If I were to read this book prior to playing the game, I think I would have bumped up my rating from 2 stars to 3. Indeed, as a stand-alone novel, it is a fairly decent read. Miyuki Miyabe does a rather good job at filling in details and questions the reader may be wondering. The problem, however, is that the author completely misses the point of Fumito Ueda's minimalistic story and setting of ICO.

Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was not for me. The first have was incredibly dull. The second half picked up but.. even when it was interesting I was still bored. I think it's probably a great puzzle/exploration game. But as a novel.. not my jam.
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While many gamers love to talk about story in videogames, you have to remember that they are often told better in summary format. The gameplay, exploration, puzzle solving, and combat will take up the majority of the time. There's really not that much going on story-wise. This is also how the original Ico was. Many gamers grew to love the game based on the aesthetics, mood, puzzle solving, and the bond that you feel with the Yorda character. The game focused on making you feel connected with a m ...more
Timothy Warner
The world in which this novel is written is grand and intricate compared to the (unforgettable) video game on which it was based. It far accedes the plot of the game, if there really even was one, so much so that it honestly can become unbearably dreary at times.

In this novel we are introduced to many new characters inside and outside of the Castle In The Mist, and even towns not mentioned in the game. This starts out wonderfully with the first (of only four) long chapter(s). We learn of the wor
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Any fan of the video game, ICO, should read this book. It provides an excellent reinterpretation of the original, thinly spread plot line, fleshing out the game world nicely. While Ico's, the boy, background is rather a lot like you might imagine after playing the game and reading the manual's story notes, the real surprise here is the well constructed history for the female protagonist, Yorda, which makes up a good third of the book. If you've ever wondered what her past was like--and what play ...more
Cheryl Hall
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I read this book a fair few years ago, but I've been thinking about it recently.

Ico for the PlayStation 2 is one of my favourite games. Although I've only played it once it has a way of lingering in your memory with it's hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.

One of my favourite things about it and it's spiritual predecessor Shadow of the Colossus is their vagueness. Almost everything in these games are left to the individual players interpretation. Therefore this was a challenging read as it portrayed
Coming from the perspective of someone who loved Ueda's games, I was very eager to read this and find out what Miyuki Miyabe might've done with the universe and the story.

Right off the bat, there's a few interesting new pieces of content here that were not in the game, and that Miyabe uses to flesh out the story and events of the journey inside the castle. Ico, his village and its customs are given backstories. Yorda, her mother and the castle are given backstories, and a few supporting characte
Eric Piotrowski
I fell in love with the video game Ico when I first played it many years ago on the PS2. I ordered this novelization as soon as I learned about it, but -- although I devoured the first 100 pages very quickly -- it didn't hold my attention. There's nothing really wrong with it, but it doesn't capture the magic of the game or its world.

Perhaps the biggest mistake made by the author is allowing Ico and Yorda to speak. Their differing languages is key to the subtle beauty of their friendship, and it
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Great companion to the beloved video game
Bag of Games
ICO: Castle in the Mist is a novelization of the game, originally written by acclaimed author Miyuki Miyabe, and serialized across 2002/3 in the Japanese magazine ‘Shūkan Gendai’. It was published as a complete novel in 2004 in Japan, and was translated to English only last year.

We all on the same page? Good. That’s the niceties over and done with.
Now then; if you value the time you spent with ICO, you more than any other will want to read this. I need to tell you that you more than any other sh
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of the game franchise, fans of Miyabe's writing, those who enjoy fantasy
Clear and descriptive, this novel does much to pay respect to Ico, one of my favorite games on which this book is based. Like any book based on existing works, Ico: Castle in the Mist takes many liberties--not all of them necessarily to my personal liking--but does much to really pay homage to the foundation on which it's based.

Miyabe takes us back in time and gives us more context for the ethereal Yorda, the history of the horned Sacrifices and a true back-story for the Queen of the castle. Any
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll preface this by saying that it's been a number of years since I played the game. I wish I could say the book is as great as the game was. What I expected to find was an imaginative attempt to fill the backstory that is (to my recollection) not explained at all in the game. In part, it does this, but I felt it strayed too far from where the game took me in that the story no longer fits the game, at least not what I remember of it. At best, it's a book inspired by the game, and deviates when ...more
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See also 宮部 みゆき.宮部美幸

Miyuki Miyabe (宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki) is a popular contemporary Japanese author active in a number of genres including science fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction, social commentary, and juvenile fiction.
Miyabe started writing novels at the age of 23. She has been a prolific writer, publishing dozens of novels and winning many major literary prizes, including the Yamamo
“It was all right to be sad. It was all right to lament. It was all right to feel anger. But [is] not all right to run away.” 20 likes
“Mistakes were mistakes, and failures were failures. Why torment someone with memories of their past?” 10 likes
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