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Castle in the Air

(Howl's Moving Castle #2)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  48,768 ratings  ·  3,469 reviews
In which a humble young carpet merchant wins, then loses, the princess of his dreams

Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, there lived in the city of Zanzib a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer named Abdullah who loved to spend his time daydreaming. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a
Mass Market Paperback, 298 pages
Published August 7th 2001 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1990)
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LJF They are in this, but one of them doesn't show up until the middle of the story, the other until nearly the end. However, if you're paying attention, …moreThey are in this, but one of them doesn't show up until the middle of the story, the other until nearly the end. However, if you're paying attention, you can actually figure out where they are much sooner than that.(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  48,768 ratings  ·  3,469 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another very readable book from DWJ, and one I've just finished reading to my daughter, Celyn. Refreshingly independent princesses being semi-saved by our devoted hero, a carpet salesman from the desert city of Zanzib. He's not hero material, and never resorts to violence, but he's a good fellow and carries the story well.

We get all the standard Aladdin-esque trappings, a magic carpet, a genie in a bottle, evil djinns, bandits, sultans, camels... and for a while you think you know roughly where
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
"Castle in the Air" is Diana Wynne Jones' sequel to her amazingly awesome novel "Howl's Moving Castle." It was originally published in 1990 (four years after "Howl's Moving Castle"). At first glance, this novel doesn't sound like a sequel--it sounds more like a companion book at best--but I promise it does explain more about Howl and Sophie, just not right away and not, perhaps, in the most obvious way.

That said, this story is set in the Sultanates of Rashpuht a land far to the south of Ingary (
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo (The Book Geek)
I feel rather conned here. This story was not the experience I was expecting, especially when Howl's moving castle is one of my favourite stories. The only worthy part of this particular book, is the cover. It's attractive and inviting but the plot, not so much.

I love Howl's moving castle, as it was beautiful, exciting, and the characters were different. In this installment, the main character was irritating as hell. He just wasn't likeable, and in my opinion, this was entirely due to the writin
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
In this sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, the wizard Howl gets mixed up with djinni, genies (in this story they're two different species) and some Arabian Nights-type characters (from the sanitized version I read as a child). Abdullah, a humble young carpet merchant with big (day)dreams, is sold a magic carpet by a suspicious-looking stranger, which leads him to a beautiful princess named Flower-in-the-Night, a genie in a bottle, and other adventures. Abdullah is forced to leave behind his daydrea ...more
This is one of DWJ's more problematic stories. Although very readable and amusing, it dips into uncomfortable territory with its portrayal of a middle east culture, and there are multiple instances of using fat as a characterisation of bad, lazy or shallow.

I think most problematic for me, however, is the plain princess who is so complimented to be chosen over more beautiful princesses that she's _grateful_ to be blackmailed into marriage.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
2.5 ⭐️

O.K I was super disappointed by this one. Howl's Moving Castle is one of my all time favorite books. I wasn't expecting this to be my next favorite, but I was hoping for the same whimsy and charm. Instead I got this story that mad me mad, because I hated the main character. I hated him because of the writing, which seems to be a product of it's time. But I will list some of my most hated passages that describe our MC's thoughts.

"She (the Flower in the Night/ Love interest) was intelligen
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪
"You cannot rob robbers with a kitten in your hat!"

In this story full of magic, wishes and One Thousand and One Nights reminiscence (it is very similar to Aladdin's tale), we follow characters who look absolutely different from the first book... It almost seems that this story is not about Howl and Sophie at all... Or is it? 😏

I enjoyed this book quite a lot and, I must admit, maybe even more than Howl's Moving Castle. I found it more cohesive, and the story, although very different from the fi
Ahmad Sharabiani
Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2), Diana Wynne Jones (1934)
Castle in the Air is a young adult fantasy novel written by Diana Wynne Jones, and first published in 1990. The novel is a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle and is set in the same fantasy world, though it follows the adventures of Abdullah rather than Sophie Hatter. The plot is based on stories from the Arabian Nights. The book features many of the characters from Howl's Moving Castle, often under some sort of disguise.
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Feb 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
I got triggered by the fat shaming and decided to stop reading this book. Which is for the best anyway since the story wasn't grabbing me. I don't have to finish every book! ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Let's start with the important part. I did like this book. A lot. Now, if you don't like authors who play with our preconceive ideas of how stories and characters should work, you won't like this book as much as I did. Because that's how Wynne Jones build her stories, by playing with the understood to make it new.

No, to matter at hand, my review: Castle in the Air is a companion book to Howl’s Moving Castle. It's the story of Abdullah, a young merchant from Zanzib. One day, a mysterious man sell
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Castle in the Air is the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle. That being said I picked this up with trepidation because I was rather disappointed the book wasn’t going to be from the main characters in the first, nor would it have a direct focus on it. But they do occur later on.

That being said, I loved this book! I loved how she managed to turn this into another one of her witty, light-hearted, but not lacking in depth, fantasy tales. It was unique, original, and if I hadn’t read spoilers beforehand
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
Abdullah is a carpet merchant who is content to spend most of his life daydreaming. It doesn’t prepare him for actual adventure coming into his life when he purchases a flying carpet that whisks him off to a beautiful garden in the middle of the night. There, he meets the princess Flower-in-the-Night and falls immediately in love. When she’s kidnapped by a wicked djinn, Abdullah sets out on a cross-country journey with the help of his flying carpet, a temperamental genie, and a mysterious soldie ...more
[Name Redacted]
Loved it. Even better than the preceding volume (which I did enjoy), because everything I disliked about Howl's Moving Castle was fixed herein. ...more
Marianne Moresco
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won't ever get tired of Howl and Sophie, even if there's not very much of them here. Still, a fun and enjoyable book! ...more
Katerina  Kondrenko
8.5 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

John Me – Love Is My Drug, Is My Medicine

Genre: fairytale, fantasy
Stuff: jinn, flying carpet and castle, magic
Fail: funny, but not charismatic MC
WOW: old characters, the plot, humor
POV: 3rd person, male
Love-Geometry: none

“Fate doesn't care most of the t
TS Chan
Apr 05, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, yet another delightfully whimsical story from Diana Wynne Jones. I like Jones' sense of humour as her books never failed to make me chuckle. Castle in the Air was set in a Arabian-like setting, with flying magic carpets, an Aladdin-type heroic character and a beautiful princess (whose name Flower-in-the-Night could allude to a certain Jasmine species that blooms at night). The honorific and incredible polite manner of speech was hilarious and more so especially when insults were hidden und ...more
If you read and enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle and have yet to read this, what are you waiting for? Come on now, go read it. At once.

I liked Castle in the Air better than its predecessor, surprisingly. There are several reasons for this:

1. The plot makes more sense on a first read-- there's a clear mission from the get-go, and the reveals at the end aren't at all confusing.

2. It's not exactly a retelling... but there are clear, surely intended parallels to the story of Aladdin. I really liked the
Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader)
This was cute, though I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as Howl’s Moving Castle.
Emely Galindo
Sep 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was NOTHING like Howl's Moving Castle. So much that I'm even doubting they have the same author.
Howl's Moving Castle had well built, three-dimensional characters. Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer managed to have many flaws, and yet still be utterly likable.
The characters in Castle in the Air were the complete opposite. Flower- in-the-night was just a pretty face, with no personality whatsoever.
I mean at the end she proved to be resourceful for about 2 minutes, but then she still waits to be
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Castle in the Air is indeed a companion to Howl's Moving Castle, but the first thing to accept is that you won't be seeing much of Howl and Sophie. Once I did that, I was able to relax and enjoy this entirely different book.

Abdullah is from Rashpuht, and this is where the story begins. As the names suggest, there's a definite "Arabian Nights" flavor to the narrative. Abdullah finds himself with a magic carpet, that he doesn't know how to control, exactly, and meets with the princess Flowers-in-t
Allison Hurd
Aug 17, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fem-author
Not quite as fun as the first, but still solid.

This is an homage to the Ramayana and Arabian Nights, and it plays with the story telling of those works. It was smartly done, but perhaps not terribly "novel" in its paths.

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)
Jan 07, 2021 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
yeah i don't think i can do it. it's the orientalism and exoticism for me! see below quotations:

"Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, a young carpet merchant called Abdullah lived in the city of Zanzib."

"'Well you should be married!' cried Abdullah’s father’s first wife’s sister, Fatima (whom Abdullah detested even more). 'I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – a young man like you should have at least two wives by now!'"

"But Abdullah had been kidnapped at th
What a great follow up to the first in the series, Howl's Moving Castle!

This isn't a typical series in that the main characters from the first book don't appear in the second book until about 2/3 of the way through. But the humor and the whimsical magic and great characters are still very much here. I also enjoy the way animals play a significant role in her stories. They make the most interesting characters!

I'm thoroughly enjoying becoming reacquainted with DWJ. She has written so many books,
Juho Pohjalainen
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I turned out to enjoy this one a good deal better than I did Howl's Moving Castle. Perhaps it's got something to do with how I tend to prefer the Arabian Nights setting for my fairytales. But most of it, I think, is because the story was a great deal more straightforward and easier to follow, a simple Hero's Journey rather than a magical mystery whose rules we only vaguely know of, with characters that I could sympathize with better because their desires and needs were much less complex.

So with
Not as good as Howl's Moving Castle, but a very entertaining story. ...more
There’s something about Wynne Jones’s writing that is just an absolute delight to read. Every word feels so intentional and loaded with layers of meaning, while still managing to be light and witty in tone. Above all, her writing is engaging. But because I loved Howl’s Moving Castle so much, part of me wanted to treat it as a standalone. I’m so glad I didn’t, because Castle in the Air was just as magical and joyful as it predecessor.

For the first third or so of the novel, I really didn’t think t
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the marks of my favorite authors is their ability to keep me guessing–the knowledge that when I crack open one of their books, I should expect the unexpected. This is only my second Diana Wynne Jones read, but I can already see her name rising in the ranks of the authors who do just that. Like Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Air is an incredibly smart, adventurous, twisting read that is a credit to readers of all ages. At no point did I know where the story was going, and in the end I ...more

"I never said my wishes were supposed to do anyone any good, in fact, I swore that they would always do as much harm as possible."

Carpet merchant Abdullah spends a good deal of his time lost in daydreams. When a mysterious man sells him a magic carpet, Abdullah finds that his daydreams are all coming true - the good as well as the bad. He meets the girl of his dreams but she is promptly snatched away from him. The quest to rescue her sends Abdullah through new countries, tricky situations and
Tazbeea Oushneek
Started with a strong hint of being a retold story of Aladdin - magic carpet, princess, genie and a setting like The Arabian nights. But it changed. First the main character didn’t know how to work the magic carpet, then there were huge differences between Genie and Djinn. I was waiting for Howl and Sophie but they came in the second half of the story with dramatic and shocking entrance. Just like the first one this story was completely weird but the little details were realistic. Like Abdullah ...more
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more

Other books in the series

Howl's Moving Castle (3 books)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1)
  • House of Many Ways (Howl's Moving Castle, #3)

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