Castle in the Air (Howl's Castle Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Castle in the Air (Howl's Castle Series #2) (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Diana Wynne Jones


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In this sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, Jones once again exercises her talent for humor in a lively fantasy adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613462389
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 08/01/2001
Series: Howl's Castle Series , #2
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 255,964
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones has been writing outstanding fantasy novels for more than thirty years and is one of the most distinguished writers in this field. With unlimited imagination, she combines dazzling plots, an effervescent sense of humor, and emotional truths in stories that delight readers of all ages. Her books, published to international acclaim, have earned a wide array of honors, including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors and the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award for having made a significant impact on fantasy. Acclaimed director and animator Hayao Miyazaki adapted Howl's Moving Castle into a major motion picture, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Diana Wynne Jones lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor emeritus of English literature at Bristol University. They have three sons.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In which Abdulla buys a carpet

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. As merchants go, he was not rich. His father had been disappointed in him, and when he died, he had only left Abdullah Just enough money to buy and stock a modest booth in the northwest corner of the Bazaar. The rest of his father's money, and the large carpet emporium in the center of the Bazaar, had all gone to the relatives of his father's first wife.

Abdullah had never been told why his father was disappointed in him. A prophecy made at Abdullah's birth had something to do with it. But Abdullah had never bothered to find out more. Instead, from a very early age, he had simply made up daydreams about it. In his daydreams, he was really the long-lost son of a great prince, which meant, of course, that his father was not really his father. It was a complete castle in the air, and Abdullah knew it was, Everyone told him he inherited his father's looks. When he looked in a mirror, he saw a decidedly handsome young man, in a thin, hawk-faced way, and knew he looked very like the portrait of his father as a young man, always allowing for the fact that his father wore a flourishing mustache, whereas Abdullah was still scraping together the six hairs on his upper lip and hoping they would multiply soon.

Unfortunately, as everyone also agreed, Abdullah had inherited his character from his mother-his father's second wife-who had been a dreamy and timorous woman and a great disappointment to everyone. This did not bother Abdullah particularly. The life ofa carpet merchant holds few opportunities for, bravery, and he was, on the whole, content with it. The booth he had bought, though small, turned out to be rather well placed. It was not far from the West Quarter, where the rich people lived in their big houses surrounded by beautiful gardens. Better still, it was the first part of the Bazaar the carpet makers came to when they came into Zanzib from the desert to the north. Both the rich people and the carpet makers were usually seeking the bigger shops in the center of the Bazaar, but a surprisingly large number of them were ready to pause at the booth of a young carpet merchant when that young merchant rushed out into their paths and offered them bargains and discounts with most profuse politeness.

In this way, Abdullah was quite often able to buy best-quality carpets before anyone else saw them, and sell them at a profit, too. In between buying and selling he could sit in his booth and continue with his daydream, which suited him very well. In fact, almost the only trouble in his life came from his father's first wife'srelations, who would keep visitinghim once a month in order to point out his failings.

"But you're not saving any of your profits!" cried Abdullah's father's first wife's brother's son, Hakim (whom Abdullah detested), one fateful day,

Abdullah explained that when he made a profit, his custom was to use that money to buy a better carpet. Thus, although all his money was bound up in his stock, it was getting to be better and better stock. He had enough to live on. And as he told his father's relatives, he had no need of more since he was not married.

"Well, you should be married!" cried Abdullah's father's first wife's sister, Fatima (whom Abdullah detested even more than Hakim). "I've said it once, and I'll say it again -- a young man like you should have at least two wives by now!" And not content with simply saying so, Fatima declared that this time she was going to look out for some wives for him-an offer which made Abdullah shake in his shoes.

"And the more valuable your stock gets, the more likely you are to be robbed, or the more you'll lose if your booth catches fire. Have you thought of that?"nagged Abdullah's father's first wife's uncle's son, Assif (a man whom Abdullah hated more than the first two put together).

He assured Assif that he always slept in the booth and was very careful of the lamps. At that all three of his father's first wife's relatives shook their heads, tut-tutted, and went away. This usually meant they would leave him in peace for another month. Abdullah sighed with relief and plunged straight back into his daydream.

The daydream was enormously detailed by now. In it, Abdullah was the son of a mighty prince who lived so far to the east that his country was unknown in Zanzib. But Abdullah had been kidnapped at the age of two by a villainous bandit called Kabul Aqba. Kabul Aqba had a hooked nose like the beak of a vulture and wore a gold ring clipped into one of his nostrils. He carried a pistol with a silver-mounted stock with which he menaced Abdullah, and there was a bloodstone in his turban which seemed to give him more than human power. Abdullah was so frightened that he ran away into the desert, where he was found by the man he called his father now. The daydream took no account of the fact that Abduffah's father had never ventured into the desert in his life; indeed, he had often said that anyone who ventured beyond Zanzib must be mad. Nevertheless, Abdullah could

Castle in the Air. Copyright © by Diana Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Castle in the Air 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
JoriWinter More than 1 year ago
Many of the other reviewers seem to have discovered Diana Wynne Jones only after watching the animated version of Howl's Moving Castle, prompting complaints about this being insufficient sequel material. Well, if you are a fan of her work, you should know that her sequels are not the sequels of other authors- they fall into the same universe, and cameos of previous characters appear, but it's hardly a chronological storyline. Each new book focuses on new main characters with elements of the old. Consider it as similar to the Discworld series, or Kushner's Swordspoint. As for the book itself, you follow along the not-quite-intrepid carpet-selling hero as he escapes death, bandits, and the sultan, and finds himself caught up in an international struggle to save all the world's princesses from an evil djinn. Meanwhile, he's obsessed with marrying his own princess, the sultan's daughter. She starts out sheltered but beautiful, but along the way both manage just enough character development that you are glad to see their happy ending, which is- again- exactly DWJ's style. Bonus: daydreams can be embarrassing, cats are evil but cute, and the main character develops taste.
Ashlbee More than 1 year ago
What other author would first take you through a war with wizards, witches, and a medieval setting, then whisk you away to a land of deserts and sands where cranky sultans and magic carpets are the norm? And further more, what other author could get away with it? This book is certainly unique. You must approach it with an open mind because if you are looking for a direct sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, then you may be disappointed. While they do tie into each other, it is not until much later in the novel and very little. As s reader I do not enjoy Jone's particular writing style, however I do appreciate it for it's difference and the creativity with which she crafts her plots and stories. Her books are very much event stories. If you enjoy reading a book purely for the events and adventures that take place, you will thoroughly enjoy this! If, however, you are like me and like lots of character development, you may be unhappy. Overall this book is very entertaining, humorous, and completely unbelievable in the most whimsical and enjoyable way!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've just started reading this book, and I already love it. I recently finished Howl's Moving Castle and loved that book, too. I noticed a lot of people didn't like this book because it doesn't continue the story of the first book. I think these people need to read The Chronicles of Narnia-ALL of them. They aren't all the same story in the same order, yet they all come together quite perfectly in the end. I love Diana Wynne Jones's style of writing and the way she describes scenes and people. I have a hard time putting it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best from the best. A true work a fantasy woven with plots and morals, and spun together to create the ultimate book for fantasy lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I do admit that I partially picked up the novel because it was the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle,but all the same it was an amazing novel that could have held up on its own! I love the fact that I can relate to Abdullah on so many levels because he's a big daydreamer which gets him in so much trouble.At first I couldn't see how it was the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle,but towards the end it all came together.Diana Wynne Jones wrote an amazing,witty novel which deserves far more stars than I'm allowed to put!!! For anyone who's looking for a novel with humor,a flying carpet,& humor;you can't do any better than Castle in the air unless of course you prefer Howl's Moving Castle!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book, was a great, and adventurous story. If you like fantasy, you will absolutely love this book. It wisks you away to a land of magic carpets, genies, and princesses. It is a love story too, what with Abdullah searching for lost love, Flower In the Night. So, I would absolutely recommend this book, for any child or adult who is willing to read it!
WitchyWriter 7 months ago
Like all of Diana Wynne Jones’ writing, this story stayed with me for years after I read it. A rug merchant stumbles onto a magic carpet that gets him into all kinds of adventure. This protagonist is humble and has a relatively simple life, but Jones is able to weave in situations that show you he has a spine. His resistance to his overbearing family won me over, and the way he deals with misfortune, and the way he treats the guy who owns the stall next to him. The novel manages to span a good deal of geography, keeping you on your toes while adventures ensue with magical creatures and fantastical settings. I’m particularly fond of the love interest, and I love that we see some very familiar characters pop up eventually. I can’t talk specifics without giving things away, so let’s just leave it at this: you won’t regret reading this book, and it’s not essential to read Howl’s Moving Castle beforehand, but I’d recommend it because it gives more depth to the story if you know the characters when they show up later.
Aerrin99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know many found this disappointing after Howl's Moving Castle, but I actually preferred this standalone 'sequel' - I thought the characters interesting, the plot well-paced, and the world just enough familiar/strange to make it really fun. I like the Arabianesqueness of the setting and found it a fun, if short, read. Although I don't think I'd call any of the Wynne Jones I've read YA - she reads much younger to me, much like Roald Dahl. I have to be in that mindset to enjoy it.
librisissimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Entertaining but not significant. An OK read for juniors.Pseudo-Persian (not Moslem) setting, with magic carpets, genies, and djinns (which are the same thing, really), and correspondingly unauthentic (Europeanish) characters from "Howl's Moving Castle", who could just as easily have been "generic" characters.
silverturnstoblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great sequel. Full of surprises.
BrideoftheFox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A follow-up to Howl's Moving Castle and I was just as impressed with it! Again I loved all the character and their parts in the story. This one was really fun to watch unfold.
lithicbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This sequel to Howl's Moving Castle was, to my taste, not nearly as fantastical or exciting. Instead, it was a bit of a mash-up of familiar stories from One Thousand and One Nights (well, I never read that, so let's say, Looney Tunes and Craig Shaw Gardner's Sinbad trilogy) and the characters from Howl's. It was kind of cute, and a bit fun to see the old crew again, but not on par with the previous book.
arouse77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
nominally a sequel "Howl's Moving Castle" this book retains some of the same feel of the first novel with a distinctly arabian flavor. the same wit and engaging language are there, but apart from these, this "sequel" has almost nothing else in common with its predecessor. none of the characters recur to a significant degree, the settings are disparate, and the focus of the quest is different than the original tale. yet its warmth and charm are farmiliar and welcome. when old friends from the first book do finally appear they seem almost incidental but it is a fond reunion nevertheless. this sequel stands on its own and doesn't add anything significant to the original story, but is worth the read on its own merits.
egelantier on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i'm quite convinced that dwj of 'howl's walking castle' and dwj of pretty much everything else are two different authors, because i can't explain why howl delights me and all other books leave in various states of meh otherwise. this said, this one was reasonably fun and easy to read, and didn't sent me into throes of irrational, teeth-grinding irritation like that one with griffons did. abdullah was nice, flattering speeches were funny, plot was reasonably twisty, if leaning on Sudden Revelations too heavily. i could live without subplot of abdullah being set up to marry two distant relative ladies of his and being repulsed by how, gasp, fat they were (detailed, horrified description) and then him marrying them to malevolent jinn and sending them to live with said jinn into magical exile without so much as stopping to consider their consent or the overall creepiness of this idea. i mean, what? what?
Steph78 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Borrowed from my sister, this is the a book of magic set in a different world and sequel to Howls Moving Castle, which I read as a teenager and loved completely. As is often the case, I didn't really think the sequel matched the original. The new setting and characters had promise, but I found the pace a bit uneven and the character development fairly scare, particularly when the old characters made an appearance. All in all I think it would have been a more interesting read if it hadn't been tied into the previous novel at all. However, that said, it was a good fun, light read, and I'll probably try a couple more of her books at a later date.
rj_anderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This should really be 3.5 stars. I liked the premise and I liked Abdullah a great deal, but these muddled, meandering plots where everything resolves with improbable neatness at the end are beginning to wear thin. To me it read less like a complex story with a satisfyingly tight resolution than as though DWJ made it all up as she went along and only at the end decided to assign old identities to the new characters we'd met along the way. (I'm not saying that's what she actually did, only that's how it felt to me.)Still, a fun story overall, with the usual cast of engaging characters and action-packed adventure.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I grew up on the Arabian Nights (yes, the real, unabridged thing. Where _did_ those go?). The beginning of this story is a somewhat awkward evocation of that style of story - it's not bad, but I feel as if the author is trying a little too hard. It gets - not exactly better, but less strained, when the character is pulled out of the Arabian Nights and into standard fairy-tale background. I like the soldier (as a character - as a person he's not very likeable). And the whole thing with the cat is seriously weird. Everything gets explained in not-quite-the-end - just in time for the real crisis, which is solved very neatly. And the princess (the hero's princess...out of all that crowd!) demonstrates a good deal more sense and intelligence than she did - than she was allowed to - in the Arabian Nights setting. And then the last loose ends get neatly wrapped up. Maybe a little too neatly? I don't know. It's a good story but not a great one.
LeslitGS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having lived alone in his carpet shop for years, Adbullah is startled to find himself sold a magic carpet that transports him to a garden where a beautiful princess lives. After several visits the two decide that they shall wed, but before they can escape together, a djinn steals Abdullah's bride-to-be away. He and the carpet fly make their way to the far land of Ingary to search for a way of rescuing her, and to avoid being caught and executed by any number of guards and bandits on the way.I must start by saying that I feel moderately silly about this book, seeing as I didn't know it really existed until I gave a friend Howl's and she read it aloud to her baby, fell in love with the book and promptly ordered the "sequels." Now, if you've read and remember from a while ago here, I read what I laughed at being called a "sequel" to Howl's called The House of Many Ways. Now I'm the one being laughed at since House of Many Ways is actually the third book in the series with this, Castle in the Air being the second and making some of the connections from one through to three. [Like Howl and Sophie having a little one.]But no matter. Back to this book.Abdullah is, quite honestly, a standalone in this series since he is the main character and he's quite different an entirely obvious way--he's a dude. Not that this makes him any less believable or sympathetic, but he's actually already a man who has an established adult life in a completely different world--kingdom at least--from Sophie and Charmain who live in rather comparable lands. I have to admit, also, my imaginings of his home are almost entirely sourced from Disney's Aladdin, coupled with whatever other Arabic influences have made their way into my limited scope. Also, my mental Abdullah was shamelessly modeled after Rafi Gavron as Farid from Inkheart.Like in the other two companion novels, Jones manages to create a sort of staged chaos for the story, where so much is going on that, if a less-experienced author was trying it, the novel might have devolved to unreadable silliness. Abdullah's quest for Flower-in-the-Night is only the beginning of his adventure, and his step into a larger world than his own. On his way he meets a disused soldier of a defeated world, a magical cat and her kitten, an attitudinal magic carpet and a sulky genie. The best part for the reader is that, once again, nothing is at it seems! Of course the magical cat and kitten are--oops--can't say. But things start getting familiar when he makes it to Ingary and becomes part of an effort to save, not only his princess, but all of the princesses captured by the djinn.Honestly, there is nothing wrong with this book. It's fun and engaging, but just not as good as Howl's. You don't need to read any of these books to enjoy another, but there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you shouldn't read all three.
andreablythe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Abdullah, a young carpet seller, lives in his small stall in the bazaar of Zhanzib. A disappointment to his deceased father, he daydreams himself another life, in which he is really a lost prince from a distant land destined to marry a princess. He is content with his simple life and these daydreams, when a stranger sells him a flying carpet. In his sleep, the carpet carried Abdullah off to the gardens of a beautiful woman. He falls in love with the girl, but she is carried off in the night by a giant djinn, thus beginning the carpet seller's adventures. He is a kind and clever adventurer, who uses his wits and exceedingly polite manners, rather than physical strength, to escape a number of scrapes.Castle in the Air is an amusing fairy tale full of the kind of interesting characters on Diana Wynne Jones could write, including a charming criminal, an grumpy yet lovable cook, good and bad djinns, a wicked genie, evil family relations, wizards, witches, shape shifting cats, and a multitude of intelligent and strong minded princesses. I especially like the princesses, who are not idling away in their tower, but actively making plans to enact their own escape. It's an excellent companion to Howl's Moving Castle.
BrynDahlquis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent book worthy of being a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle. A dreamlike adventure filled with wonderful characters and spectacular plot twists. Though now I mostly just want to reread Howl's Moving Castle.
Crewman_Number_6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed in this book. The story was good, but it was a flimsy attempt at a sequel. When I picked this book up, I did not even realize that it was supposed to be a sequel. The characters from Howl's Moving Castle are not even introduced until you are 3/4 into the book. I was glad that I had previously read Howl, or else I would have been very lost because the characters are poorly developed.It would have been so much better if it had stood as a story in it own right, or fully developed into a proper sequel.
fengshoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved Howl's Moving Castle and had hoped its sequel was just as good if not better. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me. Castle in the Air is a fun read as well, but is lacking in an interesting main character. You can relate to Sophie and love Howl despite his flaws but Abdullah is flat and annoying compared with the first novel's main characters. If you are looking for a continuation of Sophie and Howl's story, you won't find it. They make appearances yes, but again this story centers on Abdullah and his love for Flower-in-the-Night, who in spite of her silly name is far more interesting then him. Which is shame really since she isn't in the novel nearly as much.In spite of this however, the book is just as funny and entertaining as the first, if not a slower read. What little you do get of Sophie and Howl and other characters from the first book is wonderful and certainly makes the reader wish the book did center on them. I would encourage readers of the first book to read this one because of the cameos which almost makes up for Abdullah.
booksearcher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Picked this one up to see the how Sofie and Howl turned out and but I must say that while not as engaging as the first book this one was still a good book. More like Arabian nights with fantasy added in but still a great read.
kyira.kalifax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book stands fairly well on its own, more so than it does as a sequel. It's connection to Howl's Moving Castle doesn't become apparent until a little over half way through the book. Howl's and Sophie's story takes an unexpected, but considering their personalities not unbelievable, turn that has you chuckling in amusement.
banshea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Diana Wynne Jones tackles the world of 1001 Arabian Nights in this book, much like her treatment of the Grimm Brothers' stories in Howl's Moving Castle. I was sorely disappointed by this book, as I bought it because it's the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, but the characters I came to love in that book were barely even in this one! I think I would have liked it a lot better if I hadn't had that expectation of it.