Friday, November 16, 2007

Clawstone Castle, Castle in the Air; Castles, Castles Everywhere

The Beasts of Clawstone Castle
by Eva Ibbotson

This is a lovely book. It is afflicted somewhat with the cartoon characters I complained about previously, but it has other-worldly snow-white snows to compensate. I share Ibbotson's evident dislike of developers, and love of old ramshackle buildings, so this book was a joy in many ways.

Castle in the Air
by Diana Wynne Jones

This book just kept on surprising me. Although at one point I'm sure I noticed the magic carpet and flying djinn of the cover artwork, when I started reading about Abdullah the carpet merchant in the bazaar, the strong feeling of deja vu in reading this so soon after Carlo Chuchio was startling. Then, as the book neared its conclusion, the somewhat unexpected morphing of many characters into familiar friends from Howl's Moving Castle threw me for a loop. Well, kind of. I was wondering, what with the connection in the titles, whether there was going to be some kind of overlap.

Like Howl's Moving Castle, this book presents many things that are not what they seem, and plot twists that are amusing and inventive. I enjoyed it a lot.



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