Note: This is a spoiler free review
This is the second book in a trilogy. Howl’s moving castle is the first. You can read the review for it here.
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 magic carpet.
That very night, the carpet flew him to an enchanted garden. There, he met and fell in love with the beauteous princess Flower-in-the-Night, only to have her snatched away, right under his very nose, by a wicked djinn. With only his magic carpet and his wits to help him, Abdullah sets off to rescue his princess….
I enjoyed the first book and love Diana Wynne Jones so I had no doubt I was going to enjoy this. I was looking forward to a delightful, easy read.
The writing is simple with colourful descriptions. It is for a younger audience and I think it’s well written for them in mind. I also think the pace is good too, not too slow and not too fast. Foreshadowing was set up well too!
The most basic plot is not very unique, could have even been called cliche, but under the pen of Diana Wynne Jones everything about it seems unique and full of delightful little twists and turns. It actually surprised me often too where I thought one thing would happen, but another did.
Yet, I feel this shouldn’t be the second book in this series, rather a spin off? As the main characters from the previous book are not the main characters in this one.
The world is unique yet similar enough to the fantasy worlds we know, and love, that it feels like putting on a pair of comfy slippers or wrapping yourself in a snuggly blanket.
The characters are well rounded and don’t suddenly change personality half way through. I particularly like that, the main character, has some unlikable traits and this is shown. It’s nice not to have characters that aren’t complete goody two shoes.
I enjoyed it, but found it strange for it to be a second in a series and have completely different characters. I feel it should’ve have been a spin off. A book in the same world, but not classed as a sequel.
Still, it was delightful with a satisfying ending that came too quick.
Was it worth the read? Yes
Would I re-read? Yes
Would I read this Author again? Yes