Monday, December 05, 2011
Castle in the Air
by Diana Wynne Jones
Abdullah is caught up in a life of daydreams; they're the one upside to selling carpets in his stall at the market. He imagines that he's the son of a king, stolen away at birth by ruffians, and eventually found by his father, the carpet-seller. He imagines that he's betrothed to the most beautiful princess in the world, and that they will live in a grand palace. Then, a shifty man stops by the stall, wanting to sell his magic carpet, and all Abdullah's daydreams start to come true. Even the bad ones.
Castle in the Air is a "companion" book to Howl's Moving Castle, which means that it features some of the same characters, but is not a true sequel. However, fans of Diana Wynne Jones's lighthearted stories should enjoy this book just the same--just don't expect Sophie and Howl to appear on the first page.
I didn't find myself drawn into the story as quickly as I was with Howl. The story took longer getting to the action, but the humour was there right from the first page. Jones has continued with her fairy tale stylings, using (I believe) Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp as the backbone for Castle. Since Disney's Aladdin is my only experience with the Aladdin folk tale, I can't say how she's re-shaped the narrative to give it a modern twist, but I'm sure she has.
I recommend this book to fans of modern fairy tales, and anyone who likes a quick, fun read.
Copy source: library
Genre: young adult fantasy
View my suggested books by Diana Wynne Jones