Sophie Hatter is the oldest of three sisters in a world where the eldest child is destined to live an uninteresting life. Just as Sophie resigns herself to living dully by succeeding her family’s hatting shop and preparing her younger sisters for their own glorious futures, she somehow attracts the attention of a powerful, wicked woman known as the Witch of the Waste, who casts a curse on the hopeless young girl that transforms her into an old woman. Sophie is trapped with the body of an elderly version of herself, and the only chance she has to break the curse is to seek out Wizard Howl, a mysterious young man who is rumored to actually be a demon who likes to steal young women’s hearts and eat them. As an old woman, Sophie figures she has nothing to fear from Howl and journeys on her own to find his enchanted castle that has legs and wanders about the hillsides. The adventure turns out to be much more than Sophie expected, with moving scarecrows, fire demons, ten-league-boots, and Howl, a rude wizard who thinks of nothing but himself and has much more to his personality that what it would seem. Sophie learns things about Howl that she never could have known if she had lived out her life as a hatter, and most importantly she discovers things she never could have known about herself.
I picked the book up because I had seen the movie version by Studio Ghibli and wanted to know how the two were different.
I finished this book because the end was very different from that of the movie.
I’d give this book to any fan of fantasy that likes a little hint of romance with their magical adventure.
Rating: **** Really liked it!
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Review by Serina, college student