Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trilogy Tuesday: The House of Many Ways Review


Happy Tuesday peach blossoms!

Very happy to bring you another TRIOLOGY TUESDAY!


* Trilogy Tuesday REVIEW *
*"House of Many Ways"*
* Diana Wynne Jones *
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* House of Many Ways*
Title: House of Many Ways
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Middlegrade Fantasy
Publication: June 10, 2004
Pages: 404

Synopsis:
Charmain Baker is in over her head. Looking after Great-Uncle William's tiny cottage while he's ill should have been easy. But Great-Uncle William is better known as the Royal Wizard Norland, and his house bends space and time. Its single door leads to any number of places--the bedrooms, the kitchen, the caves under the mountains, the past, and the Royal Mansion, to name just a few.


By opening that door, Charmain has become responsible for not only the house, but for an extremely magical stray dog, a muddled young apprentice wizard, and a box of the king's most treasured documents. She has encountered a terrifying beast called a lubbock, irritated a clan of small blue creatures, and wound up smack in the middle of an urgent search. The king and his daughter are desperate to find the lost, fabled Elfgift--so desperate that they've even called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, can the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer be far behind?


Of course, with that magical family involved, there's bound to be chaos--and unexpected revelations.
No one will be more surprised than Charmain by what Howl and Sophie discover.


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Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
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5/5
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Oh! So exciting! Howl and Sophie are back on another fantastic adventure!

First of all, I need to point out that Ms. Jones had a fantastic ability to pick WONDERFUL names for her characters.  Charmain is a favorite, to be sure.

I looked forward to this book so fervently and I was rewarded with another amazing, dazzling, colorful story of a young girl who finds herself far in over her head when she takes over care of her uncles mystical house. Just as in "Howl's Moving Castle" there is a single door that leads to many, many places. Charmain has quite a time trying to figure this out! She has an even harder time curbing her curiosity and she finds that sometimes it's better to stay inside!

Hearing Sophie described as a "Powerful" and "Intimidating" sorceress sounds really odd. It's like hearing someone refer to Santa as "The great and frightening one". Okay, powerful I will take. Sophie is VERY powerful. But intimidating? She's... well, she's SOPHIE! She's the 'take no crap, pull you up by your bootstraps, love you with her big heart, make any decision necessary for the safety of those she loves' woman who saves the great wizard Howl, rescues the fire demon Calcifer, and pretty much sets things to rights again!

Okay... fine, she's pretty darn intimidating. But amazing!  And she makes hats!

Anyway, Charmain is a doll and seems to strike another "Sophie/Howl" moment with the new would-be-wizard lad who comes a knockin'. Between the two of them, and the dog, they find themselves in a huge mess, but that's what's so great about Jones' books! The mess!

As usual Diana Wynne Jones creates a world that you only wish you could see. The little house that Charmain is looking after, even without the magic door, sounds absolutely charming and I'd love to call it my own!

Each character is lovingly created to reflect a particular personality that is very poignant.  No one melts into the background.

The story itself is masterfully created, and I just keep wondering where in the world she came up with all of the stories she penned. What was her inspiration? What did she see in her minds eye? I have yet to find an author that I have enjoyed as thoroughly as Jones.

I highly recommend this book and any other of Diana Wynne Jones' books.

Go on then. Get to reading!

THE HOUSE OF MANY WAYS
Powell's Books: $5.95
Have a happy Tuesday love doves, and come back tomorrow for WEDNESDAY WISHLIST.

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

~A.

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