I picked this book up because I’ve always loved the movie. I thought it would be interesting to read what had been changed for the film and what they had kept in, I’m a sucker for things like that normally. I was not surprised to find that they had changed a lot of things but some of the things in there did surprise me.
For example, in the book, Howl is from Wales (insert obligatory yay Wales), he has a family there and everything. Now that may be strange but not as strange as the first time he takes Sophie and Michael (Markl in the film) there and he’s seen to be wearing a WRU shirt.
The Witch of the Waste isn’t a horrid fat lady in the book either, but a beautiful young (or at least young looking) woman. Of course she’s still as evil as she is in the movie and she’s still after Howl’s heart but it’s not for the reasons laid out in the movie.
There are more characters in the book too. Sophie has another sister besides Lettie, her name is Martha. Martha works in the cake shop, not Lettie. Lettie is actually an apprentice witch.
Lots of things were changed in movie compared to the book and in all I couldn’t say which I prefer. Howl’s Moving Castle is of course an easy read, it’s meant for kids after all, but why should that stop you from reading it? It shouldn’t. It’s a fun little book that gives you more insight to the characters in the movie.