This book was great to me for a few reasons. The first probably says more about me than I would like and that’s that there were no weird names. Flower-In-The-Night? Such a weird name. Surely there are better names to name your heroine, right?
The second is that there was more of Sophie and Howl in this book which I really enjoyed. Calcifer was there and so was little Morgan (who is nearly two in this book, he’s growing so fast).
Like Castle in the Air, it takes place in a different country to Ingary. Ingary is mentioned but not a lot and Sophie, Howl, Calcifer and Morgan have come to visit this country from Ingary. Yes they brought the Castle. No it doesn’t feature all that much.
The main character of this book is Charmain. She is a thoroughly respectable young lady who has never dabbled in Magic and wears her hair pinned up on her head, has never done any chores because her mother thinks it’s not respectable, and is the great-great-neice-in-law by marriage of a Royal Wizard. She’s a bookworm and is thoroughly happy to do nothing but eat cakes and pasties and flans and whatnot all day while reading. Her great aunt however volunteers her to house sit for her great-great-uncle-in-law by marriage while he is off being cured of an unknown sickness by Elves.
While house sitting, she discovers and tries out spells, becomes great friends with a dog called Waif and meets Kobolds and a lubblock and it’s offspring, the lubblockin. She also meets a boy named Peter who she doesn’t particularly like and writes a letter to the King asking to help him by becoming an assistant Librarian for him. That’s when the story kicks off.
You see, the king is looking for his family’s gold which disappears as soon as they get it. Sophie has been called by the princess to help them find it too and between them, Peter and the House of Many Ways, they discover what has happened to the gold.
While they’re looking, of course, Howl causes trouble, so do the Kobolds, the Lubblock seems to exist simply to cause trouble and Calcifer seems to be the only thing that can deal with him.
As with Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, I think I would have preferred this book as a child and read it more then, however that doesn’t change the fact that this is a great book, albeit aimed at the younger generation.