Thursday, June 5, 2014

House of Many Ways

 House of Many Ways by Diana Wyanne Jones

I have trouble finding books that really pull me in. Maybe I'm a picky reader, maybe because of my dyslexia it has to be a really good book for me to spend as much time as it takes me to read on it. Maybe I'm just lazy. Either way, I do read a lot, I always have a book with me, but unless it is REALLY good it can take me forever to read. (Scratch that. It took m a long time to get through Rakkety Tam and that one was wonderful. It just had so many characters I kept getting lost. Also, it made me SO hungry I had to stop every few minutes to see if we had any English/ Redwall food in the kitchen. 

 Anyways, enough of this. Many of you know how much I loved Howl's Moving Castle after reading that one. Many of you who have read it feel the same way about the book, especially girls. I blame this fact on charming Howl who likes to steal girls' hearts. 

 After finishing it I was kind of depressed because the second book in the series didn't have Howl in it - or very little. I don't remember which I was told. And the third, I was told he wasn't in that one much either. Therefore, I didn't even pick up the second. Well, I did, but just to read the summery. I did the same with the third and was somewhat consoled to see it mentioned Howl and Sophie. Nevertheless it took me awhile to actually read the book.

 The House of Many Ways is the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle. It is the story about a girl named Chairmain. A rather spoiled, lazy girl who's mother never had her do anything because she wished her to be respectable. Therefore, Chairmain has got to spend thirteen years of her life with her nose stuck in a book. (I'd say something about this but the fact is I've spent even more years with my nose stuck in a book...)

 One day, Chairmain's aunt insists Chairmain leave her  home to take care of her Great-Uncle William's house while the elves are healing him from a dangerous illness. (Enter here the fact that Great-Uncle William is more commonly known by others as Wizard Norland.)
 Chairmain accepts the responsibility and moves into his little cottage. But she soon discovers living in a wizard's house is much more exciting then she first assumed it would be.

 While at the house Chairmain meets Peter, a boy her age who is supposed to be Wizard Norland's apprentice. Together they try and keep things under control, but only manage to make things worse as every spell Peter works goes array. (And Chairmain, being the lazy girl she is, doesn't take too kindly to work.)

 And slowly, they uncover a plot against the king - along with the help of the witch Sophie, the charmingly adorable little boy named Twinkle, and the dog Waif who always thinks she is starving.

 This book had a lot of the charm as the first one. Most of the things that happen in it are every, ordinary day accurances. (With a little magic thrown in.) Like the first, there are no huge battles, no heart racing action. Instead, it is just a lot of fun and enchantment. There was, however, a rather creepy magical creature thrown in who wasn't in the first book. The dreaded Lubbock's. Very disturbing creatures who like to lay eggs in people.

 Chairmain is a character one finds hard to love. Unlike sweet Sophie who found her courage by becoming an old lady, Chairmain is someone you want to yank the book from her hands and hit her over the head with. She bickers with Peter non-stop and thinks too highly of herself. Half-way through the book I almost wanted to give up on her and slam it closed. However, by then she got a good look at what she was really like and began to try and mend it - which led to some more funny mishaps.

 In the same way that Sophie and Chairmain are complete opposites the same can be said for Howl and Peter. In spite of Howl's annoying, childish ways, the reader couldn't help but love him in the first book. Peter, on the other hand, lacks all of Howl's charm. He's just an ordinary boy - with an added gift for magic - who tries to do what is right and won't put up with certain lazy girls. Yet, in spite of his lack of heart stealing, I couldn't help but love him. He had his own charming ways and a great amount of courage. 

 Sophie, in this book, is no longer the little girl trying to get rid of a spell cast over her. Instead she is a respected witch who is called upon by kings in times of need. (Apparently kings from different kingdoms weren't allowed to ask for help from the wizards of kingdoms outside their own. Therefore, with Wizard Norland ill, the king had no wizard to help him. And while he could call upon Sophie, who wasn't from his kingdom, he couldn't call on Howl - at least from what I gathered. But honestly, this is Howl. Does the reader think for one moment he wouldn't find a way to weasel his way into the middle of things, if only for the attention?)
 And let it be noted here. Women who say their husbands are just another child for them to take care of have little to complain about. Sophie, on the other hand, has every right in the world to use this line. 

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