Castle in the Air (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

( 62 )

Overview

Abdullah was a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer. His father, who had been disappointed in him, had left him only enough money to open a modest booth in the Bazaar. When he was not selling carpets, Abdullah spent his time daydreaming. In his dreams he was not the son of his father, but the long-lost son of a prince. There was also a princess who had been betrothed to him at birth. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a ...

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Castle in the Air (Howl's Castle Series #2)

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Overview

Abdullah was a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer. His father, who had been disappointed in him, had left him only enough money to open a modest booth in the Bazaar. When he was not selling carpets, Abdullah spent his time daydreaming. In his dreams he was not the son of his father, but the long-lost son of a prince. There was also a princess who had been betrothed to him at birth. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a magic carpet.

In this stunning sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones has again created a large-scale, fast-paced fantasy in which people and things are never quite what they seem. There are good and bad djinns, a genie in a bottle, wizards, witches, cats and dogs (but are they cats and dogs?), and a mysterious floating castle filled with kidnapped princesses, as well as two puzzling prophecies. The story speeds along with tantalizing twists and turns until the prophecies are fulfilled, true identities are revealed, and all is resolved in a totally satisfying, breathtaking, surprise-filled ending.

Having long indulged himself in daydreams more exciting than his mundane life as a carpet merchant, Abdullah unexpectedly purchases a magic carpet and his life changes dramatically as his daydreams come true and dangerous adventures become daily fare.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Abdullah the rug merchant leaves his humdrum life far behind when he purchases a threadbare magic carpet from a mysterious stranger. Almost immediately, Abdullah is whisked off on a series of adventures that bear an uncanny resemblance to his own daydreams. He meets the love of his life only to have her kidnapped by a fierce djinn. With the help of the magic carpet--and an ornery genie--Abdullah sets out to rescue his bride-to-be. His travels take him to the fairy tale land of Ingary, the setting of this novel's predecessor, Howl's Moving Castle. As usual, Jones has constructed a wonderfully complicated plot, chock-full of magical mayhem. However, while her other interconnected novels ( Charmed Life , The Magicians of Caprona and The Lives of Christopher Chant ) can be read on their own, the final third of Abdullah's story is likely to confuse readers not already acquainted with the characters introduced in the first book. Those familiar with Ingary will welcome the chance to return and catch up on the doings of its exuberant inhabitants. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Although called a companion book to Howl's Moving Castle, this story is more rightfully a flight of fancy inspired by The Arabian Nights. Abdullah, the likeable young hero, is a rug merchant, a spinner of extravagant words, and a dreamer who finds himself in possession of a magic carpet capable of fulfilling his wildest fantasies to a point. The always on-the-cusp desire-fulfillment is the point of Wynne-Jones' teasing fable. Constantly pressed and stretched, Abdullah is given the opportunity to grow into the sort of hero who finally deserves his excellent destiny. The cast of characters includes good/bad djinns, a sardonic cat-loving mercenary soldier, a wish-subverting genie, a truly frowzy dog and, of course, Abdullah's princess, Flower-in-the-Night. Wynne-Jones takes evident delight in playing the puppet master tugging all the strings of her story till they finally manage to include not only her Sophie and Howl, but also their stolen castle. The end result is a charming, fluffy romance surely capable of prolonging the life of the unnamed Scheherazade narrating the tale. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-- In this sequel to Howl's Moving Castle (Greenwillow, 1986), Jones once again exercises her talent for humor in a lively fantasy adventure. It is not necessary to read Howl first; the story stands strongly on its own. In fact, fans of Jones' earlier book may be puzzled at first as to what the connection could be . . . until they glimpse hovering on the horizon a castlelike cloud . . . or is it a cloudlike castle? At any rate, the story begins as Abdullah, a humble carpet merchant in the marketplace of Zanzib, acquires a flying carpet and lands in the midst of a series of fantastic adventures. The cast of characters includes an evil djinn, beautiful princesses, a genie in a bottle, women-turned-cats, and soldiers-turned-frogs. This is the Arabian Nights with a twist. Readers may be breathless from the rapid changes of scene and quick pace of events, but they won't put down the book until they figure out all its secrets. --Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613462389
  • Publisher: Sanval, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2001
  • Series: Howl's Castle Series , #2
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 902,229
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Wynne Jones has been writing outstanding fantasy novels for more than thirty years and is one of the most distinguished writers in this field. With unlimited imagination, she combines dazzling plots, an effervescent sense of humor, and emotional truths in stories that delight readers of all ages. Her books, published to international acclaim, have earned a wide array of honors, including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors and the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award for having made a significant impact on fantasy. Acclaimed director and animator Hayao Miyazaki adapted Howl's Moving Castle into a major motion picture, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Diana Wynne Jones lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor emeritus of English literature at Bristol University. They have three sons.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In which Abdulla buys a carpet

Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, a young carpet merchant called Abdullah lived in the city of Zanzib. As merchants go, he was not rich. His father had been disappointed in him, and when he died, he had only left Abdullah Just enough money to buy and stock a modest booth in the northwest corner of the Bazaar. The rest of his father's money, and the large carpet emporium in the center of the Bazaar, had all gone to the relatives of his father's first wife.

Abdullah had never been told why his father was disappointed in him. A prophecy made at Abdullah's birth had something to do with it. But Abdullah had never bothered to find out more. Instead, from a very early age, he had simply made up daydreams about it. In his daydreams, he was really the long-lost son of a great prince, which meant, of course, that his father was not really his father. It was a complete castle in the air, and Abdullah knew it was, Everyone told him he inherited his father's looks. When he looked in a mirror, he saw a decidedly handsome young man, in a thin, hawk-faced way, and knew he looked very like the portrait of his father as a young man, always allowing for the fact that his father wore a flourishing mustache, whereas Abdullah was still scraping together the six hairs on his upper lip and hoping they would multiply soon.

Unfortunately, as everyone also agreed, Abdullah had inherited his character from his mother-his father's second wife-who had been a dreamy and timorous woman and a great disappointment to everyone. This did not bother Abdullah particularly. The life ofa carpet merchant holds few opportunities for, bravery, and he was, on the whole, content with it. The booth he had bought, though small, turned out to be rather well placed. It was not far from the West Quarter, where the rich people lived in their big houses surrounded by beautiful gardens. Better still, it was the first part of the Bazaar the carpet makers came to when they came into Zanzib from the desert to the north. Both the rich people and the carpet makers were usually seeking the bigger shops in the center of the Bazaar, but a surprisingly large number of them were ready to pause at the booth of a young carpet merchant when that young merchant rushed out into their paths and offered them bargains and discounts with most profuse politeness.

In this way, Abdullah was quite often able to buy best-quality carpets before anyone else saw them, and sell them at a profit, too. In between buying and selling he could sit in his booth and continue with his daydream, which suited him very well. In fact, almost the only trouble in his life came from his father's first wife'srelations, who would keep visitinghim once a month in order to point out his failings.

"But you're not saving any of your profits!" cried Abdullah's father's first wife's brother's son, Hakim (whom Abdullah detested), one fateful day,

Abdullah explained that when he made a profit, his custom was to use that money to buy a better carpet. Thus, although all his money was bound up in his stock, it was getting to be better and better stock. He had enough to live on. And as he told his father's relatives, he had no need of more since he was not married.

"Well, you should be married!" cried Abdullah's father's first wife's sister, Fatima (whom Abdullah detested even more than Hakim). "I've said it once, and I'll say it again -- a young man like you should have at least two wives by now!" And not content with simply saying so, Fatima declared that this time she was going to look out for some wives for him-an offer which made Abdullah shake in his shoes.

"And the more valuable your stock gets, the more likely you are to be robbed, or the more you'll lose if your booth catches fire. Have you thought of that?"nagged Abdullah's father's first wife's uncle's son, Assif (a man whom Abdullah hated more than the first two put together).

He assured Assif that he always slept in the booth and was very careful of the lamps. At that all three of his father's first wife's relatives shook their heads, tut-tutted, and went away. This usually meant they would leave him in peace for another month. Abdullah sighed with relief and plunged straight back into his daydream.

The daydream was enormously detailed by now. In it, Abdullah was the son of a mighty prince who lived so far to the east that his country was unknown in Zanzib. But Abdullah had been kidnapped at the age of two by a villainous bandit called Kabul Aqba. Kabul Aqba had a hooked nose like the beak of a vulture and wore a gold ring clipped into one of his nostrils. He carried a pistol with a silver-mounted stock with which he menaced Abdullah, and there was a bloodstone in his turban which seemed to give him more than human power. Abdullah was so frightened that he ran away into the desert, where he was found by the man he called his father now. The daydream took no account of the fact that Abduffah's father had never ventured into the desert in his life; indeed, he had often said that anyone who ventured beyond Zanzib must be mad. Nevertheless, Abdullah could

Castle in the Air. Copyright © by Diana Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2010

    Up to Par

    Many of the other reviewers seem to have discovered Diana Wynne Jones only after watching the animated version of Howl's Moving Castle, prompting complaints about this being insufficient sequel material.

    Well, if you are a fan of her work, you should know that her sequels are not the sequels of other authors- they fall into the same universe, and cameos of previous characters appear, but it's hardly a chronological storyline. Each new book focuses on new main characters with elements of the old. Consider it as similar to the Discworld series, or Kushner's Swordspoint.

    As for the book itself, you follow along the not-quite-intrepid carpet-selling hero as he escapes death, bandits, and the sultan, and finds himself caught up in an international struggle to save all the world's princesses from an evil djinn. Meanwhile, he's obsessed with marrying his own princess, the sultan's daughter. She starts out sheltered but beautiful, but along the way both manage just enough character development that you are glad to see their happy ending, which is- again- exactly DWJ's style.

    Bonus: daydreams can be embarrassing, cats are evil but cute, and the main character develops taste.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Castle in the Air is a very unique book in and of itself, and even more so as a sequel.

    What other author would first take you through a war with wizards, witches, and a medieval setting, then whisk you away to a land of deserts and sands where cranky sultans and magic carpets are the norm? And further more, what other author could get away with it?

    This book is certainly unique. You must approach it with an open mind because if you are looking for a direct sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, then you may be disappointed. While they do tie into each other, it is not until much later in the novel and very little.

    As s reader I do not enjoy Jone's particular writing style, however I do appreciate it for it's difference and the creativity with which she crafts her plots and stories. Her books are very much event stories. If you enjoy reading a book purely for the events and adventures that take place, you will thoroughly enjoy this! If, however, you are like me and like lots of character development, you may be unhappy.

    Overall this book is very entertaining, humorous, and completely unbelievable in the most whimsical and enjoyable way!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Love this author

    I've just started reading this book, and I already love it. I recently finished Howl's Moving Castle and loved that book, too. I noticed a lot of people didn't like this book because it doesn't continue the story of the first book. I think these people need to read The Chronicles of Narnia-ALL of them. They aren't all the same story in the same order, yet they all come together quite perfectly in the end. I love Diana Wynne Jones's style of writing and the way she describes scenes and people. I have a hard time putting it down!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2006

    Utterly Disappointing

    To be honest I trully believed that this book was dull and was hardly a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle. How these two books can co-exist seems highly unlikely. The first book was marvelous and full of great characters with believable drama and spirit. In this sequel, I was left wondering why it was published as a sequel and not an entirely seperate book. Since it was a sequel it failed to meet the standards placed so high by Howl's Moving Castle yet, as a book on its own it would not be rated so low by me, for in truth it was an interesting story (just not as a sequel).

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2006

    This is ALMOST as good as the first!

    It was fantastic! I love they ending, it is very suprising. I read it in TWO DAYS!! I wonder what will happen next? I really want a third book to add! Go Diana Wynne Jones!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    One of the best from the best. A true work a fantasy woven with

    One of the best from the best.
    A true work a fantasy woven with plots and morals, and spun together to create the ultimate book for fantasy lovers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not as Good...

    While Castle in the Air is a good book I can't help but feel that Howl's Moving Castle is the best of the three novels. I only wish she would write a sequel focused only on Sophie and Howl.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2006

    shouldn't even be considered a sequel

    ok so i loved Howl's Moving Castle, but Castle in the Air should not even be considered a sequel.....it nowhere near earns the right to be called so .... i mean come on, if it was going to be a sequel the main characters would be main characters again.....not supporting characters......this book was an utter disappointment for Howl lovers.......it was a good story though thats why i gave it 3 instead of 2 stars......but i was expecting a sequel where it started where HMC left off not a whole new story......but i would have to say if you wanted to find out what happened go ahead and read the book 'cause it is a good story....just not sequel material

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2004

    A breathtaking sequel!!!

    I do admit that I partially picked up the novel because it was the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle,but all the same it was an amazing novel that could have held up on its own! I love the fact that I can relate to Abdullah on so many levels because he's a big daydreamer which gets him in so much trouble.At first I couldn't see how it was the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle,but towards the end it all came together.Diana Wynne Jones wrote an amazing,witty novel which deserves far more stars than I'm allowed to put!!! For anyone who's looking for a novel with humor,a flying carpet,& humor;you can't do any better than Castle in the air unless of course you prefer Howl's Moving Castle!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2000

    A 7th graders own thoughts

    I thought that this book, was a great, and adventurous story. If you like fantasy, you will absolutely love this book. It wisks you away to a land of magic carpets, genies, and princesses. It is a love story too, what with Abdullah searching for lost love, Flower In the Night. So, I would absolutely recommend this book, for any child or adult who is willing to read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Seems boring

    I read the first chapter and became bored.
    Major dissapontment compared to howls moving castle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Awesome

    Obviously some of you haven't read narnia because some of the books are totally different but come together in the end. Anyway Diana Wynne Jones is a great author and this novel definitely shows her skill.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    Howl

    In the movie they made howle look so good looking! He is awsome! Have u ever herd of the comic books for howls moving castle?

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    The first book in this series Howl's Moving Castle is much bette

    The first book in this series Howl's Moving Castle is much better, but I still enjoyed the read. It is Harry Potter meets Aladdin, meets the Arabian nights, and a nasty witch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    unicorns are awsome

    Who thought diana wynne jones would put magic in this book?
    { sarcastic face}

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Kinjong

    K

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Help

    I LOVE howl and sophie in all of thier books... but ive read all of them and i dont know what to read now. I aslo loved harry potter and the inheritance cycle. If any one has any good sugestions for me just put #hattie and the name of the book. Thankyou sooooo much #hattie :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Starts slow but becomes awesome as it goes on

    I loved revisiting all the inhabitants of ingary from howl's moving castle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Aladdin

    Reminds me of Aladdin with more characters. Very entertaining read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Over the top, OUTSTANDING!

    This book is by all means, THE best book written EVER! I love this book sooooooooo much! I've at leastread the book only like 100 times!

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