Tuesday, February 21, 2012

House of Many Ways

The rain came down and we took refuge in the library, and although I knew I shouldn't, as I always lose books or the dog eats them, or the kids get goo on them or tear the covers off, I saw a Diana Wynne Jones I hadn't read, and pounced.
House of Many Ways is about a young girl house-sitting a Magicians Magical house and searching for a secret to save her kingdom, as well as finding herself gainful employment as the Kings Library Assistant - among many, many other things - including evil lubbocks disguised as normal people, deceitful princes and wonderful witches. 
House of Many Ways claimed to be the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, which I love, although I was curious as I had always thought that Castles in the Air (another LOVE) was the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle
And... House of Many Ways was inventive and playful and fantastical, with a lovely library-assistant as the main character (always something to make my librarian heart sing) but... the hype was too big. It didn't quite live up to my shiver-happy expectations of a book with Howl and Sophie in it. 
For one thing, Howl and Sophie were minor characters at the very end (although I did enjoy Howl's appearance) and for another it seemed to lack the - I think I'm looking for exuberance of the two first books. 
Howl's Moving Castle and Castles in the Air I found to be enjoyable, fantastical romps. This one seemed heavier. Less rompish and more like hard work - interesting hard work. But without the same light touch. 
But maybe I just read it on a bad day. Maybe I let my expectations spoil me for it's true worth (and there were some wonderful scenes and characters)? 

Have you ever had author let down - the first books in a series are great - the last... not as great? 
Do you give them a second read - a second chance to love them on their own merits? 


  1. Agree re howll and castles. Tho Ouse of many ways nice title

  2. Excellent web site you have got here.. It's difficult to find good quality writing like
    yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you!

    Take care!!

    Also visit my blog - dish network bexar ar