Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Castle in the Air

Castle in the Air

Diana Wynne Jones
For ages 12 and up
HarperCollins, 2008   ISBN: 0061478776

Abdullah has a very ordinary life. He is a rug merchant, and he often dreams away his days, imagining himself having all kinds of wonderful adventures. He never expects that adventures will actually come into his life – but they do.

One day a very unpleasant man comes to Abdullah’s booth in the Bazaar and he sells Abdullah a magic carpet. That very night the carpet whisks the sleeping Abdullah away to a lovely garden. When he wakes up, Abdullah meets a beautiful young woman, a princess who is called Flower-in-the-night. It is not long before Abdullah has quite fallen in love with the princess. Unfortunately, Abdullah barely has a chance to get to know her before the princess is kidnapped by an evil djinn.

Though Abdullah has had a very quiet life, he quickly sets off to rescue the princess. To help him he has the magic carpet and a genie in a bottle. The genie can grant one wish every day, but he has a nasty habit of making the wishes backfire. Nothing Abdullah tries to do works out the way he expected. As he tries to find and rescue his princess, Abdullah ends up getting into numerous unfortunate and potentially deadly situations.

This companion to Howl’s Moving Castle is sure to delight readers who enjoy a good yarn that is packed full of adventure, magic, colorful characters, and delightful surprises. Generously sprinkled with humor, this story is thoroughly enjoyable and it will delight readers who have liked Diana Wynne Jones’ other books.