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[[ Download Epub ]] ⚣ Castle in the Air õ In which a humble young carpet merchant wins, then loses, the princess of his dreamsFar to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, there lived in the city of Zanzib a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer named Abdullah who loved to spend his time daydreaming He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a magic carpetThat very night, the carpet flew him to an enchanted garden There, he met and fell in love with the beauteous princess FlowerintheNight, only to have her snatched away, right under his very nose, by a wicked djinn With only his magic carpet and his wits to help him, Abdullah sets off to rescue his princess Castle in the Air is the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle That being said I picked this up with trepidation because I was rather disappointed the book wasn’t going to be from the main characters in the first, nor would it have a direct focus on it But they do occur later on.That being said, I loved this book! I loved how she managed to turn this into another one of her witty, lighthearted, but not lacking in depth, fantasy tales It was unique, original, and if I hadn’t read spoilers beforehand I would have been quite shocked at the twist at the end It was quite ingenious how she managed to trick us throughout the whole book Her descriptions and writing were fabulous as always, and she never manages to fall into the cliché Definitely a wonderful book Even if the summary doesn’t sound as engaging as the first novel, give it a chance because it’s an excellent read that willthan satisfy you at the end. Another very readable book from DWJ, and one I've just finished reading to my daughter, Celyn Refreshingly independent princesses being semisaved by our devoted hero, a carpet salesman from the desert city of Zanzib He's not hero material, and never resorts to violence, but he's a good fellow and carries the story well.We get all the standard Aladdinesque trappings, a magic carpet, a genie in a bottle, evil djinns, bandits, sultans, camels and for a while you think you know roughly where it's all heading Then things veer northwards and we find ourselves treading old ground Greener ground Zeroing in on territory thoroughly trodden in book 1 You'll find yourself anticipating the reappearance of the Wizard Howl and Sophie.The ending was where things fell apart a little for me, and perhaps for Celyn judging by the somewhat bemused silence she greeted it with (she's nonverbal but normally makes her views known) In a frantic rush everything seems to turn into everything else like the Scooby Doo maskpulling finale on speed.Anyhow, it was good at the end to finally catch up with Sophie and Howl We're moving onto the third book of the trilogy next looking forward to it Join my 3emailsayear newsletter #prizes Castle in the Air is Diana Wynne Jones' sequel to her amazingly awesome novel Howl's Moving Castle It was originally published in 1990 (four years after Howl's Moving Castle) At first glance, this novel doesn't sound like a sequelit soundslike a companion book at bestbut I promise it does explainabout Howl and Sophie, just not right away and not, perhaps, in the most obvious way.That said, this story is set in the Sultanates of Rashpuht a land far to the south of Ingary (where Howl and Sophie make their home) Instead of a land akin to King Arthur and Merlin, Rashpuht is muchlikely to harbor Aladdin and other desertdwellers This change in setting, along with a new protagonist, make for the most dramatic differences between Castle in the Air and its predecessor.Abdullah works as a carpet merchant in the city of Zanzib Abdullah's stall may not be as prosperous as his father's first wife's relatives would like, but Abdullah can't stand most of them so he doesn't worry too much What really bothers Abdullah is the fact that he's selling carpets at all Abdullah is convinced there isto life and spends a good deal of his time daydreaming about what his life could be like if, say, he were a prince who had escaped bandits and disguised himself as a carpet merchant before he found his true love.All in all, the young man doesn't give his daydreams much thought until he is sold a mysterious carpet With the carpet, Abdullah finds that all of his dreams seem to be coming true with alarming accuracy Whisked to a magical garden, Abdullah meets and falls in love with the beautiful and intelligent FlowerintheNight only to have her abducted by an evil djinn So begins Abdullah's adventure as he and his carpet set off to rescue his true love.This being a novel by Diana Wynne Jones, the plot is filled with charming twists and enjoyable characters throughout The other great thing about this novel is how much Jones fleshes out the world she introduced in Howl's Moving Castle As the novel progresses, readers learnabout the relations between Ingary, Rashpuht, and Strangia (a land that becomes important later, trust me) At the same time, Jones also creates a completely new set of customs and even a new diction for her Rashpuhtian characters which gives the novel an impressive depth.I don't know if this was the intended effect but, even though both novels are written in English, this change in diction also creates the effect that the characters here speak a different language and that, on some level, their customs would be very foreign to those found in Ingary One of Jones' best inventions is that buyers and sellers in Zanzib always speak to each other in the most formal and flowery way This habit creates a lot of conversations that function on a variety of levels much in the same way body language can add to an exchange For example: It is possible that my low and squalid establishment might provide that which you seek, O pearl of wanderers, he said, and cast his eye critically over the stranger's dirty desert robe, the corroded stud in the side of the man's nose, and his tattered headcloth as he said it It is worse than squalid, mighty seller of floor coverings, the stranger agreed.Exchanges like this appear throughout the novel and make it really enjoyable to read At the same time this type of double talk suggests that Abdullah is a shrewder narrator than Sophie might have been at the start of the novel Abdullah doesn't always know exactly what's going on during the novel, but he always tries to make sure he comes out on top (or at least not on a forty foot pole).On its own, Castle in the Air is a lot of fun as far as fantasies go Read in combination with Howl's Moving Castle and House of Many Ways (Jones' latest novel featuring Howl and Sophie due out in June 2008) this book is excellent.You can find this review andon my blog Miss Print In this sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, the wizard Howl gets mixed up with djinni, genies (in this story they're two different species) and some Arabian Nightstype characters (from the sanitized version I read as a child) Abdullah, a humble young carpet merchant with big (day)dreams, is sold a magic carpet by a suspiciouslooking stranger, which leads him to a beautiful princess named FlowerintheNight, a genie in a bottle, and other adventures Abdullah is forced to leave behind his daydreams and take action when a djinn kidnaps Flower and takes her to his castle in the air to be one of his many wives Eventually Abdullah's and Flower's story twines together with some of the main characters from Howl's Moving Castle.Abdullah's ability to use flowery language to good effect is told with affectionate humor:O elegant tapestry of enchantment, Abdullah said, O carpet composed of most complex cantrips, I pray you to move at a sedate speed toward Kingsbury, but to exercise the great wisdom woven in your fabric to make sure that we are not seen by anyone on the way.Obediently the carpet climbed through the mist A hoarse and trembling voice said from the bottle, Do you have to flatter it so disgustingly?This carpet, said Abdullah, unlike you, is of an ensorcellment so pure and excellent that it will listen only to the finest of language It is at heart a poet among carpets.A certain smugness spread through the pile of the carpet It held its tattered edges proudly straight and sailed sweetly forward into the golden sunlight above the mist.This was a fun, delightful Aladdin type of story, great for middle grade/YA ages and anyone who enjoys children's lit The plot is a little smoother and easier to follow than Howl's Moving Castle, but perhaps also a little less engaging and complex If you've read that book, the ending of this one will beenjoyable and makesense, but I think it could still be enjoyed without having read Howl first.