House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways

Book - 2008/06/01
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When Charmain is asked to housesit for Great Uncle William, the Royal Wizard of Norland, she is ecstatic to get away from her parents, but finds that his house is much more than it seems.
Publisher: New York : Greenwillow Books, 2008/06/01
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780061477959
0061477958
Branch Call Number: J FICTION JONES
Characteristics: 404 p. ; 22 cm

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JCLSamS May 02, 2017

Perhaps not Jones' best work - the story is a bit meandering - but still an enjoyable and enchanting read.

FindingJane Jul 09, 2016

Magic in novels can be handled very differently from one author to the next. Ms. Jones chooses to take a brisk, matter-of-fact tone about it. Magic here isn’t treated as a sign of privilege but either as an embarrassment or useful skill (like picking your nose in public or being able to wash dishes properly, respectively). It can be wonderful to have but there’s little of wonderment about it. You can use it to locate missing gold or transform trash into the semblance of gold. It can change water temperature, seal leaks, provide food or transform troublesome enemies into bite-sized morsels. It’s all up to the individual user. It can also be a right nuisance, as when an enchanted house that’s bigger on the inside needs detailed instructions to travel from one room to the next.

Because of that, we are left to focus on the characters of this novel, including a girl who just wants to be left alone to read and a kingdom in crisis because the treasury is nearly empty. (When royalty has to resort to selling off the family portraits to raise funds, you know they’re in deep trouble.)

Charmain Baker is one of those characters that make you work to like her because she’s initially lazy, self-centered, impatient, judgmental and hot tempered. But she strives to overcome her faults and in the end you cheer for her when she proves to be a truly proper heroine, caring, hardworking and determined to save those who matter to her. She also adores books and would like nothing better than to be allowed to sit down and read them—a girl after my own heart.

For those wanting a change of pace in their fantasy books, “House of Many Ways” is a satisfying departure from mainstream provisions.

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wandalynn
Jun 25, 2016

Every bit as enchanting as the first two books in the Howl's Moving Castle series. You don't have to read them first to follow the plot in this one but then you'd miss the fun of knowing some of the supporting characters' own stories.

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Love_Legolas_111
May 27, 2015

So, before, I had a review here saying that I really hated the main character and this book was rather slow so I gave up on reading it. Well, because I absolutely love other books by Dianna Wynne Jones (*cough* HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE *cough*)...I decided to give this book another shot.
And hey! I actually really enjoyed it! A lot more than I thought I'd enjoy it...
Sure, sure, it's nothing compared to Howl's Moving Castle, but then, what other DWJ book IS comparable to Howl's Moving Castle? I took the book at face-value and loved it!
There were so many things that were unique about the characters and the story and the plot (plus the surprises at the end). Oh, and about Charmain: before I said I really hated her, but now...I'm more sympathetic. She was a little annoying/mean at times (particularly to Peter), but, to be honest, if I were in her situation, I probably would have acted the exact same way. So, you can't really fault her or Jones, because Charmain is nothing but REALISTIC. I suppose that's what readers want in a main character, even if the realistic side often reminds us too much of our own likelihood to be kind of...despicable every now and then.
Plus, all the Howl's Moving Castle references!!! Those were definitely my favorite parts of the book!!!! It was so hilarious when Sophie and Calcifer and Howl were introduced in the book because, if you've read Howl's Moving Castle, it's EXACTLY what you'd expect it would be like if Howl and Sophie were a married couple! I loved their scenes and how even though they love each other, they obviously annoy each other a lot too. ;D
Well, this all goes to say that I really did enjoy this title. As julia_sedai says below, DWJ fans should read it because her work is freaking fantastic. So give this a shot, even if you don't like it at first. You might change your mind about it like I did.

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julia_sedai
Oct 21, 2013

I agree with what someone has said below in that I really disliked the main character, Charmaine. She was quite selfish. One of the only reasons I liked this book was because it's a continuation of Sophie and Howl from Howl's Moving Castle (after Castle in the Sky, as well). However, I would still recommend it to HMC fans. Diana Wynne Jones is a good writer and you can enjoy these books at any age.

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strathconauser
Sep 15, 2013

A very interesting book because of the very interesting house. A good read.

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waterberry5566
Dec 08, 2012

Yawn! This is a really boring read in my opinion. The plot wasn't intresting and had about no action.I guess I think this way because the book was generated from the multiplying laundry, therefore unapeeling to adventure lovers, like myself. If your not, though, then it may interest you? I'm not sure! The other 2 books were better, expecially Castle in the Air(though I couldn't finish it):(

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origamicrane1000
Jun 17, 2012

The reason why I like this book is because of its originality. Most books like these usually end up with a character's emotionally dramatic conflict, most commonly a romance, but this book is like a funny fairy tale.

Read it if you've read Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air! And yes, Sophie, Howl, and some other familiar characters are in this book. :D

m
mnashy
Dec 10, 2011

Great book, especially if you read a lot of those mystery books and need something else. I loved this one

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LazyNeko
Sep 04, 2011

Better than "Castle in the Air". Like "Castle in the Air", Sophie, Calcifer, and Howl are minor supporting characters but this time, only Howl is in disguise. The main character is not very likable, but her dog is cute and the plot elements hang together better than the other "sequel". Neither book is anywhere as good as "Howl's Moving Castle".

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Love_Legolas_111
May 27, 2015

Love_Legolas_111 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Love_Legolas_111
May 27, 2015

Coarse Language: One "D**nation!" Sophie is mentioned saying a bad word.

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LazyNeko
Sep 04, 2011

In the study, The Boke of Palimpsest was, for some reason, now open at "A Spell to Find Yourself a Handsome Prince." Charmain shook her head and closed the book. "Who needs a prince?" she said. She opened the book again, carefully at a different place. "This page was headed "A Spell for Flying." "Oh yes!" Charmain said. "That's much more like it!"

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