This is book number 3 in the World of Howl series.
Even though it’s labeled as the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle, Howl, Sophie, and Calcifer are only supporting characters. As much as I would have loved a direct continuation of their story I almost preferred this style of presentation better; this way the reader can fill in for themselves what they think Howl and Sophie are doing in their everyday lives. House of Many Ways is so much fun itself that it would work well as a standalone too. With a library full of hidden answers, a house that can lead almost anywhere (including the past), an evil Lubbock, a bit of magic, and a mysterious “Elfgift,” Jones offers up a grand adventure, great for all ages! — Misha D'Andrea
“Can a teenage girl who does nothing much besides read books survive in a wizard's house, surrounded by strange and fearsome happenings? Yes, with a little help from a dog, a boy, a fire-demon, and a wizard disguised as a small boy! Whether or not you read Howl's Moving Castle, you are sure to be delighted by its sequel!”
— Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
In this sequel to the international bestseller Howl’s Moving Castle, bookish Charmain finds herself smack in the middle of magical court intrigues . . . and dealing with the dashing Wizard Howl.
When Charmain Baker agreed to look after her great-uncle's house, she thought she was getting blissful, parent-free time to read. She didn't realize that the house bent space and time, and she did not expect to become responsible for an extremely magical stray dog and a muddled young apprentice wizard.
Now, somehow, she's been targeted by a terrifying creature called a lubbock, too, and become central to the king's urgent search for the fabled Elfgift that will save the country. The king is so desperate to find the Elfgift, he's called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, the great Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer won't be far behind.
How did respectable Charmain end up in such a mess, and how will she get herself out of it?
All fans of classic fantasy books deserve the pleasure of reading those by Diana Wynne Jones, whose acclaim included the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. As Neil Gaiman stated, she was "quite simply the best writer for children of her generation."
The three books in the World of Howl are:
Other beloved series from Dianna Wynne Jones include the Chronicles of Chrestomanci and the Dalemark Quartet.
In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934‒2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards—and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter—her books are filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.
“Longtime fans and new readers alike will revel in Jones’s self-assured return to the realm she charted in Howl’s Moving Castle. A tale to luxuriate in.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sheer confectionary. A buoyantly entertaining read.” — The Horn Book
“A joyfully chaotic tale.” — Kirkus Reviews