By Diana Wynne Jones
Castle in the Air follows Abdullah, a young carpet merchant, in his attempt to rescue the girl of his dreams, Flower-in-the-Night. Abdullah must deal with good and bad Djinn, a magic carpet, a grouchy thief/soldier, and two cats.
I picked this book up because it is dubbed the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am not really sure that sequel is a fair name because it doesn't really feature any of the characters from the Howl's; Howl and Sophie eventually show up, but it's not until the last third of the book or so. Also, the story takes place somewhere in the middle east as opposed to England, so while it's technically in the same world, it doesn't feel like it.
While I enjoyed the story overall, I had a really hard time getting into it. I found Abdullah kind of annoying, and I didn't really care for his adventure much. I guess I had gone into it expecting something and got something else instead.
By the end of the story (once Howl and crew showed up), I could see how the stories are similar and have some of the same elements of fantasy and fun. I loved that the good genie enjoyed being bad so much; I was pleased that the Wizard Suliman and Lettie were married; and I was happy that Howl and Sophie still fight all the time :).
Overall, the book was mostly just ok. If you enjoyed Howl's Moving Castle you might enjoy this one with the understanding that the characters in the first play a minor role (until the very end) in the second. People that like stories like Aladdin, etc will probably also like this story.