house of many doors

House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways is a young adult fantasy novel written by Diana Wynne Jones. The story is set in the same world as Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air.

Plot Summary

Charmain Baker had led a respectable, sheltered life. She has spent her days with her nose in a book, never learning how to do even the smallest household chores. When she suddenly ends up looking after the tiny cottage of her ill Great Uncle William she seems happy for the adventure, but the easy task of house-sitting is complicated by the fact that Great Uncle William is also the Royal Wizard Norland and his magical house bends space and time.

Though she is supposed to clean up the mess Great Uncle William has left the house in, Charmain knows next to nothing about magic, and yet she seems to work it in the most unexpected way. The house's single door can lead to almost any place - from other rooms like the kitchen, to faraway places, and even other time periods. In her first days in the magical house, she ends up looking after a magical stray dog, a confused young apprentice wizard named Peter, a box of the King's most treasured documents, and a clan of small blue creatures called Kobolds.

When Charmain is caught up in an intense royal search to remedy the kingdom's troubles, she encounters Sophie Pendragon, her son Morgan, a noisy but beautiful child named Twinkle, and their fire demon Calcifer.

She is soon involved in curing the kingdom of its ills and restoring the long-lost Elfgift.


Charmain Baker
A thin-faced, ginger-haired girl who grew up in an ultra-strict family environment. She has the abilities of a witch, inherited from her family, but was raised thinking that magic was vulgar. Royal Wizard Norland
An old wizard who is sent away to be taken cared by the elves when he falls sickly. He allows Charmain to take care of his house, while he is away Sophie Pendragon
Formerly known as Sophie Hatter, Sophie is a lovely, powerful witch who is able to speak life into objects. She has a young son named Morgan and is married to the Wizard Howl. Wizard Howl
Known also as the Wizard Pendragon, Howl Jenkins is a flamboyant wizard who is married to Sophie. In Castle in the Air, he had two apprentices: Michael Fisher and another unnamed apprentice. He becomes the ridiculously adorable child Twinkle and claims that Sophie is his aunt. Calcifer
A fire demon that lives with Sophie and Howl. Morgan
Howl and Sophie's child, he is almost two and rather mischievous. Howl uses Morgan as an excuse to be "Dinkle" and meddle with the mystery that only Sophie was supposed to be involved in.

External links

  • Interview with Diana Wynne Jones about House of Many Ways in Publishers Weekly, 19 June 2008. Retrieved on 4 August 2008.

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