So Howl's not wearing the enchanted suit, after all. I never really decided if he ever figured out that the other suit WAS enchanted or not. Mrs. Penstemmon sensed it, and you'd think that wearing it around Howl would as well, but she did say it was subtle, and Howl might not have even noticed it due to the way we hardly really look at the things we're too used to.
"This is twice you've let me down," Howl tells Calcifer. I'm trying to figure out what the other time was... maybe referring to Sophie's enchantment? Or, reading on and seeing it mentioned again, quite possibly he's referring to Calcifer not giving "Miss Angorian" away.
Man, I can't blame Percival for looking a bit nervous, when they're talking about how he's been taken apart and put back together like a jigsaw puzzle, with some of the wrong pieces! As casual as it's talked about here, that's downright nightmarish.
"He was no fun at all to bully." One of the more... damning phrases, concerning Sophie's personality. Again, dropped in casually.
And so we finally find out why Sophie was "in the Witch's way" and supposedly setting herself up against her. It wasn't the hats or anything, it was due to the fact that "Gaston" was thinking of Lettie and using that to keep things from the Witch, and the Witch ended up mixing up Lettie and Sophie. Poor Sophie! Not that it would have been any more fair for Lettie, either...
On the other hand, Lettie, who seems bright enough and knows Sophie really well, calls her "too kind" to see how heartless (hah) Howl is, so that's a point in her favor. I guess being (she thinks) thwarted in love really brings out the worst in her... not to mention the whole curse thing.
Howl does have a pretty awful idea of when it's appropriate to start laughing at Sophie!
"Trying to sing Calcifer's saucepan song"... actually, since it's Welsh, it'd be more Howl's than Calcifer's. :p The fire demon presumably picked it up from his human.
It does seem rather silly for Howl to go get drunk on the night when Stuff is Going To Go Down, but... oh well. I guess that's just Howl. Then again, he does say later it was because he was scared, but still... stupid!
Fanny also comes across a bit better here, instantly recognizing Sophie and crying over her, although it seems a bit of an about-face after the beginning. I mean, even if Martha wasn't wholly right, it's hard to make out that Fanny *wasn't* exploiting Sophie.
And geez Sophie, you don't even realize that there's something behind all your family suddenly showing up at once? Not exactly the most subtle ploy...
I always keep wanting to think that Sophie should know something's up with "Miss Angorian" because she doesn't even react to suddenly finding herself outside a moving castle, in a different place from where she entered, but... I guess, coming to think about it, Sophie doesn't know that "the real world" and Wales don't have actual magic, at least that anyone knows about.
Man, one can only imagine Howl's going to get a serious piece of Megan's mind, next time he sees her...
We also see a bit where Sophie gets her love of cleanliness and order. :p It's also odd to see her on the side of trying to get someone NOT to do the cleaning...
It seems rather silly of Sophie to not start out from the moving castle, with the Seven-League Boots. Oh well. And it does at least speak well of her again, that as much as she dislikes "Miss Angorian" because of jealousy, she does try to go and save her. Even without a thought-out plan.
I'm... not sure I want to know what the "emanations" are!
Ugh, more jigsaw people... *twitch* Just... ick.
It seems awfully... well, heartless (fitting) for Howl to just leave Wales undefended, trusting that he'll be angry enough to stop the Witch. If he's wrong, it's his family that pays the price! I wonder just what she WAS planning on doing with them, anyhow. Using them as hostages?
Sophie's being awfully hard on herself for someone who kept the Fire Demon busy, saved both Howl and Calcifer, etc. etc.! Sheesh.
"I've been wondering all along if you would turn out to be that lovely girl I met on May Day." Why on earth would Howl think that? I mean, it's true, but why would he think it?
I also have to wonder just what exactly broke the spell on Sophie. The death of the Fire Demon? Although her hair apparently was back to normal just before that... I don't know. Howl implies that the spell is at least partly her own, but I'm wondering why it'd drop just right then.
My main problem with the book would probably be the pacing at the end. The speed and ease with which Howl defeats the Witch (although granted I guess the Fire Demon is actually supposed to be the real "big bad," and the swiftness and neatness with which all the plot threads are wrapped up and tidied away at the end. Ah well, I still prefer this version to the movie, as cool as that was. :p
Anyhow, I may or may not post a wrap-up post for the book as a whole. I'll try to do so! If I can think of something to say...