Many may be familiar with the work of author Diana Wynne Jones via Howl’s Moving Castle, the epic fantasy which was famously adapted by Studio Ghibli in the 2004 Oscar-nominated movie, breaking pretty much all Japanese movie records in the process.
What some may not know is that readers can revisit the world of Howl and even check in on Lettie Hatter (now Lettie Suliman) in Jones’s 1990 sequel Castle In The Air and then again in 2008’s House of Many Ways.
The second book in the series, Castle In The Air is loosely based on the stories from the Arabian Nights and follows Abdullah, a carpet seller who is prophesied to become a great man. However, it all seems like hot air until a temperamental magic carpet causes him to cross paths with a beautiful princess called Flower-in-the-Night. When his true love is whisked away by a powerful djinn, suspicion falls on Abdullah and his quiet life is unceremoniously upended.
Now you can truly experience Jones’s imaginative world with the Folio Society’s edition of Castle In The Air featuring artwork by French illustrator Marie-Alice Harel (who created the artwork for Folio Society’s Howl’s Moving Castle).
Check out a few examples of Harel’s work from the book below…
Taking the Folio Society edition of this book out of its simple slip immediately transports you into the starry midnight sky of the book cover’s wraparound bind design, complete with the impossible magical castle floating in the air and Abdullah himself with his cheeky magical carpet. Inside, Jones’ Arabian Nights inspiration can be seen in the book’s design, full of black-and-white Islamic geometric patterns and each chapter title is adorned with traditional black-and-white domes alongside an illustration to give an early insight into the chapter that awaits you.
The book includes six full-colour illustrations by Harel (two of which you can see above), depicting Jones’ beautifully imaginative world and compelling characters who you can’t help but want to spend time with.
Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones and illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel is available exclusively from The Folio Society priced at £39.95.