This is a wonderful, magical book in several senses of the words (although, sadly, I don't think there any actual spells contained within it). I loved Sophie, and Howl, and Calcifer, and all the other myriad characters. The anime film version of Howl's Moving Castle was already a favourite of mine, which meant that the stories and characters in the book were comfortingly familiar and at times jarringly strange, both at the same time, which made for an interesting read. In some ways I wish I had read the book first, but then perhaps I wouldn't love the film quite so much, which would be a shame. In any case, whether you've seen the film or not, I wholeheartedly recommend this book if you like magical fantasy at all.