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- Howl's Moving Castle - Benedictus by kittu - This is the first HMC fic that I read, I don't even remember how I stumbled over the link for it anymore. But it's a lovely post-book story about Howl, Sophie, and that special relationship of theirs. Admittedly, I suspect I would have liked this story simply for Howl taking the chance to look up Sophie's skirt when the opportunity presented and it actually was something I quite believed Howl would do... which is what I liked about this fic. There was that lovely balance between bickering and genuine care/love that strikes me as being potentially very difficult to achieve with these characters. It's also that Howl, in his own way, is really rather smart and insightful... realizing that Sophie is still trying to adjust to the world she's suddenly found herself a part of... while still being so very Howl in his reactions. This was a lovely little fic to start my foray into the fandom, I think. (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Seventh son by Eildon Rhymer - I ganked the link for this fic from Aishuu and, oh, I'm so glad to be reading HMC fic, especially a story that manages to recapture the style and tone of the original book without feeling like it's trying too hard or pretentious. The characters are just marvelous, the narration of the author's original is so smooth that he could have fit right into the original world itself, complete with details that are so pitch-perfect I might not have known it was an OC if I hadn't known. know what I mean by that. Then there's Howl's characterization that's absolutely beautiful, especially drunk and how he complains about Sophie and is just utterly Howl in his attempts to slither out of everything, how much he clearly cares a great deal about Sophie, but gives off the impression that he dislikes her greatly. The dialogue absolutely sparkles, the little details are utterly fabulous and make the storytelling somehow so very rich, and everything comes together beautifully for this story. (Some Howl/Sophie, but it's not really the point.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Wicked Lady by Eildon Rhymer - Much of what I said about the previous fic by this author stands true for this one as well. The original character is engaging, fitting into the world so smoothly that you'd never even know she wasn't a part of it if you didn't know ahead of time. (I still swear that makes sense in my head.) The little details, the background story for the OC, the dialogue, the way the author takes fairytales and weaves them cleverly--often with just a hint of irony that's so like the original book--is beautifully done. I love the way the entire story unfolds, the way Phyllis (the OC) tries to be good and then tries to be wicked and the way she's affected by Howl and Sophie breezing through her life, even without them aware they've wreaked anything in her life, and it's just... every word of this is terribly, terribly clever, so easy to read. I really couldn't put it down and had to fight not to read faster because I was enjoying it so much. I also cannot wait for the third story in the series, there's just such fun potential here. (Mentions of Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Ingary Girls by Kristin O. - Kristin O. and HMC fic? I was practically itching to start typing up the rec even before I actually started the fic in the first place. And, yes, I definitely had to rec the fic because her writing is as lovely as always and it's such a rich, vivid fic without overwhelming the reader, somehow so perfectly capturing the feel of the original book in the little twists and turns of phrase. Also, the concept is lovely and the ending is wonderful. XD (A little Howl/Sophie, but it's not really the point very much.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - The Theory's the Thing by Hikaru - I really liked this HMC fic, where Howl gets a notion into his head and sets about being sort of more than a little retarded about trying to figure out if he and Sophie are "friends", because supposedly the best marraiges are when you're with your "best friend". It's lovely characterization and Howl approaches the idea much like a science experiment in that loopy, whimsical sort of way he as, and the writing matches the lovely characterization and it's all just such a fun little piece that makes me crave still yet more fic. XD (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Once Upon A Time... by Hikaru - And this one was terribly cute and had the same lovely writing and characterization, especially with that sense of... whismy without being over the top that Howl has. Also, Howl's casual ego = ♥ ♥ ♥ The middle part of the fic, when you realize just who Howl's talking to is also quite wonderful and I enjoyed this fic a lot. :D (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Dark Lord by Eildon Rhymer - As the author's notes state, this is the third in her trilogy of HMC fics, but you don't really need to have read the first two to read this one. (I do think it helps to understand how the characters got to be where they are, but it's certainly not necessary.) In a way, I'm sad to see these stories ending, because they contain a marvelous (yet gentle) mocking of cliches much like DWJ's style, while at the same time, this feels like the perfect conclusion to everything. The OC in this fic, a man trying to be a Dark Lord and everything about it is so... Establishment and it's absolutely charming and made me smile the entire way through it. So many brilliant little details, so many times the author turned the little cliches on their heads or just completely broke them, that it was really rather fantastic. Also, I totally squeed at Howl and Sophie in this fic, I love seeing them through different people's perspectives and yet having them be so utterly themselves. Fantastic. ♥ (Some Howl/Sophie, but it's not the point.)

- Chrestomanci/Howl's Moving Castle - Fallen Star by Roseveare - Now this link I did pick up from Aishuu, but I had to recommend it because. Well. Howl! Chrestomanci! I've been dying for a crossover for ages! This was a nicely written piece when Chrestomanci comes to investigate a missing fallen star ("A missing star? How careless a thing to lose!") and it has that delightful charm that I so like about the two series. They blend together well, the author has several clever little lines here, and I enjoyed seeing the way the two characters played off each other. I quite liked this. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Scalloped Sleeves by mellish - This story is listed in the anime/manga section, but it actually seems more based on the book than the movie. Whichever way, though, it's a lovely fic set from Sophie's point of view, while she's slowly starting to realize her feelings for Howl while still an old woman. The language and pacing used in the fic are a very nice match for DWJ's, it felt very much like Sophie and the HMC world while I was reading the fic, the way it could have slid into canon nicely. It's not a precise match for DWJ's style, but the feel of the atmosphere and the way Sophie's thoughts are written lets me picture it in the same way. The ending is especially appropriate for these characters and I quite enjoyed the whole piece. (Implied Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle/Chrestomanci - A Tale of Two Wizards by Eildon Rhymer - [ part 01 - part 02 - part 03 - part 04 - part 05 - part 06 ] - It seems like I've been meaning to read this fic for ages and I'm not sure why I never got around to it until now. It's not as though the six parts are very long, I read through each one pretty quickly rather than feeling like I was dragging my feet along through a slowly plodding fic. I guess I'm just sort of lazy about this sort of thing. But yes. This was a very fun crossover, the author wove together all the necessary threads very well--Chrestomanci and Howl are both such larger than life characters in their own respects, both have similar traits in some ways, but are completely opposite in others. The way the author had them playing off/against each other, highlighting each of their personalities was very well done. The little nods to fairy tales and children's books, not quite meta/breaking the fourth wall content, but still very aware of them was also brilliantly worked into the story. It wasn't just a random shoving these two characters together, there was a point to the crossover.

The author also does well with DWJ's world, her style is a bit similar to the original books, so it was easy to imagine the characters the way I imagined them reading the books. The dialogue is especially sharp, both for revealing bits of insight yet again and for just being clever in and of itself. Howl and Chrestomanci alternately not quite getting along and working together was lovely, it seems like just exactly the way they would react to each other. The background details were wonderfully done, the scene was set very well, and even the resolution (and the way the plot unfolded!) were all so very well-told. I mean. I still want more Chrestomanci/Howl crossovers (and you have no idea what I'd give for a Chrestomanci/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005 crossover), but this certainly helped scratch that itch quite a lot. I wish for more like it, plz. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Five Things Howl Should Have Said to Sophie by mklutz - Oh, my god. I only had to read one of these to want to clap my hands together and sparkle so hard I'd take someone's eye out. I mean, I restrained myself and all. But the temptation was there. Her take on Howl and Sophie isn't just fun, it's clever and sharp and sparkly and all the things it should be. I was practically laughing out loud by the first tone. It's just. Just. So Howl. And, oh, what I wouldn't do to chain her to her keyboard and make her write more HMC fic. ♥ (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - one dress howl did not buy and another he did by memlu - Oh, dear lord, this is quite possibly the most perfect Howl that I have ever read. It's not just in character, it's absolutely fabulous and clever and sparkles right off the screen in that way that Howl absolutely should. Every detail is brilliant as Howl attempts to pick out a dress to buy for Sophie, every little touch of his personality is spot on and the timing/pacing of this is nothing short of brilliant. By the end, I was practically on the floor with laughter because that is exactly how Howl's mind would go. Exactly. Memlu just utterly nailed Howl's voice. (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - five excuses howl uses on a daily basis by memlu - This is a bit shorter than I usually prefer to rec, but I've been making loads of exceptions lately, so why not. But, really, it's more about how incredibly awesome memlu's HMC fic is; not just good or readable, it's flat-out brilliant. The characterization is spot-on, the excuses Howl uses every day are are brilliant as well, so outlandish and so Howl without being over the top about it. There's something tremendously talented in that girl's brain and I'm not sure if I want to steal it or make her write more and more. Because, oh, the conversation with Morgan. How fantastic. (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - five things howl never dared to buy for sophie by memlu - God help me, I'm pretty much going to rec everything memlu writes for this series because she is fabulous at it. It's one of those rare match-ups that's not just brilliant, but it seems somehow... destined. Like, there can be no greater match between author and subject. All that and there was a nod to the 10th Kingdom and I think I about strained something with the squee. Her sense of whimsical magic in the HMC universe, the way you can feel how much fun the author must have had with this, with these five things Howl didn't quite buy for Sophie and it's just... oh. Makes me want to dive right back into the HMC fandom. ♥ (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - love is you and I by silchi - Since I liked the author's work in other fandoms, I was curious to see how her HMC fic would turn out. It's not as madcap as most fics with Howl are, he's positively domestic here, but I found that I didn't mind that so much because the author's writing is absolutely lovely and she has several very pretty turns of phrase here. I really like the Sophie characterization especially, it's this sensible way about her yet still something magical and that's just how Sophie should be in a story like this. ♥ (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - untitled by Liz - There are some authors that are simply just suited to a series like HMC (not that I won't try to drag them into other things as well, mind ♥) and I absolutely delighted in reading this fic. It's a lovely piece that captures the sense of whimsy of the book, while being rather a rather deceptively simple story about a conversation between Howl and Calcifer. It's just. The pacing, the little turns of phrase, the way things aren't always specifically said, the way the the whole entire piece was set up, it reminded me very strongly of the books, but without that weird feeling of the author trying too hard. It was very natural and beautifully Howl and Calcifer and, afdljadsfljsd, Sophie. So lovely. (Some Howl/Sophie, but it's more of the implied type.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Polar Opposites by Bells of Requiem - While normally I read most fics set in the bookverse, I really quite like the anime movieverse as well, which this fic fits rather nicely with. It's an interesting look at Sophie and Howl's perspectives on each other, two companion chapters where they think about how they've come to love each other, even despite the flaws they obviously see in each other. It's more movieverse characterization than anything, but I can believe it and like it in that universe, the writing is lovely enough to really quite charm me while reading. (Howl/Sophie.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - A Lesson in Enchantments by ashirabe - Oh, now this was just darling. Howl being so very Howl, casually showing off or entertaining himself while he rambles on at Michael (whether Michael wants to hear it or not), and the little details are just utterly charming. But it's the ending, the way it's one of those perfect little moments that needed nothing more or less from this fic, that made me love it so dearly. (Howl/Sophie.)

- Chrestomanci/Howl's Moving Castle - Silvers Not as Dazzling by Giddy Geek - I'm not sure how I feel about the Chrestomanci characterization here (assuming, of course, that it was Christopher, who tends to be a bit more vague than this one, but it was never actually said) but the Howl characterization is just fantastic and the clash between him and Chrestomanci was utterly delightful. There is, of course, no way that the two of them would get along and I adored the reason for their meeting, it's such a terrifically Howl thing to have happened. The writing is lovely as well, this was such a charming little piece that I could easily see happening in both universe. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Howl's Moving Castle - Contrary to Expectation by Jain - This is a lovely collection of a handful of scenes from when Howl was younger, as seen through Megan's eyes, and they're full of little details and moments that I could easily slipping into their background. The way she's so frustrated with him at times, the way he was apparently an arrogant little snot even as a child, the way she clearly still loves him a great deal, it all comes out wonderfully in this fic. (No warnings/pairings.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Raising Morgan by growly - Well, this was quite adorable! In which strange events always seem to happen to Howl and Sophie, so why should Morgan be any different, really? What really charmed me about the fic is that Howl is so frazzled at first until some rather terrible ideas occur to him and he doesn't see anything wrong with them and... Howl might be selfish and extremely odd, but somehow he manages to still be a good person and find the right thing to do... or at least not the wrong thing. And it's adorable to see him playing with Morgan at the end and Sophie's reaction is delightful. Very cute! (Some Howl/Sophie, it's not really the point.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Once Upon a Time in Ingary by Relia - Oh, my. Now this was lovely and satisfying, which is the perfect way to cap off the last handful of HMC fics that I read this morning. The writing is utterly delightful, it's both whimsical and straight-forward, that lovely combination that is Howl and Sophie's relationship. Howl can be so difficult to understand, which Sophie is frustrated by sometimes, and yet Howl points out that she's overcomplicating the situation and one more lovely thing about the author's writing is that they're both right. The fic just sparkles and is just the right length and is utterly charming and this rec is really quite terrible for a fic I just tore through. It's a fantastic fic. (Howl/Sophie.)

Chrestomanci/Howl's Moving Castle: When it Rains, it Pours by Ella.Rose.x - I'll warn ahead of time that this fic is unfinished and may not be finished any time soon, it's been months since it was updated. And these first three chapters are mostly just set-up and building towards the larger plot that'll happen, but... I enjoyed them? They're a little rough in spots, but the author has the spirit of the characters down and the crossover aspects are delightful and I'm genuinely intrigued by the plot. I think if there had been more to this fic, it would have been a really satisfying read. As it is, I enjoyed what was here and the author shows tons of promise. (Nothing I'm going to warn for.)

Howl's Moving Castle: untitled? by flamebyrd - This was a delightful piece, where Howl and Sophie go to Wales for a bit so Howl can introduce her to his family. It goes about like you'd expect, this Sophie is utterly delightful and I still adore Megan, and I love Sophie's conversation with Howl's nephew. It's just. It's so perfect for a DWJ book! Plus, the idea of Howl taking Sophie to Wales properly is just delightful as well. ♥ (Howl/Sophie.)

Howl's Moving Castle: In which Sophie Perfects Misplacing Anger by pekori - Oh, this was a charming little piece, set somewhere in the middle of the first book, just a short conversation between Sophie and Calcifer, where Sophie, as the title suggests, misplaces her anger. I adore it because it really fits with the characters and the book, it did feel like it could have taken place so very easily in the original storyline and I really liked how much it said about Sophie without having to directly say it. ♥ (Implied Howl/Sophie.)

Howl's Moving Castle: close your eyes and trust it by reversedhymnal - There is far too little het porn in the world, much less for a pairing like Howl/Sophie, which I understand why they wouldn't get much (and I'm usually all right with that, because I love them for the snark and the charm more than anything, too), but once in awhile is very nice. Especially since the author is fantastic at keeping the snarking and charming going the entire time they're together, it never stops, even in the middle of sex. Howl is still Howl and Sophie is still Sophie and you can just feel how much they love each other, even admist Howl's crazy rituals for trying to get Sophie pregnant. a;sldkfjalskj they are so delightful together. (Howl/Sophie, NC-17.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Divertimento by yawmin - One more HMC fic for today, because this was a charming little piece with Howl, Sophie, and Morgan, where one of the best things about Howl is how much he loves his family yet is still very much himself and still very taken with himself and his own cleverness. There really is so much love in that family and this fic just. It's warm and sweet without being cloying, because it still has that snark that always comes with these two. <3 (Howl/Sophie.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Of Demons and Wizards by fowl68 - This is another fic Aishuu recommended to me and, oh, she knows my tastes so well sometimes. ♥ One of the best things about being in a fandom like HMC is that there's the wonderful books and then there's also the wonderful Miyazaki movie (which this fic is based on, but it could almost as easily be read for the books) and you get the best of both worlds. This is a background fic for Howl and it fits so well with the kind of world that DWJ builds for her stories, the narrative captured the spirit of her style as well, and it was just so easy to imagine all of this. It's a fascinating take on Howl as a child and showing how he came to be the person he was at the start of the movie. The relationship with Calcifer, the beginnings of the witch of the waste, the hints of Sophie's role in the story, even the Wizard Sulliman were all wonderfully done and this was a charming story to read. (No warnings/pairings.)

Howl's Moviing Castle: Starfire by fowl68 - Well, as long as I was reading HMC fic, I had to click onto the other story the author had written. This piece is more reflective, it's a character study on Howl and all the magic that's wrapped up in him and how human he is in some ways and how he isn't in other ways, all done from Sophie's point of view. I like that it has a sort of whimsical feel to the world around Sophie, even as she's very practical, that the story doesn't really try to nail anything down and I think that's the secret to writing a good Howl--you can understand some things, but other things you can't, and this fic walks that line nicely. (Some Howl/Sophie, but it's not really the point.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Cave Canem by icefalcon - Granted, I haven't read House of Many Ways yet, but, as long as you know the basic summary/premise of the book, I would think you'd be fine. It's set post-book and it features Charmain as the narrative/central character, so it would help to read it first, but, enh. Sometimes I just want fic right away. And the author does a lovely job of capturing that blend of sensible and whimsical that's so suited to Jones' books and the author has made Charmain such a fun character to read here. Not to mention, any story with this line: 'There was flaming dung,' Sophie said flatly. 'Piles of it.' pretty much has to be worth a read. (No real warnings/pairings.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Five Domestic Moments by LaFemmeDarla - I have a strong weakness towards stories that are five scenes strung together with a common theme, especially when it's about domestic moments in the lives of characters such as these. Five moments of Sophie and Howl's life (sometimes post-House of Many Ways, so there's some spoilers) and Morgan and the way magic is woven through all of their lives. I like that it's not really about the magic so much as it is about Howl and Sophie as parents and the way they interact with Morgan--sometimes I think I could FOREVER read Howl's point of view on Morgan, as this author does a fantastic job of it. (Some Howl/Sophie, but it's only half the point.)

Howl's Moving Castle: Playing with Fire by spicy_diamond - Two things really charmed me with this fic. First, putting Morgan into the movie universe was adorable and something I'd definitely like to see for those versions of the characters, too. Second, Calcifer and Morgan interaction? Oh, man, that was so cute and such a great scene that there's not enough of in the fandom. Not that I don't enjoy reading about the other characters, but sometimes it's nice to focus on different relationships, too, and the author did a lovely job with these two. (No real warnings/pairings aside from background canon.)

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