I read this to my daughter, Celyn (10), who is too disabled to read books by herself.
I had seen some of the anime film version years ago but remembered basically nothing of it.
I found the whole thing original and refreshing. The point of view character (Sophie) is engaging and no-nonsense with a very capable can-do attitude. The story moves along at a good pace and the whole moving castle / multiple doors thing is a great idea and used well.
The Welsh connection is well-played. It expands the scope of the book world and the continuing reveals keep everything interesting.
My only complaint is that the end seemed rather tortured with so many story-lines converging in ways that felt rather unsatisfying / hard to believe. The (highlight for spoiler) Miss Angorian part, for example, seemed to come out of left-field and made very little sense to me.
If I were a touch harsher then that ending would pull this down to a 4*. But Celyn loved it. I enjoyed reading it. And I'm in a good mood. So 5*.
I can see why it's a classic, and if you have a 10 year old, point them at it!
We've now finished the trilogy and it's quality stuff for the Y end of YA!
You can go 'like' my review on Goodreads if you like!
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