I swear this is my last post of the day.
I just finished House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. I've been meaning to get a copy for weeks and finally did. It's a fun and often funny sequel to Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, although I do admit that of the three, I think this one's the least good. Still marvelously entertaining, of course, but not as dense and layered as the others. It's also not as long--it looks long on the shelf, it being a thick hardback, but the print is big, the margins are huge, and there's lots of space between lines. It's not a long book.
Charmain Baker is the main character of House of Many Ways. She's been brought up to be proper, although she doesn't much care for being proper. She just likes to read. And it turns out, when she's told she must take care of her great-uncle's house while he's away, she doesn't know how to do anything much except read. She doesn't know the first thing about taking care of the house, particularly this house, which is magical. Then her great-uncle's new apprentice shows up unexpectedly.
I won't tell any more of the plot because even saying what Charmain does after that would be a spoiler. Suffice to say that Jones is much more inventive than most other writers.