The thing I think I appreciate most about the book and its first sequel (haven't read the second) is that we aren't smothered by romantic nonsense. The fact that the characters don't display their feelings and relationships on their sleeves makes it seem much more realistic to me.
I've read this book and both of the 'sequels' (I don't think that you can call them a real sequel when the main character is not howl or sophie) just because I love the dynamic between howl and sophie and everyone around them.
Oh and btw, when Min enters this thread:MK
I believe Howl always had black hair, and only changed it different colours because he was vain.
Have you read 'Fire and Hemlock' by any chance?
I've read this book and both of the 'sequels'
I had the same thing, although I partly hunted it down because I was told that book-Howl was better than movie-Howl. :P So yes - I love Howl. I know he's flawed, and if he was real he would probably annoy the hell out of me, but as a character, I really like him! I agree with those of you who've said that part of his appeal is that he's a more realistic hero than most. His flaws are integral to his character.
I'm much like Arwen in my finding of HMC - loved the movie, found out on Obernet that it was a book, and finally hunted a copy down, intrigued in finding out if there were bits the Ghibli people missed out - hmm, perhaps a bit of an understatement, in hindsight... :PMin