In a sequel to the ebulliently inventive Howl's Moving Castle (1986), a wicked djinn (with the aid of his more benevolent brother, whom he's managed to enthrall) has captured more than a hundred princesses in the hope of wedding them all. Young Abdullah, a rug merchant enamored of one of them, discovers that his dreams and nightmares are being precipitately realized as he endeavors to rescue her. A strange merchant sold him the carpet, threadbare but magical, that first wafted him to "Flower-in-the-Night"; he is soon also equipped with a comically cranky genie that does its best to subvert Abdullah's attempts to get out of his increasingly elaborate predicaments with the use of his daily wish. The quest takes him from the deserts near his native "Zanzib" to Britain-like Ingary (see Howl) and thence to the sky-high Castle, now considerably inflated by the djinns who are keeping the princesses there. True to form, Jones provides delicious personalities even for the carpet (it's lazy but susceptible to flattery), and slips in some double identities that should surprise even fans familiar with her bottomless bag of tricks. This hasn't quite the intellectual pyrotechnics of The Lives of Christopher Chant (1988), or as many wheels within thematic wheels; it will stand alone, but is even more fun if the familiar characters (who do finally turn up) are already known. A bewitching romp, gratifying to mind, imagination, and funny bone.