Ico: Castle in the Mist

ICO: Castle in the Mist



Ico: Castle in the Mist is a novel written by the famed Japanese author, Miyuki Miyabe. It is an interpretation of the best, critically acclaim videogame of the same title.   Miyuki’s elegant style brought the main character of the game into life by presenting him with a personality.  Never will we forget Miyuki’s use of dramatic monologue throughout the novel.  

Ico: Castle in the Mist presents a story that is not necessarily original, but philosophically deep.  The plot of the novel is that once through three generations period, a boy is born with horns.  The boy must be chosen when reaching thirteen of age to be a sacrifice. We look into the heart of the boy and what he thinks of the rituals.  The Toksa village’s well-being depends on the sacrifice.  “How could I run from that?”[1]  Ico thought to himself, thinking of his adoptive mother.  Being aware of being a sacrifice and accepting it as a way of life makes Ico an interesting character that you would love to read his thoughts whenever he is presented.  In Greeks mythology, animals as well as humans are sacrificed to the gods to make them content. It wasn’t known whether or not that those humans were pleased with their situation, certainly not I think, be it the legends of those who were entombed within the Walls of China, or those whose throats slit open.  Ico is a sacrifice to the Castle in the Mist.  He knows this. He accepts this for the sake of his mother, who told him that she will be waiting for him to return home. Were those motherly forces of words enough to let him change his mind?

A boy with horns, marked for death.

A girl who sleeps in a cage of Iron.


These are the words printed on the back cover of the book.  It is intriguing how Miyuki pulled the strings of the plot to create a deep connection between Ico and his new friend, Yorda.  Will they defy fate and escape their fate? Will the village and its inhabitants turn into stone?  The theme of death plays an important role here as well as the world of dreams.  Although the story is light and not heavy on violence, it will not hesitate to impose certain notions of disgust, certain ideas of death, certain thoughts of passion and sadness that we all can relate to whether directly or otherwise.  


I certainly recommend this book for all fans of the videogame and for all who are interested in reading a dark, magical novel with elevated qualities, ICO: Castle in the Mist will be a wonderful choice.  I am still halfway through. I will write a detailed review once I am finished, which I cannot wait to do so as I am wondering what the ending might be?  I am familiar with the ending of the videogame, but I know not of this one and how it will turn out.

You can order the book from Amazon at the price of $11.82.


[1] Chapter (1) page 21


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