Castle in the Mist (Book)

Originally published in Japan by Kodansha Ltd., Tokyo in 2008, Miyabe’s work was subsequently brought overseas to the US where it was translated and published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. The original title is “ICO: Kiri no Shiro.”

From the publisher Simon & Schuster

When a boy named Ico grows long curved horns overnight, his fate has been sealed—he is to be sacrificed in the Castle in the Mist. But in the castle, Ico meets a young girl named Yorda imprisoned in its halls. Alone they will die, but together Ico and Yorda might just be able to defy their destinies and escape the magic of the castle.

Based on the video game filmmaker Guillemo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) called a “masterpiece,” Japan’s leading fantasist Miyuki Miyabe has crafted a tale of magic, loss, and love that will never be forgotten.


The book you hold in your hands is a novelization of the story found in the PlayStation 2 game ICO.

Sort of.

My heartfelt thanks to the producers and creators of the game for so willingly giving me permission to write this, my first attempt at novelization. They gave me free reign with the story and world found in the game so that I might find my own path through the tale, for which I am also eternally grateful.

If you picked up this book hoping for a walkthrough of the game, look elsewhere. The order of events, solutions to puzzles, and even the layout of the castle have changed. While it is certainly not “spoiler-free,” someone who reads this book and goes on to play the game will find much there that is not here.

For those of you who have played the game and love it as much as I do, I hope you will enjoy this variation on the world of ICO as much as I have enjoyed revisiting the Castle in the Mist.

Miyuki Miyabe
June 2004

Editorial Reviews from

Miyuki Miyabe’s first novel was published in 1987, and since that time she has become one of Japan’s most popular and best-selling authors. Miyabe’s 2007 novel “Brave Story” won The Batchelder Award for best chldren’s book in translation from the American Library Association. “ICO: Castle in the Mist” is her seventh novel to be translated in English.

Miyuki Miyabe’s debut story, “Warera ga rinjin no hanzai” (Our neighbor’s crime), won a new writer award in 1987, and since that time, she has become one of Japan’s most popular and best-selling authors. Miyabe’s fantasy novel Brave Story won the Batchelder Award for best children’s book in translation from the American Library Association in 2007. The Gate of Sorrows is an adult novel in the same universe as The Book of Heroes (Haikasoru, 2010). Her other works available in English include All She Was Worth, Cross Fire, The Sleeping Dragon, Apparitions, ICO: Castle in the Mist, and more.

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