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What is the Chrestomanci series about?

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'The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Vol.1' by Diana Wynne Jones - Book Review

Prices and offers may vary in store. Kobo ebook. Glorious new rejacket of a Diana Wynne Jones classic award-winning favourite, featuring Chrestomanci - now a book with extra bits! Everybody says that Gwendolyn Chant is a gifted witch with astonishing powers, so it suits her enormously when she is taken to live in Chrestomanci Castle.

Charmed Life (essential Modern Classics)

Her brother Eric better known as Cat is not so keen, for he has no talent for magic at all. However, life with the great enchanter is not what either of them expects and sparks begin to fly!

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Winner of the Guardian Award. About The Author. Diana Wynne Jones spent her childhood in Essex and began writing fantasy novels for children in the s. With her unique combination of magic, humour and imagination, she enthralled generations of children and adults with her work. Select Parent Grandparent Teacher Kid at heart. Age of the child I gave this to:. Hours of Play:. Tell Us Where You Are:. Preview Your Review. Thank you. Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. Instead, we get "Local Magic User Keeps Causing Me Inconvenience", which leads, of course, to us having Chrestomanci deal with them, and very entertaining, funny situations to follow.

Fun for all ages, I say. Date published: Rated 3 out of 5 by Madison from Funny book Really interesting concept of alternate dimensions and having more than one life. Really fun read Date published: Rated 4 out of 5 by Oscar from Awesome great story, even better characters. Rated 5 out of 5 by Elizabeth Clark from Just as good as I remember It's inevitable that if you go back and read the books of your youth that some will not hold up to what your memories of them are.

Battles not as thrilling, characters not as colourful, plots not as clever. But sometimes you get lucky and stories thrill well into adulthood. I am pleased to say that this book holds up remarkably well.

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This is a charming other dimensional novel about growth and going from innocence to understanding. This novel has influence for Harry Potter written all over it. Who are all those people surrounding Chrestomanci? And who is Chrestomanci himself?


Charmed Life is the first book in the now semi-classic series. Written in , the novel has been reissued at the time of the publication of a paperback version of Diana Wynne-Jones new novel, The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones which continues the Charmed Life story. The story is narrated exclusively from the point of view of Cat though not technically by him and there is a great deal of understated but very convincing emotional truth in the portrayal of his worries, feelings and attitudes. A younger brother, magicless and dominated by his rather fiery, selfish and bent on world-dominance sister, he nevertheless and understandably clings to her after the death of their parents and allows her to order him about and use in more insidious ways too.

Charmed Life is as much a tale of the children's adventure in Chrestomanci's Castle as of the undercurrents of sibling rivalry and emotional dependencies, as well as Cat's gradual disentangling from Gwendolen's dominance and coming to his own, if not, at least yet, coming of age. Rarely for a children's book, there are not only twists and turns in the storyline, but one of the principal characters and a few secondary ones change their moral colours, and it's a genuine surprise not only for Cat but also for a reader.

Charmed Life (Chrestomanci Series #1) by Diana Wynne Jones | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble®

Younger children, especially girls, may need some dampening of their early enthusiasm for Gwendolen to lessen the disappointment. Above all, though, Charmed Life is a story of magic, with a deftly drawn but not over-described world in the background. Plenty of exciting action, suspense and colourfully described magic appeal to children's sense of adventure, there is a good sprinkling of often rather surreal humour and well developed cast of main and supporting characters, colourful but not falling into a caricature while the few really scary scenes exude genuine menace.

The focus is on the adventure, the magic and the psychological relationships between the characters, while the world building is done only as far as necessary.

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The more anorakish of the readers can fulfil their need to know more about the construction and mechanics of the world s of Chrestomanci by perusing the "beyond the book" extras at the end of the volume. Even now, when older-children's fiction veritably overflows with wizards, the tale of Cat Chant is a story worth reviving.

Written in a immediately accessible but slightly old-fashioned style that reminded me of Edith Nesbit, Susanna Clarke and even C. Lewis, Charmed Life is a readable, exciting and very engaging fantasy that would certainly appeal to what can be loosely described as the Harry Potter audience: children aged 8 up, teens and many an adult as well.