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The Chronicles of Chrestomanci

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Anyone read these yet? I borrowed them from the bookshoppe trying to decide if I'm going to read them. While they were written for kids, I think it goes along the lines of fantasy.




Ever since the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," people have imagined wizards as tall, elderly men with long gray beards, loose robes and pointed hats. Diana Wynne-Jones shatters the cliched image with Chrestomanci, a dapper Englishman who happens to be the nine-lived magician in charge of all the magic -- in all the parallel worlds.



"Charmed Life" is the story of Cat and Gwendolen, siblings who are orphaned in a tragic steamboat accident. While Cat is shy, Gwendolen is the opposite: She is an unnaturally powerful witch, and intends to rise high enough to rule the world. She thinks that she's got it made when Chrestomanci brings her and her brother to his castle. But Gwendolen has met her match in Chrestomanci -- and a magical war of wills has begun!


"The Lives of Christopher Chant" is the backstory of Chrestomanci. Once he was an ordinary boy, whose ambition was to become a cricket player. But when he is tested by a powerful magician, Christopher Chant is found to be Chrestomanci: An amazingly powerful magician with not one, but NINE lives. The problem is, Christopher doesn't want to be Chrestomanci -- and he's already enmeshed in a wizards' smuggling ring that may spell doom for his new friends...

Diana Wynne-Jones is at her best here: the books are funny, dramatic, well-characterized, well-written and well-plotted. The parallel worlds are well-thought out, such as Chrestomanci's world, where magic exists rather than science as we know it. As in many of her books, she shows unusual insights into the thought processes of both young and adolescent children. While readers may sometimes want to smack the lead characters, it's hard not to like the heroes and despise the villains.

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I bought them all last week and I'm looking forward to reading them. I watched Howl's moving castle a few months back on a stormy night and was amazed to see it was a book first. Knowing that in most cases the book is always better I think we're onto a winner

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I absolutely adored Howl's Moving Castle (both the book and the anime) as well as the other two novel in the series and have been debating for months which of her books I should read next. I think I've just decided!

I think what I love best about Diana Wynne Jones is the sense of wonderment and infinite possibility that we see as children but forget as we grow. Reading her novels is a refreshing reprieve from the boundaries and restrictions of everyday life and allows me to let my imagination run wild like it did when I was young.

I don't care what age group these books are supposedly aimed at I love, love, love them! And if that makes me a child at heart then I gladly accept the title :)

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