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Winner of the Guardian Award for Children's Books, Charmed Life has been a favourite escape to parallel fantastical worlds since 1977, and remains refreshingly captivating and reassuringly addictive in its latest paperback edition with a wonderful new jacket illustration.
The adventure begins in a strange and not-quite contemporary England that is still peppered with paddle steamers, horse-drawn carriages and girls wearing petticoats. Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth and mysterious ways. Their new life is full of the surreal and unexpected, and there are several crazy new rules to master--not least by Gwendolen who must learn to channel her astonishing powers for good instead of mischief as she forever seems determined to do!
Chrestomanci is a truly original creation, and Charmed Life introduces this dandy nine-lived enchanter--the king of the regal dressing gown--and his associated colourful characters in a story of pace and substance, twists and turns, treachery and bravado. There's also humour amid the author's very immediate writing, and enough puzzles and mystery to keep an inquisitive mind captivated until the very end.
Charmed Life is followed by three more full-length Chrestromanci novels--The Magicians of Caprona, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant and by a collection of short stories, Mixed Magics. All are equally inventive. (Ages 10 and over) --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
“Truly magical – guaranteed to leave you gasping – even hotter than Potter”
“Diana Wynne Jones could teach Stephen King and JK Rowling a thing or two … [she] has a skill for inserting just the right amount of detail in her written words, leaving you satiated but not stuffed.” SFX
I read this series as a child and was recently inspired to re-visit it. It has retained all the quaint charms it had for me years ago, and I look forward to reading it to my son... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Emma Miller
This is one of my favourite Chrestomanci books, and introduces the character Cat Chance who goes to live in Chrestomanci castle with his wicked sister Gwendoline. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ellen F
I love this book, I have been reading and re-reading it since I was five years old and I still read it now more than a decade later! Read morePublished 7 months ago by GeeGee
I'm so pleased this is described as an essential modern classic, as childrens literature, it really does deserve that title. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Bloom
I have always loved this book. There aren't many authors that can make the fictional world seem so real.Published 11 months ago by louisa hand
I may be an adult now but I don't wanna grow up if it means books like these are not supposed to be on my reading list anymore. A lovely book. Mrs. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lyla Wagner
It's not a bad children's book about magic but there are better.Published 12 months ago by W. Adams