Apart from the occasional short story, Diana Wynne Jones fans have been starved of her most famous creation, the dressing-gown wearing magician Christopher Chant--star of all her Chrestomanci novels--for nearly twenty years. Its been far too long! J.K. Rowling was knee-high to a grasshopper when the first book in this sequence, Charmed Life
, hit the shelves in 1977 and, although this hugely talented fantasy author has gone on to create a myriad of other imagined and fantastically crazy worlds, it is her books featuring the world-hopping Chrestomanci that have remained her most appreciated and popular tomes.
In Conrads Fate, his uncle tells twelve-year-old Conrad Tesdinic that his constant and terrible luck is the result of a shocking dose of bad karma that within the year could threaten his very existence. He is despatched at once to Stallery Mansion, high in the mountainous Alps above his hometown of Stallchester, to work in disguise as a servant. There, in the magical fortress that seems to dominate the whole town, he must infiltrate its workings and seek out the person who has interfered so disastrously with his fate.
Along the way, Conrad strikes up a friendship with a mysterious, self-assured older boy, who has a mission of his own--to find his friend Millie who has hidden herself thereabouts. The discovery that Stallery Mansion lays on a probability fault adds gloriously to the wonderment and adventure that inevitably follows.
In some ways a prequel to the earlier novels, in that this book features Chant as a teenager before his Chrestomanci guise, there is definitely no need, however, to read it first. Any of other titles such as Witch Week or The Lives of Christopher Chant will be equally superb introductions to this infamous creation and just as entertaining. (Age 10 and over) --John McLay
--This text refers to the
"CONRAD'S FATE is quintessential Chrestomanci – funny, smart, twisty,
exciting, tricky, delightful and always perfectly magical."
“…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”
For The Merlin Conspiracy:
“The characterisation is first rate, the ideas are fabulous … This is fantasy at its most inventive – canny, funny and far-reaching.” The Telegraph
“A curiosity shop of a book … a pleasure to lose yourself in.” The Sunday Times
“The Merlin Conspiracy is Wynne Jones on top form … [her] powerful narrative and her ability to create extraordinary charachers with real emotions make her more than a worthy rival to J K Rowling.” Financial Times
“A must for all Wynne Jones fans, past, present and future.” Limited Edition