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24 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book, couldn't put it down.
This is an excellent book. I borrowed it from the library and began reading it one evening and read right through the night. I just couldn't put it down. I'd recommend it to any lover of fantasy books, young or old. I'm 19 and I still think it's among the best books I've ever read!
Published on 16 Feb 2000

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, though not her best
Like the rest of the Chrestomanci series, this book is interesting and inventive in its exploration of what forms magic can take. The way in which Chrestomanci's having nine lives allows him to travel from world to world is more properly explored than in the other books, as are other curious factors taht pop up in the 'later' stories. This is more or less what you would...
Published on 23 May 2003 by Miss R J Smith


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book, couldn't put it down., 16 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 4) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an excellent book. I borrowed it from the library and began reading it one evening and read right through the night. I just couldn't put it down. I'd recommend it to any lover of fantasy books, young or old. I'm 19 and I still think it's among the best books I've ever read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, loved it, 14 Feb 2003
This review is from: The Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 4) (Mass Market Paperback)
No offence to charmed life but this is secretly my favourite of the Chrestomanci books. It has the best hero-Christopher Chant makes me laugh even when he's being rude and obnoxious and its obvious he's really a very nice person and a bit of a softy(besides Cat is wet and weedy and annoying).I also loved it for the extra insight it gives you into world 12a and how Chrestomanci got to be like he is in Charmed life and why Millie is Called Millie which is brilliant and very cool
It has a very clever plot all about other worlds and multiple lives and evil gangs of smugglers with a magical twist which is written with all the flair and wit I have come to expect from a Diana Wynne Jones book (eg the mallory towers spoof)and has some very neat peices of charachteristation (eg Tackroy and Millie-the-godess)which make it that little bit special and more enjoyable the climax is well measured and skillfull and keeps you constantly turning pages desperate to get to the next bit. This book is brilliant-read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the book, 7 Feb 2014
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It's such a great fantasy book and different and inspiring ideas, persuades you to read the rest of the books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chrestomanci for Prime Minister, 6 Sep 2013
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Cathy (Yorks, England) - See all my reviews
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How fantastic that I can now get most of Diana Wynne Jones books on my Kindle - I'm having a brilliant time re-reading all my old favourites. In my opinion Diana was the most perfect writer ever - not a single wasted word and the way she wove a story - sheer genius. I recommend any of her books for children and adults alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 30 Aug 2013
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I remembered reading this book as a child and have for years desperately tried to find the title and own one again - luckily I re-discovered it and it still was a fabulous read. For anyone wanting true magic - buy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, 4 Aug 2013
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One of my favourite childhood books, it never ceases to entice me, I love the whole series, they're all worth reading :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 12 Jun 2013
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A great read for anyone that has read charmed life and other chrestomanci books. I would recommend re reading charmed life and noticing some familiar characters...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel, 8 Jun 2013
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I only started reading Diana Wynne Jones fairly recently, after reading a review of her work in a Sunday paper and subsequently discovering that several friends who also liked fantasy had read her books. I'm not her target audience as I'm a 48 year old woman, but I think my experience as a reader and a writer helps me to recognise how well-written these books are.

I've read the Chrestomanci series in a random order which has actually enhanced the experience for me. I think it is both brilliant and brave of her to write these novels as she has done, each taking a different central character, set in a different time, with recurring characters and the central theme of the multiple worlds and the charismatic and funny Chrestomanci at their heart. It was therefore fantastic to read this book which focuses on Christopher Chant's own childhood, and I thought it was excellent.

Not only is it written in a lively, well-paced style, but the characterisation is entertaining and psychologically insightful, and the story is full of imagination, wit, plot twists and turns, and highly inventive scenarios. I wish I'd had access to her novels when I was a teenager as I'd have loved them. They have elements of Dickens and Ursula Le Guin and a multitude of other writers, but they are distinctively Diana Wynne Jones and eminently readable. As a highly experienced reader I can work out where the plot is heading very early, but this doesn't detract from the pleasure of reading the novels. I particularly love the way she intertwines modern-day elements with more traditional fantasy features, and period details. Charming, highly enjoyable reads and highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chrestomanci books are my favorites of all time, 27 April 2013
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This is a general review for the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne-Jones. I first read the Chrestomanci series when I was 23. I am now 37 and I am re-reading them again and it is just so blissful! The first Chrestomanci book "Charmed Life" was written in 1977 about 20 years before the first Harry Potter. In this book, newspaper photos moved, Chrestomanci had his different lives hidden in different places, people in portraits and pictures jumped from frame to frame, plenty of clever cats, not a magic wand in sight and so on. From the lowest witch or warlock to the most powerful enchanter, no wand. We're talking people with real abilities, and who do not become useless as soon as they lose their wand. Basically, many, many ideas in the Harry Potter books, you will find in her books. Although the stories are entirely different. And she writes in a light fashion, without too much overwhelming descriptions but just enough to keep the story moving at a good pace.

Why there has never been movies made of these books is a mystery to me as they are so superior to a lot of other teenage books around. Perhaps Wynne-Jones didn't want to. I highly recommend these books. I have just about finished the lot and I am restarting them again, particularly "Charmed Life" which I think is just superb. One just falls in love with the character that is Chrestomanci.

I very, very rarely read a book twice. However, with the Chrestomanci, I just seem to never tire. Even more so with her wonderful book "Howl's Moving Castle" which is not part of this series but which was made into an extraordinary full-length animated feature by the one and only Japanese master story-teller Hiyao Mayazki (Studio Ghibli). Now, I have lost count of how many times I have read this book. I just never bore of it either.

Diana Wynne-Jones is the only fiction author whose books I have read over and over. No one else. I completed "Charmed Life", and started straight at the beginning again.

I wish she had had time to write two or more Chrestomanci books before she passed away. At any rate, I believe her books will be in print for many decades to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars buy this for your children and then read it yourself, 13 April 2013
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Aly Gator "muslie" (Newmarket, Suffolk) - See all my reviews
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Lovely to see a girl in the part of the villain for once, instead of being the victim. Beautifull written and helps youngsters understand string theory simultaniously, what more could you ask for!
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The Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 4)
The Lives of Christopher Chant (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 4) by Diana Wynne Jones (Mass Market Paperback - 7 Mar 2005)
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