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on 14 October 2001
All four of these books are fantastic, must-reads, especially for those already fans of Diana Wynne Jones. I think my favourite is The Lives of Christopher Chant, but I am really fond of the others as well. All four books feature Chrestomanci (Christopher Chant) who is in charge of governing the use of magic in his world (one of many). Chrestomanci is a nine-lifed enchanter and the Lives of Christopher Chant shows Christopher on his way to becoming the Chrestomanci who features in the other three books. Charmed life also deals with Cat (Eric) who is destined to be Chrestomanci after Christopher. Witch Week and The Magicians of Caprona also feature Chrestomanci briefly, although other, new characters are introduced too. The charm of these books can be appreciated at any age, although the magic is obviously most powerful for a younger reader. I cannot praise this collection highly enough- I have always felt that Diana Wynne Jones's work has been given too low a profile. To me, her work has the same charm and interest as that of J K Rowling, but enhanced because D.W.J. uses more varied settings and characters, as well as a less predictable format. Buy this, lend it to you're friends, any children you know and wait while they all go out and buy the rest of the author's works. Pure enjoyment, not trying to be either serious or life-changing, and so becoming (to some extent) both. When I was 9, these books made me decide to be a writer. It's great that they're all collected together!
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