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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2006
some books just have magic. I loved this one- far more exciting than Harry Potter which just seems repetitive! I love the insects that are made large and ooe through doorways gathering up their giant legs.

Cat and his sister Gwendoline are the main characters in this wonderful novel about Chrestomanci- ( a civil servant in magic)

Gwendoline is not what you would desire in a sister, but she gets sent elsewhere and a nice character from a different parallell world replaces her. Cat has nine lives - already his horrible sister has stolen some of them.A magical story from a great imagination, this is a must for children who love fantasy and magic.

As an adult, it appeals to me very much too. Read, enjoy and delight in a fantastic world of DWJ- a far more gifted writer of unique stories than the creator of Harry potter.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2000
I first picked this book up because it looked interesting and I love magical stories. I had read 'Witch Week' by Diana Wynne Jones which was enjoyable but slightly confusing, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. However once I got into it I could not put it down again. It is well written, interesting and witty and has extremely realistic characters. I would recommend this to children or adults and especially to any Harry Potter fans as all 5 'Chrestomanci' books are absolutely brilliant and are almost as good as Harry Potter. Please buy this book now and get lost in the Pure Magic of it as it is one of the best books you'll ever read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2001
I have loved this book as a child and having recently reread it I still think is it wonderful. Gwendolyn is a wonderful villian and Cat is a reluctant hero but he comes good when it counts. I did not releasise Diana Wynne Jones wrote many other books but having read then lately they are all wonderful. I especially liked the Magicians of Caprona another in the Chrestomanci series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2002
This book is the first in a series of four, and personally, I think this one is the best. With an amazing and clever storyline, you never know what will quite happen next! It is the story of Cat and his sister Gwendolyn, 2 young orphans taken in by the mysterious Chrestomanci, which leads them into their life of wonderful and unpredictable adventures. An Excellent book for any age to read, gets the imagination going - well done Diana Wynne Jones!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2002
As one of Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci books, Charmed Life is merely very good - by other standards it is excellent. The book presents a different and more down to earth view of magic than most children's fantasy, and so has less of a fairy tale feel than you might expect from a book about witches and enchanters.
The plot is twisty and quick enough to keep adults entertained, and will absolutely enthrall children. Well worth reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2003
I first started reading this book because I had read 'Witch Week' and started to get addicted to it. When I got 'Charmed Life' I couldn't put it down it is brilliant!
I've read it so much the pages are going black and falling out!
Great book for Harry Potter, Hobbit and magical-fanasty fans!!
I got sort of stumped when there weren't any more books in the 'Chrestomanci Chronicles'!
But don't stop (I didn't) I read others by Diana there just as good and addictive.
Diana's books keep you reading because of the brilliance of it and make you wish there is more of it when you get to the end.
This book is my fav of the lot I've read (and I've read alot)!!!
So BUY IT NOW!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2000
Diana Wynne Jones obviosly writes fantastic books,Charmed life the best of them all. Why read Harry Potter and Narnia when you can read about Cat and Gwendolynn's adventures in Chrestomanci Castle? This book should win all the major book awards in my opinion and alot of other peoples opinion.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2000
Don't judge this book by its ugly new cover. I first read CHARMED LIFE when I was a mere 7 years old, 18 years ago. I have been rereading it every two or three years since, and rediscovering bits to it I hadn't remembered from the last time around. This is a brilliant, witty, unexpected, endearing, interesting, fun, exciting, scary, fascinating, hilarious book, and once you've finished reading it, you'll want to rush off and read everything else ever written by Diana Wynne Jones. Don't just stick to Chrestomanci. Try ARCHER'S GOON. Or THE HOMEWARD BOUNDERS. Or HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. Do yourself a favor - stop wasting time reading my review and hurry up and get yourself a copy of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2001
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones is absolutely brilliant.It is about a boy called Eric Chant (More commonly known as Cat) and his sister Gwendolen who seems to be a very powerful witch , while Cat just seems normal. When their parents drown they go to live with Mrs Sharp who sends Gwendolen to magic lessons with Mr Nostrum. Suddenly they go to live at Chrestomanci castle because Chrstomanci orders them to for no apparant reason(A Chrestomanci is a nine lifed enchanter.) Gwendowlen seems to be the powerful witch but Chrestomanci and his family detest her but everything is not how it seems! Does Cat really know no magic or is he really the powerful one? I would recommend this book to anyone from the age of 9 to 100. I would also recommend 'The Lives of Christopher Chant' by Diana Wynne Jones. That is also an fascinating book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2011
I have been struggling to find a new series for my 10 year old daughter to read as she is a complete bookworm. This book was perfect - she absolutely loved it and now wants to read the rest of the series. Well written, full of imagination and good plot - would recommend it to any child who has enjoyed the Harry Potter series etc
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