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Charmed Life (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 1) by [Jones, Diana Wynne]
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Charmed Life (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in The Chrestomanci Series (7 Book Series)

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Length: 285 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Age Level: 9 and up

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Product description

Amazon Review

Every saga has a beginning. Every journey has a first step...And so it is with the magical "Worlds of Chrestomanci" which English fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones began so many years ago with her own episode one--Charmed Life.

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

Review

“…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…”
Publishers Weekly

“Truly magical – guaranteed to leave you gasping – even hotter than Potter”
The Bookseller

“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


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4180 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New Ed edition (6 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009YBU6EG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,223 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fun, gripping action/adventure about parallel universes, with a gripping story-line. Suited to teens and young adults. Excellent vocabulary!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not my usual type of read at all but I was attracted by the storyline, read the sample and decided to give it ago for 99p. I liked that it was a little more grounded than many modern fantasy books, probably because it was written in the 70s, and as I read it I kept thinking of my childhood reading Enid Blyton - I could almost envisage the illustrations that could accompany this book just as they would in an Enid Blyton book. The subject matter was a little more Harry Potter but some of the characters could have come from a Blyton book. Overall I thought it was a very good read and if I was a child I think it would have been a great read!
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Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's not a bad children's book about magic but there are better.
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By A Customer on 19 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Audio Cassette
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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Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this book as a child. I had the audio version and listened to it over and over and over. I never could remember the title but would do a search on google every now and then to try and find it. Now I have! Only knew about part one though so seems I have some catching up to do. Fantastic story.
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Format: Paperback
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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