The Islands of Chaldea Hardcover – 22 Apr 2014
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"The best children's writer of the last 40 years."--Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline
Praise for Earwig and the Witch: "This funny story updates fairy tale conventions while highlighting Jones's subversive wit. ... A fine introduction to the author's more complex YA novels."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Earwig is a plucky, albeit bossy, heroine, and the story is packed with wit and humor."--School Library Journal
"Readers are treated to a nonstop plot, memorable characters, and signature DWJ touches. ... For younger readers, a worthy introduction to the delights of the late, lamented master fantasist."--The Horn Book
"Only in an unorthodox children's book does a girl hope that she won't be ... taken away from the orphanage. But then, Earwig isn't your typical orphan. ... An amusing story in which it takes hard work as well as magic and cleverness to bring about a happy ending."--Booklist
"In the realm of other-world fantasy, this season's gem is the late Diana Wynne Jones's The Islands of Chaldea, completed by Ursula Jones. Humour, wisdom and inventive genius suffuse the tale . . . challenging readers' minds while creating a full world of sympathetic characters."--Toronto Star
"Beautiful and intricate...A strong, elegant fantasy [that] will linger with readers."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
From the Back Cover
How are you supposed to turn into a Wise Woman if your powers don't show up?
Aileen comes from a long line of magicworkers. And her own gifts should have been even greater. But she failed her initiation so completely that she doubts she'll ever become as magical as her aunt Beck, the most powerful magicworker in Skarr.
So when the High King sends Aileen and Aunt Beck on a secret--and suspicious--quest across all the Islands of Chaldea, Aileen worries she'll only be in the way.
Hmmm, as Aunt Beck would say. What blather.
The quest is not at all what it seems, and Aileen must puzzle out her own way after Aunt Beck angers another formidable sorceress. With the help of a (mostly) invisible cat, a (surprisingly) wise parrot, and a ragtag band of allies, Aileen will see her magic bloom. And while she's at it, she might even rescue her missing father and save a lost prince.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The story is interesting, with vivid characters, imaginative ideas, the typical Wynne Jones romance, and her characteristic combination of real-life and fantasy, the mundane and the fantastic. Highly recommended to all fans.
We find ourselves in on an alternate Earth, one of the author’s Related Worlds which are similar to but not the same as our own, chiefly because magic is always prevalent. The Islands of Chaldea (the real Mesopotamian polity of Chaldea was famed for its magicians) are Skarr, Bernica, Gallis and Logra, loosely based on Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. The four countries, as well as being separated from each other by water, are further divided by a magical barrier that has for some years closed Logra off from the other three islands. On Skarr lives Aileen, a potential young Wise Woman who despairs of inheriting the talents that she is supposed to develop. Unexpectedly she is sent, with her Aunt Beck, idle princeling Ivar and servant Ogo, on a journey to Logra via Bernica and Gallis, to help resolve the situation and to fulfil a prophecy. We sense the classic premise of the lowliest achieving greatness through discovering and using innate gifts and skills.
Aileen, with green eyes and hair "the colour of toffee", is also the narrator, diminutive in stature but growing in maturity. She describes how she is sent with some odd companions and a disreputable crew to achieve an ill-defined quest, in which barriers galore -- and not just the magical one -- are placed in the way of success. First they arrive on the tiny island called Lone, where they encounter a rather peculiar creature.Read more ›
So we get a breakneck adventure, as trainee Wise Woman Aileen (who has just failed her initiation) leaves her northern, mountainous island to try and lift a curse that has divided it from the neighbouring land of Logra. The four nations of Logra, Skarr, Bernica and Gallis, through which Aileen must travel, bear a suggestive likeness to England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales - but they are magical lands, filled with mysterious Guardians, drunken, spell casting queens and beautiful singers. Aileen copes, of course, with the madness and keeps her band of friends together until the final confrontation.
A high readable, funny, inventive and joy-filled book, this is a great memorial to Wynne Jones's long writing career. Great fun.
I truly enjoyed this, and am only sorry that it is the last by one of my favourite authors, and that there will be no more.
And so the world receives the final enchanting novel by this wildly underrated author -- "The Islands of Chaldea," a clever and magical adventure across an alternate version of the British Isles. It's literally impossible to tell where Ursula worked on this book, because it seems so typical of her sister's style: cats, spells, domineering older relatives and strange conspiracies.
Years ago, magicians sealed off the land of Logra from the rest of the world, and somebody kidnapped the crown prince Alasdair. Now there is a prophecy making the rounds that if a wise woman travels through certain countries, with a man of each country, she will be able to make it into Logra. So the High King enlists wise woman Aunt Beck and wise-woman-in-training Aileen to make the journey.
And to represent the various lands, they have bratty Prince Ivar (whom Aileen wants to marry), despised orphan Ogo, and green monk Finn (who is the keeper of an oracular bird). Oh, and Plug-Ugly, a magical cat who develops a fondness for Aileen.
Unfortunately, a drunken queen casts a botched spell on Aunt Beck, which leaves the whole disastrous quest in Aileen's hands. But reaching Logra turns out to be the least of her problems -- because once their little gang gets past the barrier, they find themselves neck-deep in a deadly Logran conspiracy. To save them all, Aileen will have to summon all her knowledge of magic to save the day.
There's a bittersweet feel to "The Islands of Chaldea" that has nothing to do with the book itself, and everything to do with...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Diana Wynne Jones’ last book was unfinished at the time of her death, but it has been completed by her sister so brilliantly that it is impossible to spot where the change of... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jan
This is a book set in an imaginary land, cleverly linking it all together at the end. I never noticed where Diana left off and Ursula started. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Highwater
It started out pretty well, promising, even, but didn't live up to its expectations. You can't really tell where the change occurs but, you can clearly feel how, after some point,... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Scott Hauet
I love most of Diana Wynne Jones' books - it's not in my top 5 but I really enjoyed it.Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of Diana Wynne Jones' last books and a delightful fantasy to read. She received a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, as well as two Mythopoeic Awards... Read morePublished on 7 May 2014 by Wulfruna