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The Magicians of Caprona. Diana Wynne Jones (The Chrestomanci Series) Paperback – 4 Feb 2008
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In books by fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones, nothing is ever as it seems. And so it is with one of her finest creations--"The Worlds of Chrestomanci".
Here, there are hundreds of other, parallel worlds--each one formed when the result of a big event in history, like a battle or an earthquake, could have been two quite different things. Both things happened, but because they could not exist together, the worlds split apart and took their new courses independently. What's more, it is common for people to have at least one exact double populating several of these other world...
Confused? Don't be--The Magicians of Caprona is the second instalment in the fascinating life of Christopher Chant (better known as Chrestomanci) and explains everything you ever needed to know about magic, witchcraft and the black arts. There are new characters, more surprises, slippery spells and an enchanted romance too!
In the Italian Dukedom of Caprona, the houses of Montana and Petrocchi control everything magical, watched over by its magnificent guardian statue, the Angel. But the families have been feuding for years so when all the spells that are meant to vanquish the threat of war from other city-states all start going wrong--each predictably blames the other. It is only when the young Tonino Montana and Angelica Petrocchi suddenly disappear that rumours of a White Devil who threatens the Angel of Caprona are taken seriously. Family differences must be cast aside to save the day from an evil enchanter, and lives cannot be saved without the involvement of the magic man they call Chrestomanci.
The Magicians of Caprona is the slightly more serious sequel to Charmed Life, and is followed by two further Chrestromanci novels--Witch Week and The Lives of Christopher Chant and a new collection of short stories, Mixed Magics. (Ages 10 and over) --John McLay --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“…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…”
“Truly magical – guaranteed to leave you gasping – even hotter than Potter”
“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.” SFXSee all Product description
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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.
The book is slightly darker than I remembered, particularly in its middle section, although it would still be suitable for younger readers of around ten up. As with all Wynne Jones books, it's extremely hard to put down and has a clever story with plenty of twists and turns, all well paced. Older readers will forsee some of them, but that doesn't detract from the reading experience. Apart from Chrestomanci himself, who has a minor role, the characters are all new. This isn't a problem, because Wynne Jones has a gift for making her characters feel like good friends within the space of a few pages. It's this that makes her stories still enjoyable for adults, whilst remaining true books for children.
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The book it's self is excellent but I've had to give it only 4 stars because it is not in the Very Good condition advertised.Read more