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on 26 March 2007
This book continues on from the storyline in "Charmed Life" so it's probably best to have at least read that book before picking up this one (reading "Mixed Magics" would probably help too but it's not essential).

I can't really go into much detail about the plot here as it may spoil your enjoyment of the book, but the story basically follows Cat Chant from "Charmed Life" and a new character, Marianne Pinhoe, as various strange incidents occur in the villages surrounding Chrestomanci Castle. Of course, Chrestomanci and his family also feature in the story. Also, fans of Diana's "Wizard Derk" books will be pleased at the appearance of a certain magical creature in the story.

Like all of the other books in this series, this book is full of wit, original and unpredictable storylines and brilliantly imagined characters. I think that it has a slightly sweeter, cuter feel than the other books (don't worry though, it's not sickly or anything like that!).

There aren't really any negatives I can think of about this book, I loved it, maybe not quite as much as "Conrad's Fate" but definitely more than the rest of the series.

Basically, if you enjoyed the other Chrestomanci books I cannot think of any reason why you should not enjoy this one.
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on 10 September 2006
I have been looking forward to the latest Diana Wynne Jones since I finished her last book. I did not so much read it as devour it. I have to say its not her best, but then her best is so very good. It does have similarities to Merlin Consiracy and Magicians of Caprona, both excellent books. As with all Diana Wynne Jones books its no point telling you anything about the plot, that is marginally irrelavant, just enjoy the story and enjoy being in another world. Only Tolkein is better at creating another world. My only complaint about the book is it could have been longer...long enough to last me till the next is published!
since i first read this book in sept 2006, i have reread it more than once...every time i read it i enjoy it more Diana Wynne Jones is a brilliant author...read anything she writes!!!
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on 14 September 2015
Another amazing book by Diana Wynne Jones. Really enjoyed this book as we saw characters from previous stories develop and get to know new ones too. Chrestomanci and his wards are at their best. It's one of those books you just get immersed in so much that you feel like you're reading about real people.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 May 2007
A new Diana Wynne Jones novel is always a treat, especially when it continues the stories of some of her existing characters. This is no exception.

Set in the summer after 'Charmed Life', it combines the ongoing stories of Cat Chant, Chrestomanci, and the others at the Castle, with some new characters; Marianne and Joe Pinhoe. All of the characters are three dimensional, believeable and likeable, and those who have read Charmed Life will be glad to find out what happened next to Cat.

As usual, the writing is accessible and engaging, with the reader quickly drawn in and then gripped for the rest of the novel. There's a decent little plot, not terribly complex, but not overly predictable and with plenty to keep even adult readers interested. It's not one of her strongest, to be fair, but it's not bad either.

Although the story stands alone quite well, readers might enjoy it more if they have first read 'Charmed Life', which introduces some of the characters and concepts, and is generally a very good book. There are also some spoilers for 'Charmed Life' in 'The Pinhoe Egg'.

While this isn't Wynne Jones' best work, it is still an enjoyable piece of escapist writing - and is worth it for the very cute baby griffin alone. Cat and Marianne are both worthy principal characters, and are supported by a strong cast of secondary roles. The book would be suitable for children as young as 8, right through to adults.
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on 7 June 2008
'The Pinhoe Egg' is the latest must-read book in the Chrestomanci series that blends the well-known and loved characters from 'Charmed Life' with a new colourful gallery of witches, enchanters and magical creatures.
Diana Wynne Jones gives her usual best to make the book a good read - there is of course magic, humour, lots of cats, some cheerful, and some wicked characters topped up with the inimitable big man - Chrestomanci himself. As usual, too, the story focuses rather on the children, with maturing Cat Chant and a new character Marianne Pinhoe among others, growing up to their gifts and building self-confidence to use their skills.
But there is also some new quality to it that was either not present or no so clear in the previous books. Here the magic is more connected at the grass roots, and more in the balance with the rest of the world, taking in the good with the bad, learning to tolerate and respect the other, invisible universe. This shift in the worldview reminds me strongly of Ursula Le Guin's 'The Other Wind', and as such may appeal also to an older audience.
Without spoiling the story, Wynne Jones is also quite critical of blind, unquestioning faith and might spark a controversy or a lively debate among some readers, making the series even more interesting.
Highly recommended.
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on 20 September 2013
Love all the Chrestomanci books and this one doesn't disappoint. Don't be put off by it being one of a series of books - all the books stand alone as great stories and you don't need to have read any of the others - but do yourself a favour, buy the entire series and read them in order - I've had them for years now - but just downloaded them all to my Kindle and had the most blissful few weeks re-reading these maginificent stories (not for the last time.) Don't be put off by the 'childrens book' title either - I have read them since my teens and I'm in my forties now and will always enjoy these books.
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on 30 December 2006
A story by Diana Wynn Jones is always a treat, especially one that involves some of the characters that we've encountered before. The Pinhoe Egg is an excellent children's story set around Crestomanci Castle and follows a fairly predictable pattern of children causing havoc by fiddling with things they don't understand, but in doing so managing to set in to motion a chain of events that eventually makes everyone's life much better for it. My lips are sealed about the plot, though - one hint would ruin the pleasure of discovering it for yourself. I agree with the previous reviewer that this is not an example of Diana Wynn Jones' outstanding writing, but her merely excellent writing is perfectly good, and any child that enjoys fantasy will gobble this up! (And a good few adults too!)
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on 12 May 2013
If you haven't read Diana Wynne Jones and you like a book that creates a world of magic that stretches your imagination and makes you laugh, then give her books a go. The Pinhoe Egg is part of the Chrestomanci series and takes you into a world where two very different kinds of magic collide with surprising results; there are feuds, battles, and travels into other worlds. In Pinhoe Egg, Dina Wynne Jones imagination never stops roaming and if you're up for the adventure you won't be disappointed.
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on 21 January 2007
This book continues on from the storyline in "Charmed Life" so it's probably best to have at least read that book before picking up this one (reading "Mixed Magics" would probably help too but it's not essential).

I can't really go into much detail about the plot here as it may spoil your enjoyment of the book, but the story basically follows Cat Chant from "Charmed Life" and a new character, Marianne Pinhoe, as various strange incidents occur in the villages surrounding Chrestomanci Castle. Of course, Chrestomanci and his family also feature in the story.

Like all of the other books in this series, this book is full of wit, original and unpredictable storylines and brilliantly imagined characters. I think that it has a slightly sweeter, cuter feel than the other books (don't worry though, it's not sickly or anything like that!).

There aren't really any negatives I can think of about this book, I loved it, maybe not quite as much as "Conrad's Fate" but definitely more than the rest of the series.

Basically, if you enjoyed the other Chrestomanci books I cannot think of any reason why you should not enjoy this one.
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on 21 March 2013
This is a really delightful book, and can be read independently of other Chrestomancy titles. A major strength is characterisation, which is astonishingly good. Like her other books, Wynne Jones writes clearly and simply but not at the expense of plot and this novel has a warm, delightful tone that makes me, at least, return time and again when I want something fun to read.
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