This for me was easily the most awe inspiring of the Chrestomanci series, all great reads and this tops it off with Diana magical style. I'm surprised some people didn't gravitate to this book, I can honestly say it is one of the most important fantasy books I have ever read. Diana seems to hit on something missing from our own lives - the natural magical connections between both ourselves and our interactions and the hidden magic in the land. My advice... save this book till last, you will not be disappointed, it brings the Chrestomanci series to a close with a big heartfelt feeling of elation and completion.
One person found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
Too many aunts, uncles, cousins etc and a little confusing at first, but overall one can never get enough of the Big Man himself, Chrestomanci, so book picks up pace and ends very nicely.
This is a general review for the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne-Jones. I first read the Chrestomanci series when I was 23. I am now 37 and I am re-reading them again and it is just so blissful! The first Chrestomanci book "Charmed Life" was written in 1977 about 20 years before the first Harry Potter. In this book, newspaper photos moved, Chrestomanci had his different lives hidden in different places, people in portraits and pictures jumped from frame to frame, plenty of clever cats, not a magic wand in sight and so on. From the lowest witch or warlock to the most powerful enchanter, no wand. We're talking people with real abilities, and who do not become useless as soon as they lose their wand. Basically, many, many ideas in the Harry Potter books, you will find in her books. Although the stories are entirely different. And she writes in a light fashion, without too much overwhelming descriptions but just enough to keep the story moving at a good pace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
14 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
Diana Wynne-Jones created fantasy worlds for decades, but her most enduring creation is still Chrestomanci, the nine-lifed enchanter who regulates magic all over the worlds.
And she was still in fine form in "The Pinhoe Egg," the sixth entry in the series, which has her strange magic, wacky humor, and an England radically different from the one we know. And Cat -- the timid hero of her first Chrestomanci book -- finally gets to take center stage in his own conspiracy-laden story.
Marianne Pinhoe is there when her grandmother, the manipulative Gammer, goes completely insane. When Gammer's house is put on the market, young Cat Chant accompanies a friend to look at it -- and he and Marianne find a strange egglike thing in the attic. She lets Cat takes it home, and a shadowy creature visits him, asking him to take care of her child.
But strange things are happening around Chrestomanci Castle -- the "Big Man" is kidnapped briefly, and there are plagues of frogs, illness, and general bad luck among the Pinhoes. A silent feud is going on between two secret witch clans -- and Cat finds himself in the middle of a magical conspiracy that goes back centuries.
Diana Wynne Jones has always been great at creating magic conspiracies that never quite go the way you expect. "The Pinhoe Egg" dangles mysteries and hints in front of the reader, about why the witches stay secretive, and what their "sacred trust" is, and you won't guess until the final pages.
Jones spins up this elaborate fantasy with her usual attention to detail, solid dialogue, and insights into what make kids tick -- from adolescent crushes to frustration that nobody will listen. Shealso brings a new kind of magic -- dwimmer -- into the storyline, along with flying machinery and a baby griffin called Klartch, who provides a lot of the humor ("Weep! Weep! Weep!").
Technically Cat was the hero of Jones' first Chrestomanci book, but he really didn't do much. In "The Pinhoe Egg," he gets in on the magical action -- gunfights, spells, horseback riding, rescues and feeding milk to Klartch. Marianne is a solid counterpart, and as always, Chrestomanci is dapper, funny, and far more intelligent than the Pinhoes give him credit for.
"The Pinhoe Egg" is as enchanting as the main characters. Another highly enjoyable novel in the delightful magical series that came long, long before Harry Potter.
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.
4 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?