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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
67
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 20 March 2016
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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on 25 June 2014
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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on 6 November 2006
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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on 1 September 2014
It's not a bad children's book about magic but there are better.
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on 19 December 2000
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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on 9 February 2001
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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on 1 May 2017
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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on 23 March 2002
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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on 10 December 2000
Diana Wynne Jones obviosly writes fantastic books,Charmed life the best of them all. Why read Harry Potter and Narnia when you can read about Cat and Gwendolynn's adventures in Chrestomanci Castle? This book should win all the major book awards in my opinion and alot of other peoples opinion.
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on 8 May 2000
Don't judge this book by its ugly new cover. I first read CHARMED LIFE when I was a mere 7 years old, 18 years ago. I have been rereading it every two or three years since, and rediscovering bits to it I hadn't remembered from the last time around. This is a brilliant, witty, unexpected, endearing, interesting, fun, exciting, scary, fascinating, hilarious book, and once you've finished reading it, you'll want to rush off and read everything else ever written by Diana Wynne Jones. Don't just stick to Chrestomanci. Try ARCHER'S GOON. Or THE HOMEWARD BOUNDERS. Or HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. Do yourself a favor - stop wasting time reading my review and hurry up and get yourself a copy of this book.
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