A good solid Diana Wynne Jones read. Diana Wynne Jones 's novels always trump her short stories but her short stories trump everyone else's everything !
All the cleverness and great fun that one expects from Diana Wynne Jones is to be found in this book.
The collection is mixed in content (much of which can be found in other collections). There is no consistency to the collection but as I read it in story long bursts at bedtime this did not bother me at all.
I particularly loved the story set in the future in in which artificial intelligence is given the DWJ touch. Recommended.
It can be hard to collect DWJ's short stories without buying a lot of different anthologies. This book brings together 15 of her short works, plus the hard-to-find novella Everard's Ride. Many of the the stories were originally found in Warlock at the Wheel and Minor Arcana, so if you own either of those books, you will find some duplication. However, no Chestomanci stories are included in this book, so no overlap there.
I personally think DWJ's novels are better than her short stories, with a few exceptions. But I still wouldn't want to be without them, and this collection is worth seeking out if only to obtain Everard's Ride. For a new reader, though, I would recommend Charmed Life or Howl's Moving Castle.
I'm not sure why this book isn't published in a British edition; as a result, the spelling is Americanized. A small quibble, however, with what is overall a valuable and enjoyable book.
If you have not read anything by this author before then you have missed out. DWJ deftly combines magic and storytelling to produce well balanced and riviting stories. This collection shows off her many stlyes and mastery of the craft. Start with this one then move on to her other classics such as 'Howl's Moving Castle'. Perfect for adults and older children.