Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
Every saga has a beginning. Every journey has a first step... And so it is with the magical Worlds of Chrestomanci which English fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones began so many years ago with her own episode one - Charmed Life. Winner of the Guardian Award for Children's Books, Charmed Life has been a favourite escape to parallel fantastical worlds since 1977, and remains refreshingly captivating and reassuringly addictive in its latest paperback edition with a wonderful new jacket illustration. The adventure begins in a strange and not-quite contemporary England that is still peppered with paddle steamers, horse-drawn carriages and girls wearing petticoats. Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth and mysterious ways. Their new life is full of the surreal and unexpected, and there are several crazy new rules to master--not least by Gwendolen who must learn to channel her astonishing powers for good instead of mischief as she forever seems determined to do! Chrestomanci is a truly original creation, and Charmed Life introduces this dandy nine-lived enchanter - the king of the regal dressing gown - and his associated colourful characters in a story of pace and substance, twists and turns, treachery and bravado. There's also humour amid the author's very immediate writing, and enough puzzles and mystery to keep an inquisitive mind captivated until the very end.
This Charmed Life book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Chrestomanci Series
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 1
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
The Magicians of Caprona
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 2
Tonino is the only person in the famous Montana household who wasn't born with an instinct for creating spells, but he has other gifts. His ability to communicate with ...
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 3
When the note, written in ordinary ballpoint, turns up in the homework books Mr Crossley is marking, he is very upset. For this is Larwood House, a school for witch-orphans...
The Lives of Christopher Chant
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 4
Think of a world, almost like our own but a little more genteel and old-fashioned, where magic and witchcraft is as common as mathematics - but just as dangerous in the wro...
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 5
The Stealer of Souls combines the inhabitants of Chrestomanci Castle during Charmed Life and one of the young characters from The Magicians of Caprona to great effect, crea...
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 6
‘It’s your fate – this wretched bad karma of yours – that’s the problem,’ said Uncle Alfred. ‘Unless you put right what you did wr...
The Pinhoe Egg
The Chrestomanci Series: Book 7
Spells always have consequences and it's Chrestomanci's job to make sure everything is safely under control. Even so, in the village around Chrestomanci Castle, all...
Have you read Charmed Life?
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Charmed Life reader reviews
Tamar from USA
Rating: 10. Twelve-year-old Gwendolen is thrilled when she goes to the castle school for magic training. Her little brother, seven-year-old Eric ("Cat"), isn't so sure about it. I love this book. It is mildly scary in places. I recommend it for the confident middle-grade reader who isn't afraid of some unfamiliar vocabulary.
9.5/10 from 2 reviews
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