Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones

(9.0/10)

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.

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1 positive reader review(s) for Charmed Life

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All reviews for Diana Wynne Jones's The Chrestomanci Series series

Charmed Life

by Diana Wynne Jones

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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 1
Published: 1977

Score: 91

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Magicians of Caprona

by Diana Wynne Jones

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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 2
Published: 1980

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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Witch Week

by Diana Wynne Jones

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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 3
Published: 1982

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Lives of Christopher Chant

by Diana Wynne Jones

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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 4
Published: 1988

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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Mixed Magics

by Diana Wynne Jones

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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 5
Published: 2000

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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Conrad's Fate

by Diana Wynne Jones

‘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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 6
Published: 0000

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Pinhoe Egg

by Diana Wynne Jones

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 [...]

Series: The Chrestomanci Series: Book 7
Published: 2006

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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More Diana Wynne Jones reviews

Dogsbody

by Diana Wynne Jones

A powerful being fights for his life within the body of a humble, earthbound puppy. Sirius, immortal Lord of the Dog Star and infamous for his quick temper, cannot believe [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1975

Score: 85

Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

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A Tale of Time City

by Diana Wynne Jones

When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti [...]

Series: NA
Published: 1987

Score: 90

Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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Charmed Life reader reviews

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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