SFBC Fantasy, 2000. 978-0739414392
Synopsis: Chrestomanci is a fantastic enchanter that possesses many mysterious, fantastic, and terrible powers used to keep the worlds of magic in check. In these four books that make up the Chrestomanci Chronicles, we are taken through worlds vaguely familiar to our own and the many other Anywheres that exist within this magical universe. No matter where he is called, Chrestomanci’s charming figure, wit, and magical talent help deal with foolish children, ambitious adults, feuding clans, and alternate worlds.
Why I picked it up: I adored Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, and a friend of mine has a plethora of Jones’s books that she insisted I read.
Why I finished it: Jones is a prolific writer of fantasy novels, and each of her books casts a unique spell on the reader that draws them in and transports them into the world of the novel. I love the imaginative element of Jones’s books; it does not have the same mythological elements as other fantasy works like it (Harry Potter or the worlds of Terry Pratchett), but the stories have a distinctive imprint that separates it from others in the genre. Charmed Life has the most appearances of the enchanter for whom the series is named; in the other three stories Chrestomanci plays a minimal role in helping to save the day and help to right the various missteps that any particular world happens to have found themselves. Despite Chrestomanci’s limited appearances, his allure as a man of mystery and power helps to fuel each of the four stories and keeps the reader curious as to what sort of situations Chrestomanci will be able to rescue the world(s) from next.
Other related materials: Conrad’s Fate by Diana Wynne Jones; The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones; Mixed Magics by Diana Wynne Jones; Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones; Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones; Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones; House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones; Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones; Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones; Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories by Diana Wynne Jones; Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones; Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones; The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones; Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones; A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones; The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede; Circle of Magic books by Tamora Pierce; The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett; Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett; The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins; The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente