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Publisher's Summary

Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Frustrated that the witches of the castle refuse to acknowledge her talents, Gwendolen conjures up a scheme that could throw whole worlds out of whack.
©1992 Diana Wynne Jones

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    46
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Performance

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    65
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    12
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Delightful Read!

I grew up reading the books of Diana Wynne Jones as a pre-teen and teenager and it was most wonderful to be able to return to her work as an adult.

The story has twists and turns, secrets and spells. Here is the story of Cat Chant and his sister Gwendolyn. After barely surviving death by drowning and losing their parents, they are sent to live with the dashing (and remarkably well-dressed) Chrestomanci at Chrestomanci Castle. Gwendolyn sees an avenue to really show off her witchcraft, but Cat is somewhat disappointed to leave Mrs. Sharp on Coven street. At the castle, Cat has to learn the secrets of what his sister has been plotting, discover the true nature of Chrestomanci, and learn who he really is. There are many suprises in store for the reader and most will enjoy the well-developed characters and interesting plot.

The story is well read by a very talented narrator. The inflection for each character is very well defined and the pace keeps the reader (or listener) interested. I would recommend this to adults and children alike. Originally published in print in 1977 followed in 1988 by its prequel The Lives of Christopher Chant (about Chrestomanci's childhood) is likely to become a classic, especially as most of the author's works are being re-released.

If you like J.K. Rowling, you'll love Diana Wynne Jones. This is a most remarkable read.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Johnny
  • Saint George, UT, USA
  • 12-09-09

Wonderfully Fantastic

I love this book, it is read well and is very humorous.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible, but one note

This is a marvelous book, I sincerely recommend. Full of whimsical English magic. However there is a passage when the children are playing that could be very triggering and is very offensive, a couple racial slurs, so please be advised.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

starts slow

Started slow but got better and had an exciting ending. It was frustrating the way the kids never trusted the adults.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A childhood favorite

This story was my first introduction to the author, narrator and series, and has remained one of the most loved books from my youth. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci is an exciting world in which magic, strange creatures and other worlds come to life through the narration by Gerard Doyle. If you loved Harry Potter, you'll love this enchanting series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love Chrestomanci!

I love listening to these books while exercising. This is one of the best of them all!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Txceptional story. great writing and performance.<br />

This is an exceptional story by an inspiring author. Great performance as well. I am recommending this story to friends.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

good overall

Narrator's voices were incredible, story was good. I struggled with the first half, characters kept making the wrong decisions again and again, but the ending redeemed the rest.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An all-time favorite

I adored this book when I was a kid, and 20 years has not dampened my enthusiasm in the slightest. A simply marvelous book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

We LOVED the book and the reading!

We listened to this as a family over the course of a road trip and a few family meals. We. Loved. It!