Review: Diana Wynne Jones – The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Volume 3

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Volume 3
Diana Wynne Jones
I have to say that by the time I got to reading this book, I was getting a little sick of Jones’ style and was dying to read something else. Probably just me though – younger readers will probably love it.

2141877‘Conrad’s Fate’ concerns Conrad Grant, a boy with a horrible fate that is ordered by his uncle to go and destroy another person who is purported to be causing all Conrad’s bad luck. This is complicated by the presence of multiple other magics in the mansion where he finds himself serving as an Improver (footman). Conrad and Christopher Chant (from ‘The Lives of Christopher Chant’) explore the mansion and the changing possibilities, often with quite humorous results. As usual, the Chrestomanci must step in at the end of the novel to save the day.

‘The Pinhoe Egg’ was really very enjoyable – who doesn’t love griffins? I empathised with the main characters, and enjoyed the struggle of the various witches vs enchanters. I found it a bit confusing to read straight after ‘Conrad’s Fate’, but by around half way through the book I started following on again. The ending could be seen as a little ambiguous and disappointing – but only because you longed to hear more about Cat and Marianne Pinhoe.

Having now read all 6 books in a row (I’m waiting to get my hands on ‘Mixed Magics’ a book of short stories set in the same world) I’d have to say I would have preferred to read them in strict chronological order. The order I would suggest (and will reread them myself in this order) is:

  1. ‘The Lives of Christopher Chant’
  2. ‘Conrad’s Fate’
  3. ‘Charmed Life’
  4. ‘Witch Week’
  5. ‘The Magicians of Caprona’
  6. ‘The Pinhoe Egg’

Books 1 and 2 are about Christopher Chant, Books 4 and 5 have only a secondary role of Christopher Chant as Chrestomanci and Books 3 and 6 involve Cat (Eric) Chant.

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