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In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic -- and to hold the title Chrestomanci... There is a world in which the peaceful city-state of Caprona is threatened by the malevolent machinations of a mysterious enchanter...and another in which magic is outlawed and In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic -- and to hold the title Chrestomanci... There is a world in which the peaceful city-state of Caprona is threatened by the malevolent machinations of a mysterious enchanter...and another in which magic is outlawed and witches are still burned at the stake. In two worlds the practice of magic has gone dangerously awry, there is only one solution -- call upon the Chrestomanci.


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In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic -- and to hold the title Chrestomanci... There is a world in which the peaceful city-state of Caprona is threatened by the malevolent machinations of a mysterious enchanter...and another in which magic is outlawed and In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic -- and to hold the title Chrestomanci... There is a world in which the peaceful city-state of Caprona is threatened by the malevolent machinations of a mysterious enchanter...and another in which magic is outlawed and witches are still burned at the stake. In two worlds the practice of magic has gone dangerously awry, there is only one solution -- call upon the Chrestomanci.

30 review for The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Vol. 2

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    These two make an odd pair. Witch Week is a boarding school farce with silliness all over the place. The Magicians of Caprona has lighthearted moments, but is a pretty earnest tale of children during war time. They don't have much in common, except the focus on children and magic, but they are both perfect. Caprona gets extra bonus points for the importance of cats. These two make an odd pair. Witch Week is a boarding school farce with silliness all over the place. The Magicians of Caprona has lighthearted moments, but is a pretty earnest tale of children during war time. They don't have much in common, except the focus on children and magic, but they are both perfect. Caprona gets extra bonus points for the importance of cats.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martine

    The second Chrestomanci volume features two novels which have only two things in common: they both feature magic, and Chrestomanci shows up in both of them. However, the great wizard only makes brief appearances in the book, leaving centre stage to child protagonists who save society from an awful lot of harm by a combination of courage, brains, imagination and magic. The first book in the volume, The Magicians of Caprona, is set in a world reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. It's basically Shake The second Chrestomanci volume features two novels which have only two things in common: they both feature magic, and Chrestomanci shows up in both of them. However, the great wizard only makes brief appearances in the book, leaving centre stage to child protagonists who save society from an awful lot of harm by a combination of courage, brains, imagination and magic. The first book in the volume, The Magicians of Caprona, is set in a world reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. It's basically Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet), except with added magic. As Diana Wynne Jones tells the tale, two wizarding families are responsible for the spells that keep the city of Caprona flourishing: the Montanas and the Petrocchis, who have been feuding for generations and seem unlikely ever to patch things up. When the city's spells start weakening, it looks like Caprona may be usurped by other cities. Obviously something is very wrong, but who is causing the mischief? Is it the Montanas, the Petrocchis, or is there a third party involved? Montana and Petrocchi children start investigating the matter, saving Caprona from perdition and unifying their houses in the process. Well, what did you expect? The second book, Witch Week, is set in a completely different milieu: a boarding school in a modern England which is remarkably like ours, except that magic of any kind is strictly forbidden and witches are burnt at the stake. One day, a teacher finds a note advising him there is a witch in his class. This leads to a genuine witch hunt in which several pupils who might be witches (but aren't sure themselves) are accused of witchcraft by nasty classmates. The accused try to save their hides by hiding, pretending they're completely normal or pointing their fingers at others. And then rumours start spreading that the Inquisition is about to pay a visit to the school, bringing equipment with them which will surely help them find the witch, and suddenly a whole lot of people seem to get very nervous. Could it be that there's more than one witch at the school? And if so, what are they going to do when the Inquisition shows up? This second volume of Chrestomanci stories (there is a third one, too, but I haven't read that yet) is less impressive than the first one, but still compulsively readable. The first story is charming but predictable -- a three-star affair with some good characterisation and amusing set pieces but little genuine development. Adult readers will spot the plot twists a mile off, and the fact that Chrestomanci's cameo is completely bland doesn't help, either. The second story, however, is very strong -- worth a full five stars for its great and ever so recognisable depiction of an adolescent witch hunt and adolescence in general. Apart from the very real possibility that they'll die at the stake, the protagonists of Witch Week are teenagers like people we've known and may well have been ourselves. They are intelligent but unpopular kids who are bullied by popular cliques and alternate between trying to avoid trouble and plotting subtle revenge on those who have caused them harm. The tone of the story is pleasantly rebellious and anarchic, and it's well crafted, keeping you guessing at the witches' identities and crossing your fingers for the underdogs until the very end. Chrestomanci makes an appearance in this story, as well, and it's considerably more fun than the one in The Magicians of Caprona. In short, Volume II of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci is a solid addition to the series -- not as original as Volume I, but definitely worth checking out if you like Harry Potter-style fantasy. Just read Volume I first to get a feel for the world in which the stories are set and Chrestomanci's role in it...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joaquin Mejia

    Volume 2 of "The Chronicles of Chrestomanci" contains the third and fourth books of the series which are called "The Magicians of Caprona" and "Witch Week". "The Magicians of Caprona" takes place in an Italian state that is being threatened by a mysterious enchanter. "Witch Week" takes place in a school where the people are scared of magic. In both books, the Chrestomanci that the title of the series refers to makes an appearance. Aside from that, the books are very different from each other. I Volume 2 of "The Chronicles of Chrestomanci" contains the third and fourth books of the series which are called "The Magicians of Caprona" and "Witch Week". "The Magicians of Caprona" takes place in an Italian state that is being threatened by a mysterious enchanter. "Witch Week" takes place in a school where the people are scared of magic. In both books, the Chrestomanci that the title of the series refers to makes an appearance. Aside from that, the books are very different from each other. I guess this shows just how versatile Diana Wynne Jones's storytelling is. Volume 2 contains the seventh and eighth books I have read by Diana Wynne Jones. I have already read quite a lot from the author. But I won't stop reading the author's books anytime soon. Her books have become companions during stressful times. I wanted light reading and that is exactly what I experienced while reading Diana Wynne Jones's books. In fact, I bought this omnibus as a preparation for the stress I expected in entering a new school year. A long omnibus with two books that are fun to read was exactly what I wanted. I enjoyed reading the two books so much. I will now have to focus on the books my school requires me to read. But I will still be looking for more books by Diana Wynne Jones.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Nelson

    This volume holds two stories from the Chrestomanci series: The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week. Each story focuses on a different alternate dimension, with the Chrestomanci serving as the ultimate go-to for all magic-related weirdness going on, so he serves as a unifying force throughout the stories. The Magicians of Caprona This is a loose retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, but more focus on magic and war rather than romance. Two houses of famous magicians are feuding, because–well, re This volume holds two stories from the Chrestomanci series: The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week. Each story focuses on a different alternate dimension, with the Chrestomanci serving as the ultimate go-to for all magic-related weirdness going on, so he serves as a unifying force throughout the stories. The Magicians of Caprona This is a loose retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, but more focus on magic and war rather than romance. Two houses of famous magicians are feuding, because–well, reasons,–and they each think the other one is horrible. Because of that, Caprona is weakening and there is a war on the way that they probably can’t win. It looks especially dire when two young magicians (one from each family) go missing and each house thinks the other kidnapped the missing child. I loved this so much. Jones just has such a way about her writing to make the stories particularly magical. Many of the twists were predictable, but the simple telling of the story was wonderful. The characters are brilliant and so vivid, they’re practically jumping off the page at you, walking around with you as you read. There were some characters that revealed unexpected depths in this story, and I enjoyed how everything was woven together. Magic, romance, action, adventure, mystery — this story has EVERYTHING you could possibly want. I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s my favorite Chrestomanci story so far. Witch Week In a dimension where magic is outlawed, there seems to be a whole lot of magic happening at a boarding school. A teacher gets an anonymous note from a student that hints that the person using magic might just be in their own class. Drama and suspense ensues. I didn’t like this as much as Magicians of Caprona, but I still liked it quite a bit; it just took a lot more for me to get into this one. Much of the beginning just seemed to focus on some whiny teenagers, which I didn’t find particularly interesting. What hooked me in, though, was the idea of magic being outlawed in a dimension where there is clearly a lot of magic going around. The best parts in this book for me were when magic was used and how BRILLIANTLY it exploded out of people who so desperately tried to keep it in. The action picks up a great deal halfway through when Chrestomanci shows up, and I enjoyed the resolution a lot. These twists were less predictable than Magicians of Caprona, and I liked how it tied in nicely with a previous book in the series. Overall, though, I greatly recommend the entire series. Diana Wynne Jones is a gem and writes such brilliant middle grade fantasy; it’s stuff that will keep you thinking about long after you’ve read it. She’s definitely an inspiration and one of my absolute favorite writers of the fantasy genre. Her Chrestomanci series is no exception. Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Just read the first one. Didn't like it as much as the first but I warmed to it. Just read the first one. Didn't like it as much as the first but I warmed to it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rindis

    The third and fourth books featured in this collection are better than the first two. Interestingly, they also don't focus on Chrestomanci, and seem to happen around the same time as the first book (as opposed to decades before as in the second book). Book three, The Magicians of Caprona, takes place in an alternate Italy that is still a collection of regional city-states (DWJ states that Chrestomanci's world is a bit more 'old fashioned' than ours, so things are roughly like they were in the fir The third and fourth books featured in this collection are better than the first two. Interestingly, they also don't focus on Chrestomanci, and seem to happen around the same time as the first book (as opposed to decades before as in the second book). Book three, The Magicians of Caprona, takes place in an alternate Italy that is still a collection of regional city-states (DWJ states that Chrestomanci's world is a bit more 'old fashioned' than ours, so things are roughly like they were in the first half of the Nineteenth Century). So, you have a city-state, Caprona, with founding myth of being protected by an angel, and two feuding families that specialize in crafting magic. Things have apparently been going downhill in Caprona for a while, but the viewpoint young characters aren't overly aware of that. Overall, the story is a lot of fun, though it gets more serious for much of the climax. Chrestomanci is basically the 'special guest star', as he shows up for parts of the second half as the plot gets moving. I saw some of the twists coming, but they weren't really the important parts. Definitely my favorite of the series so far. Book four, Witch Week, is even odder. Chrestomanci doesn't show up until very late, and is fairly mystified as to what's going for much of his time there. Though he has a fair amount of fun with the situation in usual DWJ style. This time, we have a boarding school farce. A dreary, depressing, institutional English boarding school, absolutely ordinary from our contemporary point of view. Oh, but witches are a thing in this world, and witchcraft is against the law, and punishable by burning at the stake. Which is an instant signal that this isn't the normal world of magic we've been seeing in the series. A world that sounds a lot like ours, but burnings at the stake happen might seem like something of a stretch, but that turns out to be the point of all the action. Like most of her books, this one has a lot of flailing around until the ending just suddenly collapses into place, but it doesn't feature characters just popping out of the woodwork like some of her's do. Overall, the Chrestomanci series is a lot of fun, and while these books feel more... peripheral thanks to Chrestomanci not being a major part, they're also very much their own thing. I felt the first book suffered to much from characters just showing up for the ending, and the second mirrored the first too strongly, so I definitely like the change of pace here, even if seeing more directly with Chrestomanci and/or Cat would be good.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Tollefson

    I enjoyed both stories, though I agree that Witch Week has a loosely knitted logic to it, and I'm tired of purely evil villains who have minimal motivation (the White Devil in Caprona). Still, both parts were fun reads. The idea behind this particular world system is interesting: when there is a major event, the world can diverge into two time streams, so to speak. If so, however, why are there only 7? Have there been only 7 major historical events where the outcome could have been different enou I enjoyed both stories, though I agree that Witch Week has a loosely knitted logic to it, and I'm tired of purely evil villains who have minimal motivation (the White Devil in Caprona). Still, both parts were fun reads. The idea behind this particular world system is interesting: when there is a major event, the world can diverge into two time streams, so to speak. If so, however, why are there only 7? Have there been only 7 major historical events where the outcome could have been different enough to create a new world? Still, these books are written with children in mind for the audience, so simple is probably better. There is plenty to think about, like the cost of holding on to an opinion (Charles) and what world each action, each choice could make.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily Collins

    I sort of consider this book the weakest link when looking at the Chrestomanci series, but that's really only because I'm not too fond of Witch Week - I think it's bad form to get us horribly attached to characters and then suddenly change those characters into slightly different but really maybe the same characters. It's too much for me. Magicians of Caprona, on the other hand (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?), is fascinating! Look at how differently magic is treated over there, a few countries over f I sort of consider this book the weakest link when looking at the Chrestomanci series, but that's really only because I'm not too fond of Witch Week - I think it's bad form to get us horribly attached to characters and then suddenly change those characters into slightly different but really maybe the same characters. It's too much for me. Magicians of Caprona, on the other hand (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?), is fascinating! Look at how differently magic is treated over there, a few countries over from England! They perform it differently and learn it differently and somehow it all just makes sense anyway! It's incredible! I loved Caprona - that book became an on-the-edge-of-your-seat-read-under-the-table book. Definitely.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I tried, I really did, but I've been trying to finish this book for six weeks now and I'm just not into it. I made it through The Magicians of Caprona, which was really rambly and directionless, and ended rather abruptly. Chrestomanci really wasn't even part of the story; more like he had a special appearance for a few pages. So I've lost interest and I'm thinking this book probably won't get finished. I tried, I really did, but I've been trying to finish this book for six weeks now and I'm just not into it. I made it through The Magicians of Caprona, which was really rambly and directionless, and ended rather abruptly. Chrestomanci really wasn't even part of the story; more like he had a special appearance for a few pages. So I've lost interest and I'm thinking this book probably won't get finished.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tiana Hanson

    When compared to the first volume, the second volume is a bit weaker. Both stories are excellent examinations of how things could be just a little different in parallel worlds with different rules on magic, but with Chrestomanci as only a cameo character in both, it was hard to link them to the first two stories. Nevertheless, they're very in-depth stories and well worth the read. When compared to the first volume, the second volume is a bit weaker. Both stories are excellent examinations of how things could be just a little different in parallel worlds with different rules on magic, but with Chrestomanci as only a cameo character in both, it was hard to link them to the first two stories. Nevertheless, they're very in-depth stories and well worth the read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    I remember this book being much different than the first Chrestomanci volume, but once I got over the fact that Chrestomanci only makes cameo appearances in these two stories I really enjoyed them. Jones is a very unique storyteller, and I definitely plan to read her books to my children some day.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul Black

    This volume is two completely separate stories. Each is set in the Chrestomanci universe. He doesn't appear until near the end to pull things together. Although both were imaginative and the writing was delightful, I didn't like them as much as the original (two). This volume is two completely separate stories. Each is set in the Chrestomanci universe. He doesn't appear until near the end to pull things together. Although both were imaginative and the writing was delightful, I didn't like them as much as the original (two).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hanne Federwölkchen

    I have to say it with Mr. Gaiman: Always perfectly magical!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Julien Devin

    One of the stories is really great (witch week) while the other is aggressively mediocre (caprona) so I guess that averages to 4 stars?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    Review of the Magicians of Caprona: A lovely little jaunt to Italy within the (let's be honest: boundless) boundaries of the World of Crestomanci. Written with the unique, witty and imaginative writing style of Wynne Jones yet opening up a whole new world to the reader. In my opinion this is something she is particullary good at. I am not an Italian (so do not take my word for it) but I really felt immersed in an 'Italian' (completely different) atmosphere by the way Wynne Jones described human i Review of the Magicians of Caprona: A lovely little jaunt to Italy within the (let's be honest: boundless) boundaries of the World of Crestomanci. Written with the unique, witty and imaginative writing style of Wynne Jones yet opening up a whole new world to the reader. In my opinion this is something she is particullary good at. I am not an Italian (so do not take my word for it) but I really felt immersed in an 'Italian' (completely different) atmosphere by the way Wynne Jones described human interaction, characters, locations, details etc. I love how she can give me the feeling of exploring a new world every time I open one of her books and manages to combine her seemlingly unlimited and slightly absurd magical creations. Onother aspect I really like of her stories is the way cats always seem take an important role upon themselves yet everytime in a different way. I particullary like the role of cats in this part of the book and how she described their characters and way of communication. And it is also just very funny. I can not remember this book from when I was a child, as I did with the previous too. Maybe I missed it or maybe I forgot but I am glad that I read it. It took me a little longer to get through than the other two books, so that might be why. Nevertheless, glad to have read it. I reviewed Witch Week, the second book of this volume, in a seperate review tied to the single edition of this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    aquiverofwords

    Let me break this down, okay? I. MAGICIANS OF CAPRONA What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful premise. The start of the story was pretty Romeo-and-Juliet-esque, but then things began to spice up when the magic entered the mix. Diana Wynne Jones has this way of writing that just feels super unreal. As if what you're reading doesn't really exist. She doesn't describe very much, and if you're looking for a detailed dissection of what each character is, you are reading the wrong book. References from Let me break this down, okay? I. MAGICIANS OF CAPRONA What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful premise. The start of the story was pretty Romeo-and-Juliet-esque, but then things began to spice up when the magic entered the mix. Diana Wynne Jones has this way of writing that just feels super unreal. As if what you're reading doesn't really exist. She doesn't describe very much, and if you're looking for a detailed dissection of what each character is, you are reading the wrong book. References from previous stories and references that start making sense when you read the next few books are interspersed through-out the narratives in this entire series, and you are left to draw your own conclusions. I thought that this style of writing was beautiful. II. WITCH WEEK A realistic, humorous portrayal of schools and friendships, types of kids in schools, and the serious issue of bullying. Also another very interesting premise.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Meyer

    The Magicians of Capona- 5 stars. A super fun tale rather reminiscent of Shakespeare. I liked all the rivalry and the spooky puppets and the cats. Tonino was super cute. I loved him. Witch Week- 5 stars. Just as fun as the other adventure, although I think this one was my favorite of the two. I love school stories, and when you combine that with witches, things get super fun. She managed to have several points of view without ever being confusing. I also like how Chrestomanci might be a super powe The Magicians of Capona- 5 stars. A super fun tale rather reminiscent of Shakespeare. I liked all the rivalry and the spooky puppets and the cats. Tonino was super cute. I loved him. Witch Week- 5 stars. Just as fun as the other adventure, although I think this one was my favorite of the two. I love school stories, and when you combine that with witches, things get super fun. She managed to have several points of view without ever being confusing. I also like how Chrestomanci might be a super powerful sorcerer, but he doesn't do everything for everyone. They have to make their own choices in life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Magicians of Caprona is a solid 3 stars. It was fun but didn't really grab hold. Witch Week is more like 4. I should have taken a break between stories because I wasn't much in the mood for the first few chapters to read another light kid's story. After reading some thrilling manga I was able to be more in the mood. This one is a solid story that's a lot of fun too. I felt for some of the characters a lot more than the first story. Was really feeling it for Nan and hating on Charles. The ending w Magicians of Caprona is a solid 3 stars. It was fun but didn't really grab hold. Witch Week is more like 4. I should have taken a break between stories because I wasn't much in the mood for the first few chapters to read another light kid's story. After reading some thrilling manga I was able to be more in the mood. This one is a solid story that's a lot of fun too. I felt for some of the characters a lot more than the first story. Was really feeling it for Nan and hating on Charles. The ending was clever and I didn't see it coming.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna Catherine

    I meant to review this ages ago but I forgot, so this'll be a brief and rusty review. I LOVED the first story. It was SO CREEPY. It reminded me of a Doctor Who episode. The second one was really neat, and I liked how it kept you guessing. I did get frustrated at characters having big messes to fix in their lives, but that's because I'm a sissy. XD Great read! I meant to review this ages ago but I forgot, so this'll be a brief and rusty review. I LOVED the first story. It was SO CREEPY. It reminded me of a Doctor Who episode. The second one was really neat, and I liked how it kept you guessing. I did get frustrated at characters having big messes to fix in their lives, but that's because I'm a sissy. XD Great read!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    The magicians of Caprona is a little different, It's to me a bit darker than the other 2 stories I read from the Chrestomanci chronicles. It's settled in Italy where to families are in war for a long time. When a real war is starting the two families will have to work together to make an end to the war that will destroy Caprona the city both families love. The second story : Witch week, is totally different. It's about a world where witches get burned at the stake. So being a witch is really terr The magicians of Caprona is a little different, It's to me a bit darker than the other 2 stories I read from the Chrestomanci chronicles. It's settled in Italy where to families are in war for a long time. When a real war is starting the two families will have to work together to make an end to the war that will destroy Caprona the city both families love. The second story : Witch week, is totally different. It's about a world where witches get burned at the stake. So being a witch is really terrifying in this world. When someone in class gets accused of being a witch everything goes wrong. everybody starts accusing everybody and it gets really dangeres. I like this book the best because the world looks most like our own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    I thought these Chrestomanci books were even better than the first two. By the end of the fourth, I really came to love the quirks of Chrestomanci, and I love the complicated series of worlds Jones has created.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    So fun to read, as always. Might have been 4 stars, or 4.5, but Witch Week was just so enjoyable. Great characters and amazing plot and such an entertaining writing style, as always. Diana Wynne Jones really is a masterful writer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The Magicians of Caprona--4/5 Witch Week--3/5 The Magicians of Caprona--4/5 Witch Week--3/5

  24. 4 out of 5

    Misaki Acuna

    So goooood! I used to have a crush on Chrestomanci when I first read this series in Japanese as a teenager.haha My husband got me these in English and I've been enjoying this again! I honestly think that they should make a movie out of this series!! So goooood! I used to have a crush on Chrestomanci when I first read this series in Japanese as a teenager.haha My husband got me these in English and I've been enjoying this again! I honestly think that they should make a movie out of this series!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Enjoyable Jones fantasy stories, though less organized than the first two. There are some creepy puppet scenes and sadly less extravagant dressing gowns, but generally still solid Chrestomanci fare.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Didn't enjoy as much as the first volume Didn't enjoy as much as the first volume

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I was missing a lot of world building. I liked the premise of book 4 in particular but I never invested in any of the characters.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ursula

    Not as good as the first volume set, but still very good.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katya

    3.5 stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    some mushroom dude

    witch week is fantastic and gets brownie points for better use of guy fawkes than v for vendetta

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