First Jones

Anita Graham amgraham at
Wed Sep 1 09:51:18 EDT 1999

At 6:00 PM +0100 31/8/99, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:
>Funny how many of us are biased towards the first Chrestomanci book we
>For other readers, my recommendations would be very much along the same
>lines as Deborah's.  Howl for almost anyone, and Hexwood, F & H and Deep
>Secret only for readers who like complexity.  I think it's no big shock
>that no one has claimed to start with Sudden Wild Magic.  I'm almost
>finished that, and will then go back and read all your references to it,
>and see if I have to read it again.  But meanwhile, I'm just thankful that
>I didn't come across it first.

My recommendations are almost back-to-front for these...

First...I haven't read all the DWJ books there are. I've just finished Cart
and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet (thanks, Sally) and I'm still mulling over
them. Oh, and Dark Lord, which I'd better reread before its due back at the

I can see the Chrestomanci books being a good intro for a child (haven't
read Christopher Chant). They are at the same time fun but each has periods
of genuine horror (being a puppet and being knocked around, the witch
burnings, Cat's lives returning outside the dining room window) which is
intrinsic to the story. And Gwendoline is as nasty as can be!

As I'm still thinking about the two Dalemark books I'd be reluctant to
recommend them outright. I think in both of them I spent a lot of time
waiting for something to happen then they ended! (OK, there's more to them
that...and they are the opposite of Fire and Hemlock and Hexwood in that

But I think Deep Secret has to be one of the most satisfying books I've
read for a long, long time while I was fairly underwhelmed by A Sudden Wild
Magic even on a second read. (Maybe I'm not deep enough for it.) I didn't
think Deep Secret was hard or complicated - just absolute magic!

I'd like to read Howl before Castle in the Air (which is on my shelves),
but should I wait until I've read Spellcoats before I tackle Crown of
Dalemark (which I've just bought)?

And where does that leave Homeward Bounders - dark for sure, but a great
introduction to DWJ.

Anita (yeah, I know, can't put two coherent thoughts together)

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list