Order of Reading Chrestomanci
klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Wed May 24 14:01:29 EDT 2000
I've been rereading my Chrestomanci books lately (as
perhaps evidenced by my newest sig). Normally, when I read or re-read
books in any sort of series, I like to do it in the order in which they
were written, because that way you're getting the ideas in the way the
author did (or at least expected you to). But when I reread the
Chrestomanci books, I always do it in the order I originally read them,
starting with _Lives_ and then going on to _Charmed Life_. This brought
up a very old question - what is it like to actually read those two in the
order they were written? I mean, ever since the first time I read
_Charmed Life_, I've always thought about how some things that are not
supposed to be obvious (maybe not deeply hidden, but not obvious) seemed
that way to me. So I was never surprised by the fact that Chrestomanci
and Millie/y could cast magic, or by Chrestomanci being the cousin of
Cat's parents, or the true natue of his job. I was wondering if there are
equivalents in reading the books in the order I did. I mean, I was never
surprised by the nine lives or the magic in _Lives_, even though I read it
first; the packaging of my copy sorta spoils all that, plus, by the time
I was nine, I knew that this was the way that sort of book went. On the
other hand, I was surprised when the Goddess actually did come through
into Christopher's world; I think that if I had read _Charmed Life_ first,
I wouldn't have been. I guess I'm just sending this off b/c I would like
to hear other people's thoughts on this.
Chrestomanci: "...You see, I've been thinking about you-"
Cat: "Oh, you needn't!"
Chrestomanci: "It didn't hurt much. Thank you all the same...."
---Diana Wynne Jones, _Charmed Life_
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