Order of Reading Chrestomanci

liril at gmx.net liril at gmx.net
Mon May 29 05:42:31 EDT 2000

Hello Kyra,

> 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.

Whilst I read Charmed Live before I read The Lives of Christopher Chant, I am
not certain whether it was the first Chrestomanic book I read. Maybe I read
Witch Week or the Magicians of Caprona first, and then you know some things
about Chrestomanci, too and are, e.g. not suprised about the nature of his
"job" or because he is a powerful enchanter. But I do remember that I was
surprised that all the people in the castle turned out to be magic users in
the end.

Concerning the "reverse experience" (things I wasn't surpried at in LoCC): of
course the silver problem, that is revealed in CL. So it was clear to me why
he could somtimes do no magic. And you're right, as soon as Christopher bought
the "Millie-Books" it dawned on me who the Goddess was, and that in some way
she would end up in Christophers world. But the interesting thing is how it
happend, and that was suprising enough. And I would not have expected that
kind of past from Millie. Fits very well, though: she is a person many people

Chrestomanci himself tells Cat in CL about the "Empty your pockets"-scene in
LoCC: ever since I read that I tried to imagine it... (It also rose the
question of the first name of Chrestomanci. I gave that some thought,
considered some names and never knowing LoCC even existed decided that
Christopher would be a very fitting name. Now imagine my face when I found out
there was a book about the young Chrestomanci and that his name was indeed
Christopher! *There are no coincidences, I should have learned that by
now*)And I when I finally read the scene, I thought it was so good: Especially
the end, when the house is totaly devastated and Christopher looks at Dr
Pawson (was that his name?) and you might think he would be terrified or
somthing. But he has to hold back laughing, and it's great that he, too seems
already at that point to see how funny the whole scene is.

It was also interesting to learn how (and why) Chrestomanci "cultivated a
vague expression". It threw an interesting light to all the other scenes I
know when the adult Chrestomanci looked "mild and vague"...

One last thing: I had always thought that Chrestomanci was a bit harsh and
hard with Cat's parents in CL. But when I learned about his relationship with
Francis Chant (and how nasty he was), I could at least see why he didn't like
him in the first place.


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