Chrestomanci Chronicles

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Mon Feb 12 15:55:52 EST 2001

>I was in Barnes and Noble last night when I rounded a corner and came face
>to face with the new Chrestomanci Chronicles.  It was a very bad moment
>for me: I came hugely close to buying them, despite the fact that I had no
>money and at least two copies of every book in them already.  I did, of
>course, pick them up and look at them, and wanted to ask what you guys
>thought of the order.  The first one had Charmed Life and then Lives, and
>the second had Magicians and then Witch Week--for some odd reason the back
>of the second one didn't say anything about Witch Week--it was just a
>teaser for Magicians.  And the back of the first one made it quite obvious
>that Cat and Christopher were related in some way, which I suppose might
>be obvious since they have the same last name, but I read LoCC after CL
>and I seem to remember that it took me a while to figure out that the two
>books were at all related, and I think that was a good thing.  I know that
>reading order has been discussed quite a bit before, but I was just
>wondering if anyone would have placed the books differently. . . or
>what.  All I know is, there is now a great gift item on the market.
>Also, since I mentioned the backs of books, I was wondering if anyone felt
>as strongly about those as some of us do about covers (which by the way
>aren't awful, but nor are they awe-inspiring: they simply have a rather
>fluffy cat that doesn't really make me think of Throgmorten though it
>could be Fiddle or even Bethei--I should have looked closer and seen if
>they'd adjusted it to look slightly violin-ish :^).

Yes.  My first DWJ was LoCC, from the library, and it must have had a 
sensible amount of info about the book, as I found the beginning 
delightfully not-according-to-any-expectations that might have been 
floating around.  Becca felt the same when I read it to her.  But 
then we eventually found a copy in print from Amazon, so it was that 
one I read to Cara.  That's the one that says "Christopher has nine 
lives.  And he's going to need every one of them"  or something to 
that effect.  Cara had been looking at the book for ages before I 
read it to her, and was really very annoyed that so much had been 
given away.  I mean, I know it was pretty obvious in many ways, but 
this was our first DWJ and so we hadn't a clue what to expect, and it 
just made it so much fun NOT knowing ahead of time what was going on.

>I'll start by saying
>that I really like the back of the Ace version of Howl:
>In which a witch bewitched the hatter's daughter. . . and then some.
>Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, which
>was  land where invisible cloaks and seven-league boots really did
>exist.  Which meant that nothing was quite as it seemed and anything could
>happen--especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up.  Which
>was often.
>As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes, Sophie stayed in
>her father's hat shop.  Which proved most unadventurious, until the Witch
>of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased.  Which was why
>she turned Sophie into an old lady.  Which was spiteful witchery.
>Now Sophie must seek her own fortune.  Which means striking a bargain with
>the lecherous Wizard Howl.  Which means entering his ever-moving castle,
>taming a blue fire demon, grappling with  green slime. . . and meeting the
>Witch of the Waste head-on.  Which was more than Sophie bargained for.
>I like it because: a, it sets up the story very nicely.  b, it doesn't
>give anything away.  c, it's funny to read after you've read the book--the
>green slime bit, i.e.  d, it's written in a style that is sort of like the
>book.  e, it seems to have been written by someone who read the book.
>All right then.  Thoughts?

That _is_ nice!


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