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The Chrestomanci Series - the Magicians of Caprona (Chrestomanci) Unbound – Import, April 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Chrestomanci
  • Unbound
  • Publisher: PerfectBound; Adobe EBook Reader Ed edition (April 1, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0060511524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060511524
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

More About the Author

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards--and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter--her books were filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy. From the very beginning, Diana Wynne Jones's books garnered literary accolades: her novel Dogsbody was a runner-up for the 1975 Carnegie Medal, and Charmed Life won the esteemed Guardian children's fiction prize in 1977. Since then, in addition to being translated into more than twenty languages, her books have earned a wide array of honors--including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors--and appeared on countless best-of-the-year lists. Her work also found commercial success: in 1992 the BBC adapted her novel Archer's Goon into a six-part miniseries, and her best-selling Howl's Moving Castle was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki in 2004. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006, and became one of the most financially successful Japanese films in history. The author herself has also been honored with many prestigious awards for the body of her work. She was given the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999 for having made a significant impact on fantasy, received a D.Lit from Bristol University in 2006, and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in 2007.

Born just outside London in 1934, Diana Wynne Jones had a childhood that was "very vivid and often very distressing"--one that became the fertile ground where her tremendous imagination took root. When the raids of World War II reached London in 1939, the five-year-old girl and her two younger sisters were torn from their suburban life and sent to Wales to live with their grandparents. This was to be the first of many migrations, one of which brought her family to Lane Head, a large manor in the author-populated Lake District and former residence of John Ruskin's secretary, W.G. Collingwood. This time marked an important moment in Diana Wynne Jones's life, where her writing ambitions were magnified by, in her own words, "early marginal contacts with the Great." She confesses to having "offending Arthur Ransome by making a noise on the shore beside his houseboat," erasing a stack of drawings by the late Ruskin himself in order to reuse the paper, and causing Beatrix Potter (who also lived nearby) to complain about her and her sister's behavior. "It struck me," Jones said, "that the Great were remarkably touchy and unpleasant, and I thought I would like to be the same, without the unpleasantness." Prompted by her penny-pinching father's refusal to buy the children any books, Diana Wynne Jones wrote her first novel at age twelve and entertained her sisters with readings of her stories. Those early stories--and much of her future work--were inspired by a limited but crucial foundation of classics: Malory's Morte D'Arthur, The Arabian Nights, and Epics and Romances of the Middle Ages. Fantasy was Jones's passion from the start, despite receiving little support from her often neglectful parents. This passion was fueled further during her tenure at St. Anne's College in Oxford, where lectures by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis increased her fascination with myth and legend. She married Medievalist John Burrow in 1956; the couple have three sons and six grandchildren.

After a decade of rejections, Diana Wynne Jones's first novel, Changeover, was published in 1970. In 1973, she joined forces with her lifelong literary agent, Laura Cecil, and in the four decades to follow, Diana Wynne Jones wrote prodigiously, sometimes completing three titles in a single year. Along the way she gained a fiercely loyal following; many of her admirers became successful authors themselves, including Newbery Award winners Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman, and Newbery Honor Book author Megan Whalen Turner. A conference dedicated solely to her work was held at the University of West England, Bristol, in 2009. Diana Wynne Jones continued to write during her battle with lung cancer, which ultimately took her life in March 2011. Her last book, Earwig and the Witch, will be published by Greenwillow Books in 2012.

Customer Reviews

When I read it for the second time, I absolutly loved it!
L. Fox
The magic is wonderful, the characters -- particularly Tonino -- are aptly described and vivid.
"shayamorph"
A good book for the late grade school to early teen years.
R. Albin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read all the Chrestomanci books, their the best. Perfect for someone who loves Harry Potter. I'm just a 13 year old who can't get enough of either. Diana Wynne Jones is a wonderful writer. As soon as i finish one of her books, I just have to pick up another. The Magicians of Caprona is an enchanted romance. In which Tonino Montana and Angelica Petrocchis are able to put their family diffrences aside to save Caprona.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is another book in the Chrstomanci Universe, but the story is this time set in Italy. In this universe just a little off from our own, magic is commonplace and spellcasters highly respected, and all of the practitioners of magic in the world are overseen by the legendary Chrestomanci, a nine-lived sorcerer and the only one in the world powerful enough to ensure that magic is never misused to the detriment of any normals. In the Italian city-state of Caprona, there are two major spellcasting families in the middle of a generations-long feud. In fact, they've been feuding so long that no one remembers why they are feuding (no, it's not a cheap Romeo-and-Juliet hack), and the favored occupation of the school-aged children is to invent terrible stories of the beginning of the feud to frighten their younger siblings. The story follows a young boy in one of the families, thought to be much slower at spellcasting than anyone in the family and privately a bit of a disappointment, who is chosen as the special pet of the head of the family's cats, Bevenuto, who is possibly the second-most-respected creature in the household. Definately reminiscent of The Lives of Christopher Chant.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book over fifteen years ago and still remember the story very well. It is a Romeo & Juliet style story of friendship despite family feuds and the magic add more than a touch of excitement. It is a wonderful book which really fires the imagination of children and adults alike. I would not hesitate to recommend it to the children of my friends.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third book in the Chrestomanci series, this one takes place in Caprona, Italy, far away from Chrestomanci Castle in England. It is rather different from the other three books in the series, but I enjoyed it a lot. I found it impossible to put down, even after I had finished reading it. I read it through a second time and then settled down to think about the plot. The feuding houses of Casa Montana and Casa Petrochi are the two strongest spell houses in Italy. Yet, their virtue is fading. An enemy enchanter is helping other states nibble on and finally war against Caprona. The only thing that can save Caprona is for the words to the powerful spell, "The Angel" to be found. And no one knows where they could be! Matters get horribly worse when young Tonino from Casa Montana and Angelica from Casa Petrochi are kidnapped by ? (you have to read the book to find out)! Both casas are sure that the other one has kidnapped their child. But Tonino and Angelica have made their peace inside their prison and have even figured out where the words of the Angel are. But they can't get away from their powerful and horrifying captor. And to make matters worse, the rest of their families seem to have been enchanted by the enemy enchanter as well. How can two young children who are the least talented in their families, ever save themselves, let alone Caprona? Read the book and find out!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Magicians of Caprona" is part of the Chrestomanci quartet, a series of books with no particular chronological order and which are related only in regard to the presence of the magician known as the Chrestomanci. This wizard is no grey-bearded aged old man, but a young handsome character whose responsibility it is to keep in balance all magic in all the worlds.

All of the books except this one are set in a parallel version of Britain, and in a foreword to this story Diana Wynne Jones explains that here Italy never became a united country, and is still split up into states - one of which is Caprona. Caprona is a beautiful city, watched from above by the great Angel of Caprona atop the Cathedral, who long ago drove out the White Devil. The only blight upon the city is the ongoing feud between its two major families: the Montanas and the Petrocchis.

In case you haven't guessed by now, there are indeed hints of "Romeo and Juliet" at work. But in typical Wynne Jones style, the story is not told from the lovers' point of view, but rather from younger members of both families - predominantly Tonino and Paolo Montana. Like all the children of their family, they've been raised to hate the Petrocchis, and the rumours of a coming war against Caprona raises ill-will even higher.

But a visit from Chrestomanci reveals that he believes an evil enchanter is at work, though their identity is a mystery unknown even to him. The only way that they can save the city is to find the missing words to the Angel of Caprona song, and to do that it seems that the families will have to work together.

But then Tonino and Angelica Petrocchi disappear, the two most notoriously bad spell-casters of the families.
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