Book review: Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 6: Conrad’s Fate

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Author:Diana Wynne Jones
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 8 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Year of publication:2005

Either Diana Wynne Jones must have had a truly rocky relationship with her uncle, and found that her mother did not protect her from him, or else she's just got a thing against uncles. In any case, evil uncles are major drivers of plots in Jones' intriguing set of worlds, as Conrad Tesdinic, the 12 yr. old narrator of this book, learns. Conrad's uncle is every bit as evil in his own ways as Christopher Chant's (who becomes the Chrestomanci in Diana Wynne Jones' universe) was to him.

A 16 yr. old Christopher Chant and his future wife, Millie, play supporting roles in this, the eventful, but not frenetic story of how Conrad avoids the terrible fate his uncle attempts to foist upon him and instead finds himself a mentor.

My now-11 year old and I really enjoy our glimpses into Diana Wynne Jones' multiple alternative universes, in which the outcomes of historical events led to the preeminence of technology in some universes and the preeminence of magic in others.

Although Conrad's Fate stands well on its own, we recommend that readers enter this interesting and complicated universe by reading at least A Charmed Life and then The Lives of Christopher Chant before reading this one.
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