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Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 2, Book 1: The Magicians of Caprona : Reviewed

Author:Diana Wynne Jones
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 8 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Year of publication:2001

The books in this set are:
  • Magicians of Caprona
  • Witch Week
After reading Volume 1 of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci -- Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant -- we were very eager to read the second volume.

But the first book in this volume, The Magicians of Caprona, a Chrestomanci-universe-based story with many similarities to Romeo and Juliet was a real disappointment.

In this case, of course, the warring families are magicians who fight each other by casting spells. The story is told from the point of view of a "slow-learner", who, of course, brings the families together and saves the city, and learns he is differently-abled, not dis-abled.

Even though the author is obviously a talented, creative, and thoughtful writer, we found this book tedious and predictable. Surprisingly little violence, despite the war that underlies the plot. Surprisingly little romance, considering the Romeo and Juliet theme. Much discussion of Punch and Judy, so the reader might want to be familiar with traditional puppet shows/themes before reading this...

-- Emily

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Other reviews: Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 2, Book 1: The Magicians of Caprona
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