Enchanted Glass
  • Enchanted Glass
  • Enchanted Glass

Enchanted Glass

4.1 25
by Diana Wynne Jones
     
 

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Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. His gran died, he was sent to a foster home, and now malicious beings are stalking him. There is one person Gran told Aidan to go to if he ever got into trouble—a powerful sorcerer who lives at Melstone House.

But when Aidan arrives on the doorstep, he finds that the sorcerer's grandson, Andrew, has inherited

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Overview

Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. His gran died, he was sent to a foster home, and now malicious beings are stalking him. There is one person Gran told Aidan to go to if he ever got into trouble—a powerful sorcerer who lives at Melstone House.

But when Aidan arrives on the doorstep, he finds that the sorcerer's grandson, Andrew, has inherited the house. The good news is that Aidan can tell immediately that Andrew's brimming with magic, too—and so is everyone else at Melstone. The bad news is that Andrew doesn't remember anything his grandfather taught him. Chaos is swiftly rising, and he has no idea how to control it. A sinister neighbor is stealing power from the land, magic is leaking between realms . . . and it's only a matter of time before the Stalkers find Aidan.

If Aidan and Andrew can harness their own magics, they may be able to help each other. But can they do it before the entire countryside comes apart at the seams?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One of the foremost living children's fantasy writers, Jones serves up a quirky comedy of magicians dealing with an incursion of troublesome fairies in contemporary England. Andrew Hope, an absentminded academic with magical abilities he barely recognizes, has inherited the property and responsibilities of his wizard grandfather. Melstone House comes complete with two bossy and irate servants, Mr. Stock and Mrs. Stock (no relation), as well as a number of supernatural beings, including an elusive giant. Andrew wants to write a book, but he's soon distracted by 12-year-old Aidan, who is on the run from supernatural enemies; Stashe, a pretty young woman intent on becoming his secretary; and the wealthy, powerful, and mysterious Mr. Brown. The pacing is leisurely, but Jones writes with the utmost respect for readers' intelligence. One very funny gag has Stashe using horse racing results for divination (“The two-oh-five at Kempton: first, Dark Menace; second, Runaway; third, Sanctuary. That seems to outline the situation pretty well, doesn't it?”), just one of several unusual talents that Melstone residents exhibit. Although the book contains a few tense moments, whimsy is the dominant mood and there's little doubt that virtue and romance will triumph. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Irresistible to adventure, humor, and fantasy buffs.”
Booklist
"Jones hits all the bases with her fluid storytelling, trademark sly humor, and exquisitely drawn characters…With this enthralling book, Jones proves that she is still at the top of her game."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Irresistible to adventure, humor, and fantasy buffs.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Irresistible to adventure, humor, and fantasy buffs."
The Horn Book
“An intelligent, refreshing hoot.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Jones hits all the bases with her fluid storytelling, trademark sly humor, and exquisitely drawn characters…With this enthralling book, Jones proves that she is still at the top of her game.”
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
An orphaned English boy with large spectacles, a mismatched foster family, and an adult wizard/mentor combine to make it seem as if Jones has joined the Cult of Potter. After the death of his "Gran," Aidan Cain feels supernatural forces aligning against him. With only the name Jocelyn Brand and a location of Melstone House to go on, Aidan runs away from his foster parents to find protection from threatening specters. Unfortunately Jocelyn is dead and his grandson, Andrew Hope, is a reluctant "occultist," unsure of his powers and how to protect the "field of care" that he has inherited. Andrew's inheritance is under attack by a neighboring wizard who wishes to expand his own domain. Confusion reigns, with doppelganger characters, a mostly vegetarian giant, and a were-dog who morphs into a boy (accounting for his powers of speech and thought). There are too many adults in the early pages of the book, crowding Aiden. The appearance of Oberon, the Fairy King; his servant, Puck; and his consort, Titania, on a Midsummer Night acknowledges earlier myth, but these characters seem ill fitted to the Roald Dahl-like writing that is Jones's stock-in-trade. The were-dog and a goofy giant named Groil win the award for best supporting characters, and there is a brawl at a county fair that will compel readers to laugh out loud. Overall, there are so many characters that it is difficult to keep them straight, and the book feels messy and imitative, far less than one might expect from a true master of the fantasy genre like Jones. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—In Diana Wynne Jones's labyrinthine tale (Greenwillow, 2010), Andrew Hope has recently been informed of his grandfather's death and subsequent inheritance of his estate in Melstone. As Andrew comes to take possession of the house and property, he discovers some rather unusual characters both within the grounds and outside in what his grandfather called his "field of care." When a boy named Aidan Cain shows up on his doorstep seeking protection, Andrew finds himself embroiled in a magical mystery involving the great fairy king Oberon, regular village folk of Melstone, and various magical creatures. Andrew must discover everything his grandfather wanted him to remember from his childhood about the "field of care." Steven Crossley's deep, rich voice suits the subtle ironies and complications of the text. While he shows great skill in timing, he is less adept at voicing the many characters in Andrew's world. He gives most of the villagers the same type of accent, except for Andrew's love interest, Stashe, who sounds very different. Andrew believes that Stashe's father, Tarquin, is a leprechaun, and while Crossley sometimes gives him a very slight Irish accent, it is mostly inconsistent. These vocal problems make an already complicated plot even more difficult to follow. With Jones's penchant for assuming her readers will infer many important plot points by careful listening, and Crossley's erratic narration, this is best suited to fans of the author's previous work.—Necia Blundy, Marlborough Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Wynne Jones's inimitable style showcases a multi-generational cast of heroes and a chaotic finale at the village fete. Andrew Hope leaves his job as a university lecturer when his grandfather bequeaths him both a house and a field-of-care. Andrew isn't exactly sure what the field-of-care is, but he knows he needs to protect it. Perhaps it has something to do with the mystical beasties he'd forgotten inhabit his grandfather's land. Or perhaps it has something to do with 12-year-old Aidan, the runaway who's taken refuge with Andrew after being chased from a foster home by creatures he calls Stalkers. Goodness knows Andrew won't get a moment's peace to write his Great Work unless he takes control of the whole shebang. A rousing finale-complete with zeppelin-sized squash, a bouncy castle and several Darth Vaders-brings it all home for a gleeful, magic-packed conclusion. Too bad much of the humor comes from cheap fat jokes, classism and jibes about the cognitively disabled; the mean-spirited moments mar an otherwise playful frolic. (Fantasy. 10-12)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Irresistible to adventure, humor, and fantasy buffs.”
Neil Gaiman
“She’s the best children’s writer of the last 40 years. I read her latest book, Enchanted Glass, and marveled once again at how good she is. It’s a tale of magic, double-dealing, subversion, and plot, not to mention giant vegetables and dangerous fairies.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061866845
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/06/2010
Pages:
292
Sales rank:
1,411,665
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

Neil Gaiman
“She’s the best children’s writer of the last 40 years. I read her latest book, Enchanted Glass, and marveled once again at how good she is. It’s a tale of magic, double-dealing, subversion, and plot, not to mention giant vegetables and dangerous fairies.”

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