The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume I: Charmed Life / The Lives of Christopher Chant

Overview

In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic—and to hold the title Chrestomanci...

The Chants are a family strong in magic, but neither Christopher Chant nor Cat Chant can work even the simplest of spells. Who could have dreamed that both Christopher and Cat were born with nine lives—or that they could lose them so quickly?

...
See more details below
Paperback (2 BKS IN 1)
$8.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (113) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $4.76   
  • Used (101) from $1.99   
Note: Visit our Teens Store.
Sending request ...

Overview

In this multiple parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds, only an enchanter with nine lives is powerful enough to control the rampant misuse of magic—and to hold the title Chrestomanci...

The Chants are a family strong in magic, but neither Christopher Chant nor Cat Chant can work even the simplest of spells. Who could have dreamed that both Christopher and Cat were born with nine lives—or that they could lose them so quickly?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

U.S. News & World Report
Mad about Harry? Try Diana.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Omnibus paperback editions combine two Chrestomanci novels in each volume: Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant make up The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Volume I; Volume II has The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064472685
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Chrestomanci Series
  • Edition description: 2 BKS IN 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 178,238
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) 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.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

CAT CHANT ADMIRED his elder sister Gwendolen. She was a witch. He admired her and he clung to her. Great changes came about in their lives and left him no one else to cling to.

The first great change came about when their parents took them out for a day trip down the river in a paddle steamer. They set out in great style, Gwendolen and her mother in white dresses with ribbons, Cat and his father in prickly blue-serge Sunday suits. It was a hot day. The steamer was crammed with other people in holiday clothes, talking, laughing, eating whelks with thin slices of white bread and butter, while the paddleboat steam organ wheezed out popular tunes so that no one could hear themselves talk.

In fact the steamer was too crowded and too old. Something went wrong with the steering. The whole laughing, whelk-eating, Sunday-dressed crowd was swept away in the current from the dam. They hit one of the posts which were supposed to stop people being swept away, and the paddle steamer, being old, simply broke into pieces. Cat remembered the organ playing and the paddles beating the blue sky. Clouds of steam screamed from broken pipes and drowned the screams from the crowd, as every single person aboard was swept away through the dam. It was a terrible accident. The papers called it the Saucy Nancy Disaster. The ladies in their clinging skirts were quite unable to swim. The men in tight blue serge were very little better off. But Gwendolen was a witch, so she could not drown. And Cat, who flung his arms around Gwendolen when the boat hit the post, survived too. There were very few other survivors.

The whole country was shocked by it. The paddleboat company andthe town of Wolvercote between them paid for the funerals. Gwendolen and Cat were given heavy black clothes at public expense, and rode behind the procession of hearses in a carriage pulled by black horses with black plumes on their heads. The other survivors rode with them. Cat looked at them and wondered if they were witches and warlocks, but he never found out. The Mayor of Wolvercote had set up a Fund for the survivors. Money poured in from all over the country. All the other survivors took their share and went away to start new lives elsewhere. Only Cat and Gwendolen were left and, since nobody could discover any of their relations, they stayed in Wolvercote.

They became celebrities for a time. Everyone was very kind. Everyone said what beautiful little orphans they were. It was true. They were both fair and pale, with blue eyes, and looked good in black. Gwendolen was very pretty, and tall for her age. Cat was small for his age. Gwendolen was very motherly to Cat, and people were touched. Cat did not mind. It made up a little for the empty, lost way he was feeling. Ladies gave him cake and toys. Town Councillors came and asked how he was getting on; and the Mayor called and patted him on the head. The Mayor explained that the money from the Fund was being put into a Trust for them until they were grown up. Meanwhile, the town would pay for their education and upbringing.

" And where would you little people like to live?" he asked kindly.

Gwendolen at once said that old Mrs. Sharp downstairs had offered to take them in. "She's been ever so kind to us," she explained. "We'd love to live with her."

Mrs. Sharp had been very kind. She was a witch too--the printed sign in her parlor window said Certified Witch-and interested in Gwendolen. The Mayor was a little dubious. Like all people who had no talent for witchcraft, he did not approve of those who had. He asked Cat how he felt about Gwendolen's plan. Cat did not mind. He preferred living in the house he was used to, even if it was downstairs. Since the Mayor felt that the two orphans ought to be made as happy as possible, he agreed. Gwendolen and Cat moved in with Mrs. Sharp.

Looking back on it, Cat supposed that it was from this time on that he was certain Gwendolen was a witch. He had not been sure before. When he had asked his parents, they had shaken their heads, sighed, and looked unhappy. Cat had been puzzled, because he remembered the terrible trouble there had been when Gwendolen gave him cramps. He could not see how his parents could blame Gwendolen for it unless she truly was a witch. But all that was changed now. Mrs. Sharp made no secret of it.

"You've a real talent for magic, dearie," she said, beaming at Gwendolen, "and I wouldn't be doing my duty by you if I let it go to waste. We must see about a teacher for you right away. You could do worse than go to Mr. Nostrum next door for a start. He may be the worst necromancer in town, but he knows how to teach. He'll give you a good grounding, my love."

Mr. Nostrum's charges for teaching magic turned out to be one puond an hour for the Elementary Grades, and a guinea an hour for the Advanced Grades beyond. Rather expensive, as Mrs. Sharp said. She put on her best hat with black beads and ran around to the Town Hall to see if the Fund would pay for Gwendolen's lessons.

To her annoyance, the Mayor refused. He told Mrs. Sharp that witchcraft was not part of an ordinary education. Mrs. Sharp came back rattling the beads on her hat with irritation, and carrying a flat cardboard box the Mayor had given her, full of the odds and ends the kind ladies had cleared out of Gwendolen's parents' bedroom.

"Blind prejudice!" Mrs. Sharp said, dumping the box on the kitchen table. "If a person has a gift, they have a right to have it developed-and so I told him I But don't worry, dearie," she said, seeing that Gwendolen was looking decidedly stormy. "There's a way around everything. Mr. Nostrum would teach you for nothing, if we found the right thing to tempt him with. Let's have a look in this box. Your poor ma and pa may have left something that might be just the thing."

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 30, 2010

    One of Her Best!

    The Chronicles of Chrestomanchi in an unforgettably well-written book that will thrill the 35th reading as it did the first. The characters are people that anyone could relate to, as well as well-developed and full-fleshed. The plot, if a little straightforward, is delightful, and the story is a well-woven web that will enthrall the reader until the very last page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of my favorites.

    I am completely in love with this book, and the rest of the books in The Chronicles of Chrestomanci as well. The idea of all the different worlds and how they came to be is so creative. I've read this book about a million times and it hasn't gotten old. My favorite stories (not just in this book, but in the other ones too) are Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, and Conrad's Fate.

    The only problem is, I love all of the stories so much that I feel like they're all too short, and I want to hear more!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2007

    Simply wonderful

    I really loved these 2 books. They are my 2 favorite of the Chrestomanci books. The first one is about Cat and his sister Gwendolen and how they eventually adjust to life at Chrestomanci castle, despite Gwendolen's bad behavior. The second one is about Christopher and how he struggles and eventually comes to accept his fate at the Chrestomanci castle.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2006

    Best D.W.J.

    Talk about getting sucked in! Definetly one of Jones's best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2004

    One of My Favorite Books Ever

    This was a great book about different worlds and magic! I personally liked it better then Harry Potter. Its kinda like a 2 for 1 deal, you get 2 different books in 1 book. The second book in The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (The Lives of Christopher Chant) is not a sequel to the first book (Charmed Life) which was at first a dissapointment to me but after I read it I found that I liked T.L.O.C.C. better. This is definetly a must-read for anyone who likes Harry Potter books!! I could read this book over and over again and not get tired of it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2004

    The Greatest

    This book is so awesome! Dianna Wynne Jones is the greatest!!!!!!!!!!! Read it!! I read it on an airplane which was perfect cuz the book is so long. READ IT!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2004

    A must read!

    I bought this through the Science Fiction Book Club as a four book collection. It had Magicians, Charmed Lives, Christopher Chant, and Witch Week. I'm always picking it up and reading it again and again, and now that I know Cat and Tonino are back in Mixed Magics, I'll have to get that one too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2003

    Awesome

    THE CHRONICLES OF CHRESTOMANCI VOLUME ONE is excellent. If you like Harry Potter books and fantasy books then you will love this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume I

    a very good book! Good for any one over the age of 12.. a little bit of violence and may be hard for younger children to understand and keep up with! one of my altime favorite books! everyone should read.. if you liked Harry Potter or anything like that, you will love this! go buy it today!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2003

    Magiclly Enchanting

    I NEVER READ A BETTER BOOK!! COMPARED TO HARRY POTTER THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY. I HIGHLY SUGGEST TO PEOPLE THAT LOVE READING TO GET THIS BOOK AND ENJOY ITS WONDERS.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2003

    Simply Enchanting!!!

    I had my doubts when I bought it on a whim, but this charming book has become one of my very favorites. It is one of those rare books that you can't put down for anything, I highly recomend it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2002

    Charmed!

    This is my introduction to Diana Wynne Jones, and I am "charmed." Her plot is as swift and fast-moving as a turbulent river, and her characters are as lovable and endearing as real people--(at least, the protagonists are.) This book is as compelling as if it were spell-bound.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2002

    this is in my top 5 books!!!

    this is one of the best books I've ever read! nine lives is so cool! big castles and magic. The characters in this book were interesting people. I really liked that the book had a humorus touch!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2002

    Fantastic Book

    These two book were some of the greatest fantasy books i have read. You love Cat and all his funny personalities.You laugh and worry about all the trouble he gets in. This book is amazingly well written. Chrestomanci character is written so well you are almost afraid of him yourself. The lives of Christopher Chant was also an amazing book. The are both fantastic but i prefered Charmed Life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2002

    The Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Volume I

    this book was a good book for me to read it would be a wunderful present for a kid who likes to read but please note it is long.the book is about a kid facing the difacults of soon being a ruler of worlds with a sister that does not help at all.like harry potter just riten by a more skilled arther.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2002

    Wonderfully Whimsical

    Imaginative and creative, great for all ages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2002

    nine lives! that is so neat!

    I'm a 15-year-old just started high school. I finished this book in 2 days. I love it! I can't wait to get the second one. All the magic that is going on inside is interesting!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2002

    Another great one from Diana!!

    This is a must read! 'Like Harry? Try Diana!' (Times) Sure, it may be 598 pages long , but it is a great book to read and add to your collection. You can't keep this book down with its on going action! So QUICK press that 'buy me' button!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2001

    All Fantasy put into 1 Book

    The Chronicles of Chrestomanci is great! It is full of suspense, mystery, and even betrayal. I can't wait to read Volume II!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2001

    I can't wait to read Volume 2!!!!

    I LOVED this book. It's long, but written wonderfuly!!! If you like Harry Potter this is a MUST read!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)