Mixed Magics

Thoughts   Mixed Magics:  Four Tales of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones, Harper Trophy 2000, 193 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:  Diana Wynne Jones Week is was the First Week of August!    Thank you to Jenny of Jenny’s Books for her contagious enthusiasm and encouragement.

When the announcement of DWJ Week broke and I had never heard of the author, I asked for a recommendation.   I liked the suggestion of Eight Days of Luke being an influencer of Neil Gaiman (rock star) to write American Gods.   Unfortunately, I was asleep at the wheel when I was IN the library, the book was waiting for me, I failed to realize it!   I also didn’t have my library card* with me and it’s a fiasco to attempt to check out anything without it.   So the book was returned to wherever and I didn’t have it in time to participate in DWJ Week.   (*sniff*)

So, in the very middle of DWJ Week and I’m hyperventilating because I don’t have a DWJ book in hand and my brother and SIL are visiting (very rude, you know, to say, um-we have to go to the library and I really need to be reading…), I realize that my town’s library IS a TOURIST ATTRACTION!!!!     Hurray!   So I shove my Bro and SIL into the library to admire the paintings of General Tom Thumb and his lovely wife Minnie Bump as I scour the shelves for the shortest DWJ book:   Mixed Magics wins.    A collection; a variety of short stories with a range of subject manner all featuring Chrestomanci (doh.)

Have I bored you yet?   Oh well, that’s how I came to this book.

It’s charming.  If I had to choose one word to describe this collection, I would say ‘lively’.   It’s got beautifully drawn characters; from bad guys to kids with magic talents to the revered Chrestomanci.    I loved the humor and intelligence.    And now I need to read more Diana Wynne Jones and will likely buy for a few of my N&Ns.**

Please go to Jenny’s blog and see how successful her campaign was to get so many to read Ms Jones!   and I also must call attention to Villa Negativa’s excellent essay, The Hotties of Diana Wynne Jones, or Why Are All These Grown Women Reading Children’s Books?

“Very well. Thasper, son of Imperion, I reluctantly give you my blessing to go forth and preach Dissolution.  Go in peace.” (golly, I hope that isn’t a spoiler.)

RATING:    Three slices of pie.   Only because they were too short and I wanted a bit more.

* How do I go to the library without my card!??!   I don’t know.  #hangsheadinshame

** N&Ns = Nieces and Nephews

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.
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14 thoughts on “Mixed Magics

  1. Heh, that is a crazy bit of story – not boring, very interesting! I’m glad you found a book and were able to participate. I have yet to get a book myself #hangsheadinshame

  2. chandragarbanzo

    I’m in the same boat, having never heard of DWJ until I read Jenny’s blog. I took a trip to the library that day and came home with several reads. I’ve only read one so far, but look forward to reading the others to get a feel for all of DWJ’s writing. It’s fun to find a new prolific author, isn’t it?

    1. Hello! Nice to meet you. YOur blog is a tremendous resource – I see a few kids books I want to buy for my N&Ns – thanks!
      Before blogging, I didn’t give much attn to authors and wasn’t one of those readers (or rarely) who tried to read everything by the same author but that has changed now that I am seeing such enthusiasm for the ones who are really good.

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed the short stories! Though naturally the Chrestomanci novels are even better, particularly–for me–the ones that give some background on Chrestomanci’s life. I hope you are able to read many more of DWJ’s books! 😀

    1. The story about the collected souls escaping into the babies was my favorite – great imagery and action. and I think ‘lively’ is a lovely word anytime. 🙂

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