Welcome to the worlds of Chrestomanci, where magic is as common as mathematics!
Everybody says that Gwendolyn Chant is a gifted witch with astonishing powers, so it suits her enormously when she is taken to live in Chrestomanci Castle. Her brother Eric (better known as Cat) is not so keen, for he has no talent for magic at all.
However, life with the great enchanter is not what either of them expects and sparks begin to fly!
When I read this book a good ten years or so ago, I thought that it was a new book, imagine my surprise when listing this tonight and I found out that this book was written in 1977! I think it just goes to show how good a book is when I thought that it was a recently new book, and that even though it isn't it was such an appealing and fun book that I thoroughly enjoyed it and still do and I still own it now. This is the first book and introduces us to their world and the lives of Christopher Chant.
I love that Cat is no huge wimp or some big hero, he is just a really typical kid who has just lost his parents, only has his sister left in the world and is simply trying to muddle through life, so caught up in things that he misses the obvious signs in front of him about just what is going on. This was half of the whole appeal to this book, that he is just another kid, someone who you could expect to find in your own classroom. The idea that the rare magical powered people have nine lives was rather interesting and I liked every part of this book.
Random listing from 'Books'...
This is the tale, I swear it is true,
of a very strange creature called the Ar-chew
The tale begins at the foot of a tree
with a hollow so narrow it was tricky to see...
Three forest friends find a mysterious, mixed-up creature in a hushed, hollowed hideaway. What a fright they get when they try to come to the rescue!
With illustrations by Ali Teo and John O'Reilly
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Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)