The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume III: Conrad's Fate/The Pinhoe Egg ( The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Series)

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume III: Conrad's Fate/The Pinhoe Egg ( The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Series)

by Diana Wynne Jones


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In the 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. . . .

Cat and Christopher Chant make the most unusual friends. Christopher befriends a boy with terrible karma in a mansion where everything keeps changing. Cat meets a girl whose family of rogue witches is hiding shocking secrets. Will the Chrestomanci be able to sort out the tangle of mysteries and magic?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061148323
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/22/2008
Series: Chrestomanci Series , #111
Pages: 675
Sales rank: 322,653
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning 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 are filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.

Read an Excerpt

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume III

Chapter One

When I was small, I always thought Stallery Mansion was some kind of fairy-tale castle. I could see it from my bedroom window, high in the mountains above Stallchester, flashing with glass and gold when the sun struck it. When I got to the place at last, it wasn't exactly like a fairy tale.

Stallchester, where we had our shop, is quite high in the mountains, too. There are a lot of mountains here in Series Seven, and Stallchester is in the English Alps. Most people thought this was the reason why you could only receive television at one end of the town, but my uncle told me it was Stallery doing it.

"It's the protections they put round the place to stop anyone investigating them," he said. "The magic blanks out the signal."

My Uncle Alfred was a magician in his spare time, so he knew this sort of thing. Most of the time he made a living for us all by keeping the bookshop at the cathedral end of town. He was a skinny, worrity little man with a bald patch under his curls, and he was my mother's half brother. It always seemed a great burden to him, having to look after me and my mother and my sister, Anthea. He rushed about muttering, "And how do I find the money, Conrad, with the book trade so slow!"

The bookshop was in our name, too—it said grant and tesdinic in faded gold letters over the bow windows and the dark green door—but Uncle Alfred explained that it belonged to him now. He and my father had started the shop together. Then, just after I was born and a little before he died, my father had needed a lot of money suddenly, Uncle Alfred told me, andhe sold his half of the bookshop to Uncle Alfred. Then my father died, and Uncle Alfred had to support us.

"And so he should do," my mother said in her vague way. "We're the only family he's got."

My sister, Anthea, said she wanted to know what my father had needed the money for, but she never could find out. Uncle Alfred said he didn't know. "And you never get any sense out of Mother," Anthea said to me. "She just says things like 'Life is always a lottery' and 'Your father was usually hard up'—so all I can think is that it must have been gambling debts. The casino's only just up the road, after all." I rather liked the idea of my father gambling half a bookshop away. I used to like taking risks myself. When I was eight, I borrowed some skis and went down all the steepest and iciest ski runs, and in the summer I went rock climbing. I felt I was really following in my father's footsteps. Unfortunately, someone saw me halfway up Stall Crag and told my uncle.

"Ah, no, Conrad," he said, wagging a worried, wrinkled finger at me. "I can't have you taking these risks."

"My dad did," I said, "betting all that money."

"He lost it," said my uncle, "and that's a different matter. I never knew much about his affairs, but I have an idea—a very shrewd idea—that he was robbed by those crooked aristocrats up at Stallery."

"What?" I said. "You mean Count Rudolf came with a gun and held him up?"

My uncle laughed and rubbed my head. "Nothing so dramatic, Con. They do things quietly and mannerly up at Stallery. They pull the possibilities like gentlemen."

"How do you mean?" I said.

"I'll explain when you're old enough to understand the magic of high finance," my uncle replied. "Meanwhile . . ." His face went all withered and serious. "Meanwhile, you can't afford to go risking your neck on Stall Crag, you really can't, Con, not with the bad karma you carry."

"What's karma?" I asked.

"That's another thing I'll explain when you're older," my uncle said. "Just don't let me catch you going rock climbing again, that's all."

I sighed. Karma was obviously something very heavy, I thought, if it stopped you climbing rocks. I went to ask my sister, Anthea, about it. Anthea is nearly ten years older than me, and she was very learned even then. She was sitting over a line of open books on the kitchen table, with her long black hair trailing over the page she was writing notes on. "Don't bother me now, Con," she said without looking up.

She's growing up just like Mum! I thought. "But I need to know what karma is."

"Karma?" Anthea looked up. She has huge dark eyes. She opened them wide to stare at me, wonderingly. "Karma's sort of like Fate, except it's to do with what you did in a former life. Suppose that in a life you had before this one you did something bad, or didn't do something good, then Fate is supposed to catch up with you in this life, unless you put it right by being extra good, of course. Understand?"

"Yes," I said, though I didn't really. "Do people live more than once, then?"

"The magicians say you do," Anthea answered. "I'm not sure I believe it myself. I mean, how can you check that you had a life before this one? Where did you hear about karma?"

Not wanting to tell her about Stall Crag, I said vaguely, "Oh, I read it somewhere. And what's pulling the possibilities? That's another thing I read."

"It's something that would take ages to explain, and I haven't time," Anthea said, bending over her notes again. "You don't seem to understand that I'm working for an exam that could change my entire life!"

"When are you going to get lunch, then?" I asked.

"Isn't that just my life in a nutshell!" Anthea burst out. "I do all the work round here and help in the shop twice a week, and nobody even considers that I might want to do something different! Go away!"

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume III. Copyright © by Diana Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.\

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The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume III: Conrad's Fate/The Pinhoe Egg ( The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Conrad's Fate is...perhaps the least interesting Chrestomanci book, for me. Conrad is such an idiot at times - he's being strong and tricky and figuring out how to get his way, and his uncle has him so neatly wrapped around his finger.... It took me two readings to figure out what the heck was going on at the castle, and it's still not really clear. The sidelight on Christopher's youth is mildly interesting, though I thought he and Gabriel had reached an agreement by the end of Lives of Christopher Chant. And like that. Not a favorite. Not bad, and a good addition to the Chrestomanci series, but it doesn't stand on its own very well.The Pinhoe Egg, on the other hand, is magnificent. Marianne is a great character, and the other Pinhoes are firmly established too - simplistic but not cardboard. I like Cat best - his was the first Chrestomanci story I read - so this illumination of his life is great. Not sidelight, it's a continuation of his story, since we haven't seen him as an adult or Chrestomanci yet. Joe and Roger together are nicely mad; Janet and Julia are left out of things a bit but when they do show up they're well-drawn. The way all the various storylines intertwine - Grammer's 'illness', the empty forest, Joe at the castle and Marianne in the village, the Pinhoe house, the egg, all the rest of it - is great. They seem quite individual to start with, then start getting mixed, then they turn out all to be facets or reflections of one problem. Though I have to say Chrestomanci's summing up, though no doubt accurate, comes way out of left field. I wish we'd seen some of the research that produced those answers. Anyway - one good book, one great one. Love Chrestomanci - in all his incarnations!
Fledgist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Third volume of this fantasy series. In the first novel, a boy is told that he has bad karma and that someone in the local castle has the ability to remove it. It turns out not to be the case. Why it turns out thus is a fascinating story of complexities, wizardry, and family rivalry. In the second novel, rival hedge-witch families are in conflict, and also trying to stay out of the Chrestomanci's sight. A bit difficult as he is literally right next door.
johncf1018 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you've read and like the other Chrestomanci novels this is a no-brainer - read this now! If you're new to Chrestomanci but like fantasy YA literature which is also suitable for adults then I recommend starting at the beginning with volume 1.
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