Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Magicians of Caprona

by Diana Wynne Jones

Story summary: Romeo and Juliet, but with kids, magic, and significantly less death. Also talking cats and flying gryffin statues!

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Inventive magic; large, quarreling families; plots and shenanigans.

And Why You Might Not:
  • There are a lot of Italian names to remember. Big Italian families with all the sisters and the cousins and the aunts.
  • It's perhaps not quite as inventive and complex as some of hers, and if you've read a lot of her books, you'll recognize a number of very common themes.

Thoughts: This was one of the very last Diana Wynne Jones books I hadn't read. I started this one years ago (2008 like the other Chrestomanci books), but got thrown off the the plenitude of Italian names in the characters' large, extended family. Diana Wynne Jones was always a bit hard to get into at the very start, but this one was juuust on the wrong side of difficult; I put it down and didn't pick it up again. But of course, I was wrong to stop. I have enjoyed every one of her books, and this was no exception. It was light and funny, with an interconnected plotline as in all DWJ's books.

However, at the same time, although it was enjoyable, it didn't strike me as her books often do. I doubt this will be one I reread much, if at all. It seemed to me one of her simpler and more childish books.

But as usual, the worst DWJ is better than many of the other authors I read. Plus there's a giant, singing angel. Can't argue with that.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

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