My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first Chrestomanci book I read and I feel it’s a great introduction to the series. Set in a boarding house in a world similar but not quite like our own, where witches are real but illegal and burned to the stake, the story starts with a bang when an anonymous note accuses someone in the class of being a witch. But if there only is the one witch, how is it that magic seems to be happening everywhere in the school? Is there something else going wrong with the world?
What I love in Diana Wynne Jones’s writing is that her children and teenagers are not just small adults but actually behave like their age and show the proper emotional complexity. It’s not all white and black but all is painted by a turmoil of emotions, and a ‘good’ character can become ‘bad’ not out of evil but just stubbornness or pent-up resentment.