The Pinhoe Egg
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The Pinhoe Egg (Chrestomanci #6)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  4,543 ratings  ·  253 reviews
Cat Chant and Marianne Pinhoe have discovered something exciting—something truly precious, very strange, and valuable. An egg.

An egg that has been hidden away in an attic for who-knows-how-many years. An egg protected by some strong “Don't Notice” spells. An egg that Marianne gives to Cat, even though he lives at nearby Chrestomanci Castle. Chrestomanci himself, the strong...more
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Saddened by the passing of Diana Wynne Jones, I thought it appropriate to commemorate her by dipping into her vast bibliography of books. She can be a charming writer, with interesting characters, gentle humor, pointed social commentary, and creative plotting and world-building. An unplanned stop at an unfamiliar library turned up The Pinhoe Egg, described as "Book 6 in the Chrestomanci Chronicles." As I had read two or three of the Crestomanci books in the past, I thought I could get by in the...more
So it works like this: I think the Chrestomanci books that are about Chrestomanci (Charmed Life, The Nine Lives of Christopher Chant) are better books, but I think that the books that just feature Chrestomanci are often more interesting (Witch Week, Magicians of Caprona). And I didn't care for Conrad's Fate at all, which is odd considering that it's the only one I own in hardback.

BUT ANYWAY. My point being: this Chrestomanci book is the best of all of them, because it's about Cat Chant and Jane...more
This was kind of darker than any other DWJ I've read, which was interesting. Although there are hints of a more adult world lurking in her books for older readers such as Fire and Hemlock and Hexwood, this book comes closer to describing overt violence than any of her others (that I've read). Unlike in her other books, where the villains are rather tame and any actual brutality takes place off-screen, the real villain in this book is human nature and the consequences of its existence play out be...more
The newest Chrestomanci novel. This is now one of my favorite Diana Wynne Jones books. I love her so, so madly, she is just so creative and clever. Which makes me sound like a prig, but seriously, her books are always totally original. I always either ADORE her books, or find them just a little oddly flat---and this one was just brilliant. I loved all the children, especially Marianne, and her family was convincingly family-like yet also sort of, she really captured the betrayal...more
Jan 07, 2012 Shoshana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: DWJ novices, plus also her fans
Shelves: fantasy
I had read a couple of Chrestomanci books about a decade ago (Charmed Life and The Nine Lives of Christopher Chant, I believe) and enjoyed them, but remembered very little about them. Fortunately, this book stands on its own, although it has backstory I know I'm missing.

Anyway, it is darling. It starts a little less slowly than the other books of hers I've read (Howl's Moving Castle [still my favorite], Castle in the Air, House of Many Ways, Fire and Hemlock, The Dark Lord of Derkholm), and it a...more
Brenda Clough
As is usual for DWJ, this is an engaging book that will suck you enjoyably right in. Only after, when (as it were) the spell is broken will you pick a few nits.
This is a late work in her oeuvre. I do feel it would have benefited from one more rethink and rewrite, to smooth out some of the odd plot bumps and make it hang together better. How many totally new magical systems can there be? Is it reasonable, to overlook an entire batch of fairly major stuff right in your own back yard? Unreasoning...more
Janelle Dazzlepants
Awwh man, this was definitely my favourite of the Chrestomanci series - such a shame it was the last one! It's another one set in the castle during Christopher Chant's reign as Chrestomanci, with Cat as his apprentice. I do love me some Chrestomanci in his dressing gowns XD

Initially I didnt really know where the Pinhoe/Farleigh storyline was going, and I spent many a page wanting to stab Gammer and all the Pinhoes. But all tied up wonderfully in the end, especially with the stories of the hidde...more
Apr 14, 2012 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Recommended to Joan by: June Krell
Jones, like many of the best fantasy or sci fi writers, uses her medium to tell a social message. But she does it with a really fun story and great characters. This is one of the Chrestomancy books, and I need to check if there are more I haven't read. Social change happens through 2 kids (mostly. There are other kids and of course, good guys, around) when Marianne gives an old egg to a student of Chrestomanci, Cat. (name of kid, not a feline student). It turns out the egg is that of a griffen,...more
Oct 15, 2009 Alice rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of fantasy and YA, Harry Potter fans in withdrawal
Wynne Jones tends to follow a formula in her writing. And why not? It's an immensely enjoyable formula, it works for a lot of the characters whose stories she wants to tell, and it makes even her newest works seem comforting and familiar. This is why I don't recommend reading all of the Chrestomanci stories all at once.

These books are geared toward a younger audience, but without ever talking down to children. The young protagonists' troubles aren't watered down; they're frequently placed in ver...more
The one where an entire culture of feuding country witches has grown up under Chrestomanci's nose, but the Castle gets wind of it through the adventures of siblings Marianne and Joe. And Cat hatches a very strange egg.

I always have some vague misgivings about these books -- there's something about the ethics of the Chrestomanci universe(s) that troubles me, but I've never been able to put my finger on exactly what it is. Still, I keep reading them because they're lively and funny and quick to re...more
Very Chrestomanci, and as a lot of others have noted quite a lot like The Magicians of Caprona mixed with Charmed Life.
I can never dislike her stories. They will always speak volumes to me.
The magic of the land and its history, the woods, the small folk, the nature of things, these are her forté, and she makes them sing. Much like Hexwood, which is my touchstone for such things these days. The story about Englishmen getting lost in a strip of wood no wider than a road comes through in many of...more
Amy Neftzger
Diana Wynne Jones is as imaginative as she is knowledgeable about human nature. She infuses her creativity into stories that are magical while they also tell a story about human nature and I love this about her work. This book is part of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci series and deals with two feuding magical clans sending plagues of frogs and lice at one another while attempting to stay unnoticed by the governing official (Chrestomanci). This is a young adult book and the main characters are pe...more
Apr 24, 2012 June rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy, and Jones fans
Recommended to June by: Joan
Shelves: fantasy, magic
I do enjoy Diana Wynne Jones. This was such a fun read. (I actually snuck and finished it while on the desk at work.) I enjoyed almost all the characters: the 2 boys who are machine mad, the wise old Gaffer, a cat who walks through walls, a horse with a weakness for peppermints, a young griffin, unicorns...

The main characters are Marianne (a young enchantress) & Cat (a nine-lifer and future Big Man) who try to end an illegal witches' war and right some old wrongs.

Interesting portrayal of p...more
This is the last of the Chrestomanci books, chronologically, and it's really satisfying: it's set in and around Chrestomanci Castle and features Cat Chant as one of the central characters, with Chrestomanci and the rest of his family making appearances, too, and it also features a new character, Marianne Pinhoe, and her large magical family, who find themselves in a feud with another magical family who are normally their allies. Marianne and Cat are similar: they're both practical and kind, and...more
Because I've only read the Chrestomanci series and the Howl's Moving Castle series, I can say that this must be the first actual "sequel" I've read from Diana Wynne Jones. Sure, the other books are sequels but this is the first one, I believe, that I've read wherein the story will follow a former protagonist. If you've read any of the other Chrestomanci books, outside of The Lives of Christopher Chant, when else did you see the story follow Chrestomanci, as in really follow him the way it did wi...more
This has the usual strengths and weaknesses of a Diana Wynne Jones book: the narrative is clever, witty and endearing; the characters are amusing but not terribly well-drawn; and the ending is a confused muddle. This is a Chrestomanci book, so don't read it unless you've read at least the first one ( Charmed Life ).
A new Chrestomanci book which will sweep you off your feet.
I love reading anything that has to do with Christopher Chant since he is a wonderful, sarcastic, witty and fun character.
In this story we get to meet some new talented children and see the old characters we know and love as well.

Setting/World Building: 5/5
Main Character: 5/5
Other Characters: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Triggering/Issues: 5/5

AVERAGED TOTAL: 4.8/5, rounded to 5.

This was just a delightful book. It was a bit slow to start but then I was caught up in it and couldn't put it down. I loved reading about Cat again, but I especially loved Marianne, who was so smart and clever and such a delightful character, you couldn't help but root for her. The book had the sort of magic I love in Diana Wynne Jones' books, and th...more
Zen Cho
The Pinhoe Egg, or, DWJ Learns to Write Endings.

I don't mean that in a snarky way; I speak with genuine delight. Cat was totally adorable in this book, and I loved getting to hang with Chrestomanci again.
An Odd1
Marianne Pinhoe gives Cat Chant at Chrestomanci Castle a huge purplish glazed egg hidden in (ruling gran) Gammer's attic, left when neighboring Farleigh family curse matriarch bonkers. Pinhoes refuse to believe Marianne, that Gammer revenges herself, dangerous whooping cough bounces back. Cat recognizes Marianne is powerful, truthful.

Sketches ahead of chapters hint at contents. Sideplots add to intrigue. Jason Yeldham, once castle bootboy, back from collecting plants across worlds. He and bride...more
Brandy Painter
This is part of a longer review originally posted here.

There is a lot going on in this book, but it is never too much. I adored all the new characters and the antics of the Pinhoes and Farlieghs were hilarious. Christopher manages to be just as splendid as ever and fires off some of his best sarcastic comments yet. Millie, again, is the perfect foil for Christopher and is impressive in her abilities to manage him, take care of the Castle and supervise the education and care of four active childr...more
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I love Diana Wynne Jones' writing, so much so that I have many of her books in my private library, and I re-read them a lot. Her fantasy is rooted in regular life events, her kids grow and learn and tackle a lot of tough stuff, and humor abounds. The adults and authority figures are remarkably absent, even when present, physically. The kids have to solve the problems on their own, for the most part. On reading an autobiographical essay (discovered on line through the good offices of a bookstore...more
Diana Wynne Jones on kirjoittanut kaksi suurta suosikkikirjaani: Noidan veli ja Liikkuva linna. Taikuuden taakka on itsenäinen päätösosa sarjasta, jonka aloitti Noidan veli ja jatkoi Tietäjän lapsuus. Taikuuden taakkaa verrattaessa 70-luvulla kirjoitettuun Noidan veljeen, huomaa selkeästi, kuinka kirjailijan tyyli on vuosien saatossa muuttunut niin, että Taikuuden taakka ei viehätä enää samalla tavalla kuin Noidan veli. Taikuuden taakassa todellisena taakkana on jatkuva häly ja älyttömyyksiin me...more
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Lis Carey
This is a new Chrestomanci story, and it’s a good one.

Near Chrestomanci Castle, there are several villages inhabited by clans of witches. They’ve worked hard for generations to avoid the notice of the current Chrestomanci and his predecessors, so that the “Big Man” won’t interfere in their traditional practices and their traditional obligation of containing the abominations confined long ago by their ancestors. It’s worked well since well before living memory, but now the witches have a problem...more
The Pinhoe Egg makes magic feel so fun. I loved the two main characters Cat and Marianne. The theme is mainly about the Pinhoe family and how they are trying to keep their magic or as they call it dwimmer a secret. However, Cat's father, Chrestomanci, who oversees everything, eventually still finds out. The other themes are how Marianne and Cat should believe in themselves and their magic grows even stronger! Things come to a forefront when only Marianne realizes Gammer has been putting spells o...more
The Pinhoe Egg is yet another delightful addition to Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci universe. Once more we are plunged into the lives of Chrestomanci and his wards as well as being introduced to a whole new cast of characters. Chrestomanci's apprentice, the nine-lifed enchanter Eric Chant, better known as Cat, stars heavily in this book. Cat is up against magic he's unfamiliar with and caught in the middle of a witches' war.

From the opening pages to the last word, this is a fun, fast and satis...more
The latest Chrestomanci book is a good read and very funny. You can still enjoy the book without having read the previous entries in the series but I recommend starting with Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones.

It is set in alternative England, where magic is a part of everyday life and all the magic of the world is overseen by Chrestomanci, a nine-lived enchanter.

Cat is one of my favorite characters, he has had a somewhat rough life before coming to live at Chrestomanci Castle. He has a very pract...more
Cassandra Ong
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Diana Wynne Jones was the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed fantasy stories, including the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.

For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see
More about Diana Wynne Jones...
Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1) Castle in the Air (Howl's Moving Castle, #2) The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci, #4) Charmed Life (Chrestomanci, #1) House of Many Ways (Howl's Moving Castle, #3)

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“No I am not all right!” Chrestomanci said, after five minutes of this. “I have worldwide blisters. I need a shave. I’m tired out and I haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast yesterday. Would you feel alright in my position?” 9 likes
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