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The Pinhoe Egg (Chrestomanci #6)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  6,519 Ratings  ·  330 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
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Mar 29, 2015 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diana Wynne Jones does so much with The Pinhoe Egg and makes it look so simple and easy. I think that must be her special gift as a writer: exploring dark themes and complex messages within the pages of children's fantasy novels that remain bright and fun despite the darkness and disorder lurking beneath the sparkling adventures. This, the final book in the series, is about two children from very different cultures living side-by-side who somehow manage to be change agents despite everything inc ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: DWJ fans
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
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
Agatha Donkar
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
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
Deborah O'Carroll
AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO SO MUCH!!! It may be my absolute favorite Chrestomanci book ever. <3 And one of my top DWJ books, period.

Just so much is going on in this thing! Not to mention all the fabulous characters, including several familiar ones.

It’s closer to an actual sequel-type-book than Diana Wynne Jones usually wrote. A lot of her sequels follow entirely different characters, just in the same world, with cameos. This was more of a proper sequel to Charmed Life and some of t
Jul 25, 2007 Belmanoir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 07, 2012 Shoshana rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jul 26, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm meandering through the Chrestomanci books - haven't reread them in ages - and I'd forgotten how entertaining they are! This is Diana Wynne Jones at her most maddening brilliance: she manages to make ordinary events so important and diverting, and then tightens the screws by making everything happen at once, in an almost slapdash way, and then suddenly everything comes together, and it becomes obvious that she's been telling a different story under the surface the entire time. Here she manage ...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
Mar 20, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dwj, chrestomanci
The last of the Chrestomanci books written by Diana Wynne Jones, The Pinhoe Egg was also the longest and, arguably, the most complicated in terms of plot. Unlike some of the novels preceding it Chrestomanci doesn’t just have a walk-on part at the end but takes on the most integrated role in proceedings since Charmed Life, the very first Chrestomanci story of all. The story actually centres on young Eric ‘Cat’ Chant, who lives at Chrestomanci Castle near Helm St Mary, and his contemporary Mariann ...more
Mar 27, 2017 Kiyaline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 30, 2011 Josie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 05, 2016 Cai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished the last book in the series and here I am.

The first few pages of the book seemed like it was setting up a new world - maybe one of the other worlds - like in Conrad fate, only to be mashed in with the main storyline. I liked the fact that this time, it was set in the present storyline. Don't take me the wrong way. Flashbacks of Christopher and Millie's life together would be just as good, if not better, but we have to make way for Cat, being the future Chrestomanci and all.

Jun 17, 2008 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 14, 2012 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Apr 10, 2012 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy Neftzger
Dec 15, 2011 Amy Neftzger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 08, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am quite sad now that I have finished the Chrestomanci series. There will be no more, and I found the entire series and all the characters within absolutely enchanting (pun intended).
I especially loved this book with all the magical creatures and the continuation of Cat Chant's story. The addition of the Pinhoes, especially Marianne and Irene, made this story all the more wonderful. The evil as well as the good made it very exciting to read.
I'm sure I will read all the books over and over agai
Dec 26, 2011 June rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 22, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of DWJ, Pratchett's Tiffany Aching, or Garth Nix
In the offkilter world of Chrestomanci, in which enchanters and early twentieth century technology exist side-by-side, Christopher "Cat" Chant is a young boy still training his magic. While exploring the woods, he comes across mysterious magical barricades and a forest that seems oddly empty. Meanwhile, the Pinhoes are doing everything in their power to keep him and the other denizens of the castle from making any further discoveries.

Sweet, funny, lovely.
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 ).
Debbie Gascoyne
After this re-read, which I thoroughly enjoyed, upgrading my ranking from 3 stars to 4. What was I thinking? It may not be quite in the top rank of DWJ, but it's still pretty delightful.

Oh, it's such a chore having to re-read all her books for my PhD dissertation!
Zen Cho
Jun 06, 2007 Zen Cho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, kidslit
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.
Kids let loose in an Edwardian setting to have adventures and get into trouble. Feuding clans in neighboring villages (not murderously, though). And magic everywhere. Such a fun read.

Library copy.
May 28, 2011 Flavia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Aug 06, 2015 Samrat rated it really liked it
Enchanting. I like the multiple styles of magic practiced. Some quibbles.
Oct 01, 2016 Gala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Крім чергового чудового змалювання проблем великих родин, безглуздих упереджень, та дітей що вирішують зовсім не дитячі проблеми, ця книга ще й про спроби будь-що зберегти усталений порядок та про ціну таких намагань.
Lori (Betwined Reads)
[First reaction review! For a more organized and articulate review see my personal blog]

Wow, I can't believe I've finished the last book in the Chrestomanci series (except Mixed Magics, which I have no plans to read in the near future). I can't help but feel quite desolate, but such is the case after I've read all her other books. Diana Wynne Jones has a way of always leaving me wanting more. I'm not sure if this is a compliment or not.

The Pinhoe Egg, as many of the other books in the series I
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Chrestomanci (6 books)
  • Charmed Life (Chrestomanci, #1)
  • The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci, #2)
  • Witch Week (Chrestomanci, #3)
  • The Magicians of Caprona (Chrestomanci, #4)
  • Conrad's Fate (Chrestomanci, #5)

Share This Book

“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?” 13 likes
“Bye, pet. You go and find who you really are, and don't let anyone stop you.” 1 likes
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