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The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume II: The Magicians of Caprona / Witch Week (Chrestomanci #3-4)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  8,506 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
For over twenty-five years, Diana Wynne Jones has been earning critical raves and enchanting readers of all ages with rich, expansive fantasies that both intrigue and entertain. Now, four of her classic novels are available in beautiful omnibus editions that each contain two books.Volume II comprises The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week. A world in which the peaceful ci ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Turtleback Books (first published 1982)
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Sep 20, 2015 Kaethe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These two make an odd pair. Witch Week is a boarding school farce with silliness all over the place. The Magicians of Caprona has lighthearted moments, but is a pretty earnest tale of children during war time. They don't have much in common, except the focus on children and magic, but they are both perfect. Caprona gets extra bonus points for the importance of cats.
Jan 27, 2010 Martine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Harry Potter fans
The second Chrestomanci volume features two novels which have only two things in common: they both feature magic, and Chrestomanci shows up in both of them. However, the great wizard only makes brief appearances in the book, leaving centre stage to child protagonists who save society from an awful lot of harm by a combination of courage, brains, imagination and magic.

The first book in the volume, The Magicians of Caprona, is set in a world reminiscent of Renaissance Italy. It's basically Shakes
Jul 03, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember this book being much different than the first Chrestomanci volume, but once I got over the fact that Chrestomanci only makes cameo appearances in these two stories I really enjoyed them. Jones is a very unique storyteller, and I definitely plan to read her books to my children some day.
Emily Collins
Apr 28, 2013 Emily Collins rated it it was amazing
I sort of consider this book the weakest link when looking at the Chrestomanci series, but that's really only because I'm not too fond of Witch Week - I think it's bad form to get us horribly attached to characters and then suddenly change those characters into slightly different but really maybe the same characters. It's too much for me.
Magicians of Caprona, on the other hand (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?), is fascinating! Look at how differently magic is treated over there, a few countries over f
Mar 03, 2016 Shima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The magicians of Caprona : 3 stars
[May contain mild spoilers]

In relation to pacing, the magicians of Caprona is exactly the opposite of Charmed Life In Charmed life the beginning wasn't at all interesting, yet the ending was filled with action and great twists.
In the magicians of Caprona however, the beginning was great. First of all it's set in an alternate Italy, it also has that great family dynamics that immediately draws the reader in.

Unfortunately from then forward, it also follows the co
Apr 17, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2009 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I tried, I really did, but I've been trying to finish this book for six weeks now and I'm just not into it. I made it through The Magicians of Caprona, which was really rambly and directionless, and ended rather abruptly. Chrestomanci really wasn't even part of the story; more like he had a special appearance for a few pages. So I've lost interest and I'm thinking this book probably won't get finished.
Tiana Hanson
Jul 27, 2016 Tiana Hanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children-ya
When compared to the first volume, the second volume is a bit weaker. Both stories are excellent examinations of how things could be just a little different in parallel worlds with different rules on magic, but with Chrestomanci as only a cameo character in both, it was hard to link them to the first two stories.

Nevertheless, they're very in-depth stories and well worth the read.
May 21, 2014 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love YA fiction and I really want to get into Diana Wynne Jones because I think the premise of her work is really good; it's the deliver I'm struggling with. The voice of the narration reads like a grandmother telling a story to her grandchildren in an outmoded sing-song way that comes off a little lame. I read the first Chrestomanci book and mostly enjoyed it, but Volume II was pretty hard to get through. The narration sounds like it's aimed toward six year olds, but the story is clearly for ...more
Hanne Federwölkchen
I have to say it with Mr. Gaiman: Always perfectly magical!
Janelle Dazzlepants
The second part of this volume really let it down - I enjoyed both books, but the pacing of Witch Week was really quite horrible. It wasn't just a matter of throwing in awesome action, fantasy and tying up loose ends at the last minute, Witch Week was just terribly hard to read. The main plotarc is drawn out for far too long, I had to put it down for a couple of weeks and come back to it.

I think this volume overall is nowhere near as good as volume one - The Lives of Christopher Chant and Charm
Jan 14, 2011 Qing rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
This volume was different to Volume 1, where Vol. 1 is about kids finding out they're the next Chrestomanci and enchanter (while losing a lot of lives! haha) The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week is more on witches and what have you than Chrestomanci, who is featured very little in these books but obviously plays a part in putting things to right.^^^^It definitely wasn't what I had expected, I thought it would be more focussed on Chrestomanci, but when I realised it wasn't, I tried to figure o ...more
Sam at A Journey Through Pages
Review from A Journey Through Pages

As promised volume two of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci has been read, processed in my brain and enjoyed, to great joy to all.

This second volume focuses more on expanding the world, rather than the character of Chrestomanci itself. In fact Chrestomanci is a minor character in both and the only character who appears as a character from the first two books. Also instead of focusing on one character throughout the story, a multitude of character perspectives are
Feb 13, 2013 TheCosyDragon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review from The Cosy Dragon

After reading the first book in this pair, I realised that I hadn't read either of them before. I was glad, as it would enable me to review the book from an adult's perspective as well as a teen's.

The first novel 'The Magicians of Caprona' is very similar in nature to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' or the film 'West Side Story', although of course it is set in a world with magic. The protagonist, Antonio Montana, is able to speak to cats but his magical skills seem
Nov 23, 2008 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witch Week was the first Diana Wynne Jones novel I read, and it is still one of my favorites. It takes place in an alternate world much like our own, where witches are at once extremely common and extremely illegal. The setting is a dreary boarding school, where most of the main characters were sent after their parents were burned as witches. Jones's dialogue is at its best here, and she seeds the pages with sly humourous touches that still make me giggle.

Unfortunately, Witch Week also turns out
Jun 29, 2016 Janor rated it it was amazing
I had more problem getting into these books than the first two. The magicians of Caprona started a bit boring, but got better further on. The great thing is that I had forgotten about everything that happened, unlike the second book, so I could read it as if for the first time. I remembered too much from the second book, so that spoiled the surprises a bit. Plus, I couldn't relate to any of the characters in Witch Week.
Mar 26, 2015 L.A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like Vol. 2 as much as Vol. 1, probably because, of the two stories, one was significantly weaker. I could not bring myself to care about Caprona and its childish, squabbling, magical families; the world where magic was illegal, however, was highly interesting to me. I will probably go on to Vol. 3 for the sake of the Formidable Teenager, but if I don't like it, I'm stopping.
Nov 20, 2014 Celest rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first story in this 2 book volume and it would have received a solid four if Goodreads allowed you to rate volumes separately. But unfortunately there's that second book that follows along, I just couldn't get through it. The others just had a spark and this fourth one in the series fell flat for me. So for the volume on a whole 3 stars.
Jun 08, 2012 Lissibith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, novel
I was a little worried, reading this out of order and starting with Vol. 2 here, but whatever was in Vol. 1, it doesn't hinder understanding of these stories.

There are two tales in this book. Both have the trademark frankness of narrative and whimsy that I've come to expect from Jones' work, and I'm definitely glad I read it. I think the first, a book about magical families in Italy, was the stronger of the two. The world was more immersive and while the story was pretty predictable, it was told
Jul 20, 2016 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witch Week was very entertaining, but Magicians of Caprona left something to be desired - it didn't draw you into the characters as much as Diana Wynne Jones' novels so often do. It's the weakest book in the Chrestomanci series, in my opinion. The rest of the series is highly recommended though!
Sep 20, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the second volume of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci, two very different stories are presented. The first takes us to the city-state of Caprona, where rivaling families use most of the magic, and something is going wrong in the city, something so bad that the families might have to band together to save their home. The second story takes us to a boarding school in a world where magic is banned and witches are burned at the stake, but almost everyone in this world has magic. Chrestomanci only m ...more
Brittany Anderson
I finally got to read these two. Loved them! The Magicians of Caprona was a bit hard to start for me (there was a lot of Italian and I have to admit, I was very unused to that, what with everything being so English in all the other books). But, once I really got into it, it was such a great read! Usually, I spend most of the time going, "When does Chrestomanci come in?" but, I really loved Tonino and had no trouble following him.

Witch Week is almost certainly one of my all-time favorite Chresto
Alex Murphy
Sep 10, 2012 Alex Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inventory
First Book: This one was a little slow for my liking. Setting up the location and the characters took a while. And all the people had similar sounding names. I got a little confused because she would switch point of views without any real indicator. The story is nice, it has a cool villain with a sick little kidnapping scene that I liked, even though I found it disturbing.

Second Book: I liked this, but I like seeing stories from the points of view of children who are picked on, even if they are
Julia Miller
In this world created by Diana Wynne Jones, everyone is born as many people, each spread across several worlds...well, everyone but the Chrestomanci, whose lives are all rolled up into one body, one person. The Chrestomanci, like a cat, has nine lives! They must fight to protect the other worlds from those who would misuse their power.
This fantasy is sort of a mix of settings because it moves between worlds, but often touches on a world like our own. There are several other volumes, each incred
Jul 11, 2012 Drucilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j
There's only one thing I don't like about these books. I don't know why it's part of the Chrestomanci series when he's hardly in these stories at all. Other than that, I think these are amazing books. The Magicians of Caprona gives the reader a greater understanding of the world we were introduced to in Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant. Witch Week can get a little confusing due to the third person p.o.v. shifts that occur without warning, but these shifts give the reader a better ...more
Unlike the first volume, the Chrestomanci is not the protagonist in the two novels featured although he does make an appearance. The stories take place in one (different for each) of the numerous parallel universes, where a magical crisis requires the intervention of the Chrestomanci. The Magicians of Caprona is an adorable allusion to Romeo and Juliet although the stars are the younger siblings of the two lovers. Witch Week is a slightly darker tale, and centers around persecution of the magica ...more
Matt Bard
Aug 10, 2016 Matt Bard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More fun with our friend, Chrestomanci. I particularly enjoyed the second story, but both were good. I appreciate that we see a consistent Chrestomanci across so many worlds, times, and stories. As he is never the protagonist, it provides a very interesting link throughout the series. I've enjoyed them significantly and hope the rest prove as fun to read as the first four!
Aimee A
Took forever to finish the first story. The second was really good though. Finished it in a few hours. Hoping the 3rd volume is better.
Jesus Flores
Another 2 in 1

First story is basically Romeo and Juliet but with magic, and with a thrid party interesting in keeping the two families fighting, it a nice retell of the story, and is fun to read. 4 stars

Second story is about a boarding school in a world where witchcraft is against the law with a death penalty. It is fun and interesting at the start, but Once Chrestomancy appears it start to go down, Really the school principal beleives him he is the inquisitor just because he says so even with a
Apr 17, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, ya
I actually really enjoyed this, stories with familiar characters
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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)
  • The Pinhoe Egg  (Chrestomanci, #6)

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