The Magicians of Caprona (Chrestomanci, #2)
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The Magicians of Caprona (Chrestomanci #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  6,339 ratings  ·  208 reviews
Casa Montana and Casa Petrocchi look after the magical business in the Dukedom of Caprona, watched over by its guardian statue, the Angel. The families have been feuding for years, but then a child from each family disappears.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published 1980)
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mark monday
another splendid entry in the Chrestomanci cycle! this wonderful little series about multiple dimensions, magic, and the trans-dimensional authority on magic known as the "Chrestomanci" has been a real light in my life whenever i open up a new book. what a lovely and pleasing breath of fresh air.

The Magicians of Caprona takes place in an alternate dimension in which magic is openly practiced and where the various city-states of Italy never united. Caprona is a fairly powerful city that appears t...more
This was the first book by DWJ that I ever read. I stumbled on it by accident in the library when I was a kid, and it was the kind of book I would stay up all night reading and then feel sad when I got to the last page. (I still read like that sometimes, but it's pretty rare to find books I can be that excited about).

Really, instead of going on and on about this writer, I will say that these are the books JK Rowling WISHES she could have written. well, I'm sure she's quite fine with things as th...more
DWJ Book Toast, #4

Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them.

Melissa Proffitt
So The Magicians of Caprona is not my favorite Diana Wynne Jones book, but I'm not sure why. Her eleventh book has all the trademarks we've come to expect, at this point in her career: an unusual magic system, important family dynamics (with two families this time, both larger than any of the previous ones), an alternate version of Earth, and kids who end up saving the day, but not in a twee way. Add to this some intelligent cats (Benvenuto!) and you have all the ingredients of another classic b...more
Carol Nicolas
Once again, Diana Wynne Jones has thoroughly impressed me, this time with a wonderful story about a boy who lives in the Italy of one of the Chrestomanci worlds. The only magic Tonino Montana can do is talk to cats, and that is not something highly regarded. His magical family and the horrid Petrocchi family are involved in a generations-long feud, and when armies march on their city, Caprona, threatening it with destruction, the two families can’t stop fighting long enough to do anything about...more
Suasana di Caprona sedang mencekam dan terancam perang. Padahal sebelumnya, kota yang dilindungi oleh Malaikat Caprona, yang dibantu oleh dua klan penyihir terbesar di Caprona ini, Casa Montana dan Casa Petrocchi, berada dalam kedamaian.

Tampaknya ada sebuah kekuatan dari luar yang berusaha untuk menguasai Caprona. Bukan kekuatan biasa. Karena ini di dunia Chrestomanci, pasti ada campur tangan penyihir di dalamnya. Soalnya, mantra yang dibuat oleh Casa Montana dan Casa Petrocchi mulai meluntur. J...more
Harold Ogle
A very good read, which strangely reminded me a bit of Tim Powers towards the end (possibly because of the statues). Weirdly, this is listed as the fourth book in the series, when it was clearly the second book she wrote in the series (1980, as opposed to the 1988 publishing date of the supposed book 2, Christopher Chant). I'm doing the best I can to read them in chronological order - that is, in the order they were written, not in an order they were connected in after the fact.

In this book, the...more
Here's what I don't get: The book is called WOrld's of CHrestomanci Magician's of Caprona. This CHrestomanci seems to have all the presence of a daytime tv cameo appearance. There's like one reference to him in the way that someone would reference Aunt Maria cooking Porkchops on the weekend; and yet somehow the book is not called World's of Aunt Maria Magician's of Caprona.
This bothers me (not the dis-inclusion of Aunt Maria). But yes, I get that its a kids book.
The first few chapters are .. dif...more
Darya Berd
A light, breezy, cozy read for kids without a lot of scares or violence or danger. Just two magical families (the most magical in Italy) who are at odds with each other, a mysterious enchanter, a magical golden Angel, and a boy who can understand cats.

The Casa Montana where the main characters Tonino and Paolo grow up is full of funny uncles, big loud aunts and troublemaking cousins who are all dedicated to the same business: spell-making. But it's not easy for Tonino, who is slow at spells and...more
This book is set in the same world as Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant, except instead of taking place in a magical version of England, it's in a magical version of Italy. Caprona, where the action takes place, is known for the quality of the magic spells it produces and sells. The best spells from Caprona come from two eminent families, Casa Montana and Casa Petrocchi: the two houses are equally talented at magic and equally full of antipathy towards one another: they've been feu...more
I think this is my favorite Diana Wynn Jones book yet. She truly is a remarkable storyteller. These books are good in an old-fashioned kind of way that reminds me of C.S. Lewis or E. Nesbitt or Joan Aiken (my childhood favorite) but also modern in a way that reminds me of Neil Gaiman (who writes in the blubs that her books are "always perfectly magical.") They are perfectly magical, and always perfectly believable too.
Kind of like Romeo and Juliet, only, you know, with everyone's favorite fancy-pants foppish enchanter waltzing around and informing everyone how ridiculous they are. Well, except for the Romeo and the Juliet, who actually had some sense in this particular permutation of the concept, along with a handful of DWJ's usual resourceful children. That is to say: kind of like Romeo and Juliet, but actually enjoyable.
I think Diana Wynne Jones is my favourite author. I can go back to her books again and again and again, they are never disappointing and they ALWAYS make me happy. No adult realisation of any lack of literary merit has yet managed to spoil my deep and sincere enjoyment.
This is a pretty cool book. As usual with DWJ (and with Chrestomanci, of course), it's immensely readable, well-paced, and totally amiable. I liked having it set in Magic-Italy. While it's not exactly an anthropological review of Italian culture, it's neat to watch DWJ play around with what such a world may offer offer. In particular, the idea of a giant family, all living under one roof, plays to the author's strength with quick and memorable characterization as an entire network of cousins, un...more
Maybe I've just been marathoning them in the car for too long, but by the fifth Chrestomanci book I've listened to, the formula has worn thin and the charm worn off. While it's great that Wynne Jones manages to effectively drive her plot through realistic kid emotions and goals, she too often uses their whims to create conflict they can't handle and simply invokes Chrestomanci to resolve it all in a whirlwind of loose-end tying-up and pat delivery of just deserts. I quit Magicians 3/4s of the wa...more
Mindy Conde
I found a list on Diane Wynn Jones’ website that gave her recommended reading order of this series; it listed The Magicians of Caprona as the fifth book, so that’s what I did. I just finished it and I think that it may have been my favorite so far. Well, maybe its tied with A Charmed Life. I really enjoyed the characters and the pace of the storytelling in this one. It revolves a rivalry between two magic families in Caprona, Italy: the Montana’s and the Petrocchi’s. They are the two most talent...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janelle Dazzlepants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An Odd1
Tonino Montana, (before Mixed Magics, Stealer of Souls , so read first) is kidnapped with Angelica, youngest of rival Italian house Petrocchio, both close to their family cats, black Benvenuto and white Vittoria. His older brother Paolo enlists her older sister Renata, only one to believe Chrestomanci and him, that the villain is not in either family. The evil White Devil fools the sweaty Duke, avid lover of Punch and Judy shows, sends tiny Caprona to war. Finding the true words to their hymn "...more
Book Elf
This is the first time I have read of aChrestomanci book, so, I was not pretty sure if it was wise to start at number 4. When I started the book, the names came rushing in and I have a worry at the back my mind if I can cope up with the names. Eventually, all the names fell in to places and I had a good time reading this book. In fact, I loved it!

Unlike the magicians and wizard stories that I have read, this one was unique on its own. The spells were associated with songs. And the presence of c...more
Although this is considered one of the books in the Chronicles of Chrestomanci series, The Chrestomanci himself has only a small part in his role as "preventer of misuse of magic". In the Italian town of Caprona, in whatever parallel Chrestomanci world this may be, magic through the use of spoken and sung spells is a big deal, yet an every day part of life. The misuse of magic comes in because of an old feud between the two most powerful spell-writing families of Caprona. Addressing the feuding...more
Nov 25, 2012 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Had less of the uncomfortable child/adult relations than the previous two Chrestomanci books. However, the Punch and Judy scene is intensely disturbing and made me very upset. That's one of the reasons I didn't read Diana Wynne Jones when I was younger-- scenes like that one always made me really uncomfortable. I did enjoy it, but she always does something like have the adults abuse the children or really disturbing scenes like the Punch and Judy. (And never calls the adults out for it. Examples...more
John Kirk
The overall story is pretty simple, so it's character-based rather than plot-based. In that sense, it works quite well, although it has a few flaws. For instance, it includes Chrestomanci, but it doesn't specify which person is currently doing that job. I couldn't work it out based on the other novels in the series, which suggests that the characters are pretty much interchangeable; this is a problem when the plot is also lacking.

There were a couple of "mysteries" in the book which I found quite...more
Julie Davis
I have been enjoying this book tremendously since the first page. Tonino is born into a famous spell-making family in the Italian kingdom of Caprona (although there is no unified Italy in this story). Although he can't do spells well he does have his own special talent which his large, loving family appreciates very much. They have many other things to bother them though, such as their ancient rivals (the Petrocchi family), the war that threatens their kingdom, and a hostile enchanter who is sai...more
series: Chrestomanci - 2/6

3 1/2 and probably my favourite out of the early Chrestomanci quartet (excluding the recently published Conrad's Fate and the Pinhoe Egg). Screw the haters! Seamless integration of magic with the colourful, hectic life of a Shakespearean take on Verona. You have feuding families, star-crossed lovers, (occasionally) communicative boss cats and songs as spells that are inexplicably running out of power - I can see why some people might think it an unoriginal stereotype of...more
This book definitely wasn't the best of the Chrestomanci series--if it can even be considered as part of the series, since Chrestomanci's appearance is hardly worth mentioning. It may have been more interesting if Ms. Jones had implied which Chrestomanci it was, but alas, we are left to wonder.
One aspect of this book that I did enjoy was the poke at Shakespeare with the whole 'warring families for no reason that anyone can remember' plot device. It was quite nice and very cute at the end when th...more
First things first: I wondered why Diana Wynne Jones had chosen the name Caprona to use in the title of this children’s book. Was it from the Latin caprona ‘forelock’? Or from a type of butterfly? Or perhaps in homage to an island featuring in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land that Time Forgot? None of these notions really convinced.

It seems most likely that she borrowed the name from a village in the Arno valley in Tuscany, upriver from Pisa and to the west of Florence. While relatively insignific...more
Karly Noelle Abreu
The Petrocchi's and the Montana's hate each other. They are the two strongest spellhouses in Italy, and don't need a reason better than that.
Set in the fantastic world of Chrestomanci, this is a vision of Italy that never united, Caprona is still a city-state, and the two most powerful families around won't work together due to a centuries-long feud. But problems ensue for the family as Caprona edges closer to war with the other city-states, and both families are held to ransom when their young...more
I re-read this book last month after the sad news that Diana had died. It seemed appropriate, being the first of her books that had I ever got my grubby little paws on. (Is it odd to refer to her as Diana? Somehow, it simply doesn’t feel right to use her last name.)

From the perspective of a newcomer to this multiverse and the Chrestomanci series, I suppose I must have been quite perplexed by this world that I was suddenly plunged into. Set in Chrestomanci’s world where Italy never united as one...more
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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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