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The Pinhoe Egg

(Chrestomanci #6)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  7,494 ratings  ·  403 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 stron
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Popular Answered Questions
Caysja Roberts No, you do not have to read the series in an order, because the only same character in all the books in the Chrestomanci, ( well, except for other not…moreNo, you do not have to read the series in an order, because the only same character in all the books in the Chrestomanci, ( well, except for other not important characters ).(less)
Moriah Mason Some of them, yes.

You need to read The Lives of Christopher Chant before you read Conrad's Fate because you won't understand Christopher in Conrad's…more
Some of them, yes.

You need to read The Lives of Christopher Chant before you read Conrad's Fate because you won't understand Christopher in Conrad's Fate otherwise.

You need to read Charmed Life before The Pinhoe Egg because they are direct sequels about Cat.

Otherwise, the order doesn't matter!(less)

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4.05  · 
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 ·  7,494 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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mark monday
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Pam Baddeley
This apparently is the last of the Chrestomanci series of which I have read a few of the earlier ones so I wasn't as lost as perhaps I might have been afterwards, at least knowing about Chrestomanci, the castle, Cat who is the nine-lived enchanter understudy to be the next Chrestomanci, Millie, Chrestomanci's wife and an enchanter in her own right, and their children Roger and Julia, plus Janet the girl from our world who ended up stranded in Chrestomanci's world after Cat's nasty sister Gwendol ...more
Prema Arasu
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The best part, as always, was Chrestomanci's dressing gowns
Abbey Stellingwerff
Now that I have finished them all, here are some of my thoughts about the Chrestomanci books:
-My definitive ranking goes Conrad's Fate, The Magicians of Caprona, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Charmed Life, Witch Week, The Pinhoe Egg.
-I loved the character of Chrestomanci himself.
-The cats in The Magicians of Caprona are lovely.
-Once again, Diana Wynne Jones' imagination has impressed me.
-Although I loved the characters in The Pinhoe Egg (and that we got to see Cat again), I thought that th
I know the Chrestomanci books can be read in pretty much any order, but starting with A Charmed Life and finishing with The Pinhoe Egg feels very natural, and I really enjoyed seeing Cat and Janet again. I felt like this book combines elements of my two favorite Chrestomanci books, which are A Charmed Life and The Magicians of Caprona , so naturally I really liked it.

I did think Janet and Julia were both a bit underused in this book, they showed up a little bit in the beginning but then didn't
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Lara Mi

“There should. Have been more to a wood than this. And there was no more. Even though he could see far off through the trees, there was no depth to the place.”

In a small town not far from Chrestomanci Castle lives the Pinhoe family - an old clan of magic users who make sure to stay hidden from Chrestomanci. Young Marianne Pinhoe discerns unease and strange events happening in their town. As none of her relatives seems to notice or even believe her, Marianne sees little choice but to seek help
Mar 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chrestomanci, dwj, fantasy
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
A feud between families in the villages around Chrestomanci castle reveals a new type of magic. Extending the view to just outside the castle works better than some of the more distant, and therefore more tangential, stories while still broadening the world to a lovely ensemble cast of new and old characters. It meshes well with DWJ's humor and deceptively complex characterization. The ending relies too much on coincidence, the relationship between themes and social commentary never quite coales ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probably the weakest of the Chrestomanci books, though that's a bit like saying the driest ocean -- still enormous fun to read.
Ren (A Bookish Balance)
the ending of this book deals with some extremely interesting topics, DWJ books are always more than they appear to be
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading anything by DWJ is always a pleasure and this did not disappoint!
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm done with the series except for the short story collection !!!!!! 10/10 series would recommend if u want a happy story
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
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Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alyssa Nelson
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
This book is an absolute delight; it takes place in the same universe where Christopher lives with his family, which is a nice change of pace, and we get to see them from the point of view of the people who live near him in the village. It’s really fun to see how chaotic his family life is–it fits his lifestyle perfectly–and how wild is children are. I enjoyed getting to see a closer in-depth look at that.

One of the best things is seeing how Christopher isn’t all-powerful and all-knowing; I love
Nov 05, 2016 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 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 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 28, 2007 rated it liked it
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
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-and-ya, sff
Wobbled between a 2 and 3 star rating. I'm a huge DWJ fan but this is my least favorite work of hers so far. It was confusing even having read most of the other Chrestomanci novels and seemed rather long for not a whole lot happening. Too many characters -- albeit none really important besides Cat (from Charmed Life) and Marianne but all the names got rather jumbled (especially the Js-- Joss, Joe, Jason, Janet, Julia, Jane James, sheesh) and distracted from the story. I think that usual DWJ magi ...more
Apr 10, 2012 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
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more

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)
“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.” 4 likes
More quotes…