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The Magicians of Caprona (Chrestomanci #4)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  9,423 Ratings  ·  315 Reviews
Tonino is the only person in the famous Montana household who wasn't born with an instinct for creating spells, but he has other gifts. His ability to communicate with cats just might help defend the city of Caprona against a mysterious enchanter -- but only if Tonino can learn to cooperate with a girl from the hated Petrocchi family of spell-makers.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 21st 1999 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1980)
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Janouk Yes, but he has not a big role in the book
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mark monday
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mark Lawrence
EDIT: Of all the reviews I've done this is the least liked! There are even books I have got more likes for rating than I got for reviewing this one :)

This is the second Chrestomanci book I've read to my daughter Celyn - there seems to be some confusion about the order of the books, but they appear to be self-contained and the order is perhaps unimportant.

It's a good book, not a great book. It's the first of the 5 DWJ's books I've read to Celyn not to get a 4 or 5*.

It retains many of the excellen
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Rachel
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sanaa
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4 Stars] When I started this book I didn't really think I would like it. It was slow and it took me some time to get sucked into the writing, but as I read on I just got more and more excited. This story grows on you, the characters do, the worlds do, and now that I'm finished I want to go back to them!

My favorite parts of this book have to be the ridiculous magical bits like the cardboard horses and the cardboard coach, and of course the silly rivalry between the Petrocchis and the Montanas. T
...more
Tijana
Istina je da moja ljubav prema Dajani Vin Džouns ne zna za granice. Takođe je istina da to nije zasnovano na ovoj knjizi :) Nemojte me pogrešno shvatiti, u pitanju je zaista ljubak roman sa divnim metatekstualnim poigravanjem sa Šekspirom i smislenim konceptom magije i razumno visokim ulozima (možda čak previsokim za dečji roman) i lukavo provučenim ozbiljnim temama, ali nije genijalno uvrnuto remekdelo kao neke njene druge knjige. Ok, to je stvarno nefer kritika, znam.
Deborah O'Carroll
Read February 2015

Re-read January 2017


THIS BOOK! IT'S EVEN BETTER ON RE-READ. ESPECIALLY RE-READING ALOUD. BUT BUT THE FUUUN. OH MY GOODNESS. XD AND AWESOME ITALIAN FANTASY (!!!). AND SHENANIGANS. AND FUN DIALOG. AND DIANA WYNNE JONES. AND CHRESTOMANCI WHO IS AMAZING.

JUST
JUST
THE CHRESTOMANCI BOOKS THOUGH. <3333

THAT IS ALL.
beatricks
This was cute but hard to connect with. Where some of DWJ's other books employ a tight POV, this one has such a broad lens -- beginning with the entire city of Caprona and the Montana family, and then switching off vaguely between Tonino and Paolo -- that I never felt terribly invested in anyone's fates, nor did I have any doubts about them and their fates, since the plot is so formulaic and involves a literal angel vs. a literal devil*.

As I read I first kept thinking of Zen Cho and how her So
...more
Myles
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.

A
...more
Gusfina
--- The Magicians of Caprona ~ Penyihir-Penyihir Caprona ---
Plot: Mudah tertebak sekaligus tidak mudah tertebak.
Penokohan: Hubungan antar-tokohnya paling bagus ^^.
Gaya bercerita: Ok.



Novel fantasi ini akan membawa pembacanya terjun ke dunia dimana sihir adalah sesuatu yang umum.
Seumum pertikaian mendarah daging antara Casa Montana dan Casa Petrocchi di Caprona. Belum berhenti sampai disana, api pertikaian mereka seakan disulut dengan minyak saat seorang anggota keluarga mereka diculik!

Mereka sa
...more
Melissa McShane
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
bakanekonomama
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
Elizabeth
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
The Magicians of Caprona is basically Romeo & Juliet, except better because it doesn’t end in death. I liked the fact that it was three pairs that ended up uniting together against the Big Bad, rather than just the obvious one. I also enjoyed the fact that it was children who overcame the barriers first, rather than the adults, since children usually do in situations like the one in the book (adults are more bitter and are liable to hold onto past grudges for a longer amount of time).

I felt
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Harold Ogle
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, magic
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
Daphne
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Chrestomanci books are always a bit harder to review because comparing them to the other books in the series is almost impossible. They aren't quite stand-alone stories, since they have connections to the other books, but they aren't really sequels of one another either. Then added on top of that, they don't have a specific order you have to read them in. So where I would usually compare a book to the rest in the series, it wouldn't feel right to do that as much with these books.

I liked The
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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
Twyla
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Yehudit
Diana Wynne Jones has a very distinct style, fun and magical and complex, so much so that at times it's a little confusing. And I like it a lot. This book was entertaining and enjoyable, just as I had come to expect from a book by her. It's just that the ending seemed a bit - not abrupt - but as if something more is supposed to happen; I'm not sure if I get this feeling because it's a part of a series. Even though the books might just as well be standalones. Anyhow, I can't wait to conrinue the ...more
Jazzmin Hunter
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-books
I loved this book. Everything about it was fascinating. It was narrated by Gerard Doyle, who does a great job on the characters and always leaves me hanging on every word.

It is too bad that the ratings are lower than the book deserves. It seems the chief complaint is that the book is part of the Chrestomanci series and Chrestomanci (a character in the story) only has a couple of short appearances.
branewurms
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.
Kylie Sparks
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.
Raven
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Romeo + Juliet + Dirty & Messy Spells + Jones's Humor - Tragedy
and a guest appearance of Crestomanci himself ^^

The only thing that give this book off is the Indonesian cover version.. I mean, come on, everyone could tell who the main culprit is from the cover alone...
Gramedia is so disappointing lately...
Jaz (Cloud Child)
I remember reading this and not enjoying it the first time round because of all the conflict and I'm a wimp who likes happy hour always. I was quite young then. Reread a couple years ago and still that feeling was there faintly. I definitely enjoyed it more.
The two youngest of the clans/families are the winners for best characters here.
Man I need to read this again
Judy
A very engaging read. Wish I'd read this as a 12 year old. I would have had such a great time with it.

The cover of this edition is simply awful. Couldn't be much worse. It's almost enough to upset one's reading experience! The internal chapter head vignettes are much better, simple, stylised line drawings.
Beth
My least favorite Chrestomanci book. The best part is easily the what-if-Romeo-and-Juliet-weren't-idiots subplot, where they deceive their families easily. And the part where each family is really proud of even the less-talented younger child.
C.
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.
Shane Harcombe
probably more like 2.5 stars. There were elements I enjoyed in this book, the setting, the idea of spells being relatively everyday, the Romeo and Juliet comparisons, but too much was not fleshed out enough.

Maybe this was because this was 4th in a series, but the book touched on elements I would have loved to have explained in more detail. Why can only these two families, and a few special others, make spells? What do they mean by the spells weakening? The whole reasons for war and even the vill
...more
Leticia
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, women
I read this immediately after reading Charmed Life and it's so different to be almost a shock. The best way I can explain is that there is a kind of sunniness to the characters and story of The Magicians of Caprona, where Charmed Life is all grey skies. This story is funnier and more adventurous, the kind of book I can't really put down.
And how did she manage that giant cast of characters? There is something for everyone here: women and men, young and old, fighters and peace lovers, quick witted
...more
karen
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
another chrestomanci book that's light on the chrestomanci. it took me a little while to get into it, but once the action picked up it was really suspenseful. main character tonino was pretty neat and sympathetic. i don't know if everybody is as creeped out by punch & judy as i am, but i was thoroughly scared during that whole part of the story. and as always, jones's depictions of animals is great - sweet but not sappy, just realistic pictures of what is actually cool about them, not fantas ...more
Graham
it's not as good as books one and two. that said, the last third had an element of interest, and the inclusion of the kidnapped children being turned into Punch and Judy puppets was fun, but all I could think of was that the Rivers of London did this so much better. The ideas of feuding families coming together to beat a common enemy and thus save a town is a bit of a cliché, but this ought to be OK for younger readers.
That said, the cats are the best characters in this book; their nonverbal com
...more
Katie Bee
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books-read
Continuing my re-read of the Chrestomanci series. And this book holds up as well as the first! It's not really very much of a Chrestomanci book (he appears but only as a secondary character), but it's delightful all the same. I really like all the main characters. Tonino and Angelica make a fantastic team, and lovebirds Rosa and Marco are easy to root for. And I love the kitchen spell gone wrong. :)
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Goodreads Feedback: Book displaying two different covers? 2 30 Mar 19, 2012 12:49PM  
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4260
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
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)
  • Conrad's Fate (Chrestomanci, #5)
  • The Pinhoe Egg  (Chrestomanci, #6)