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Conrad's Fate (The Chrestomanci Series, Book 6)
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/ Key title A splendid, new, magical adventure from Diana Wynne Jones, set in the worlds of Chrestomanci! / Magical, focused marketing and publicity campaign / Interviews, features and reviews in national press, on television and radio / Series of exclusive nationwide events and signings / Targeted advertising campaign in fantasy magazines / On-line campaign -- banner ads from teacher / librarian sites, competition-linked banner ads from nick.co.uk / Full point of sale material, including repackaged Chrestomanci backlist: Charmed Life, The Magicians of Caprona, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant and Mixed Magics / Competition: Harry Potter, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) spent her childhood in Essex and began writing fantasy novels for children in the 1970s. With her unique combination of magic, humour and imagination, she enthralled generations of children and adults with her work. She won the Guardian Award in 1977 with Charmed Life, was runner-up for the Children's Book Award in 1981 and was twice runner-up for the Carnegie Medal.

Reviews

Gr 6-10-Diana Wynne Jones's new fantasy (Greenwillow, 2005) continues her Chrestomanci series (Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant) with an episode set mostly in Series 7 of the dozen or so alternate worlds to which her magicians have access. Conrad, an emotionally beleaguered boy who is convinced that his fate is shadowed and must be corrected by putting some unknown wrongdoer from a past life to death, finds work in the village mansion. There, he meets not only Christopher Chant, spying from Series 12, but also learns that his own sister plans to marry the local lord. A complicated plot involving shifting houses and magicians who "pull the possibilities"-alter the situation in the midst of an action-takes Conrad on a quest through both the mansion and his own morality. Almost no one is who he or she would seem to be-and many of them enjoy formal playacting to boot! Fans of Jones's fantasies will dote on this and those new to her stories will have no trouble catching the rhythm of her humor-laced plotting. Gerard Doyle reads with an appropriate light British accent, but the overall listening experience is somewhat marred by intrusive and extraneous lip clicks and breath that occasionally runs out before the end of Jones's sentence.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"CONRAD'S FATE is quintessential Chrestomanci - funny, smart, twisty,
exciting, tricky, delightful and always perfectly magical."
Neil Gaiman

For DWJ:
"...Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones's most outrageous plots to her readers' hopes and fears..."
Publishers Weekly

"Truly magical - guaranteed to leave you gasping - even hotter than Potter"
The Bookseller

For The Merlin Conspiracy:
"The characterisation is first rate, the ideas are fabulous ... This is fantasy at its most inventive - canny, funny and far-reaching." The Telegraph

"A curiosity shop of a book ... a pleasure to lose yourself in." The Sunday Times

"The Merlin Conspiracy is Wynne Jones on top form ... [her] powerful narrative and her ability to create extraordinary charachers with real emotions make her more than a worthy rival to J K Rowling." Financial Times

"A must for all Wynne Jones fans, past, present and future." Limited Edition

Wynne Jones's latest addition to her Chrestomanci books brings a servant's eye-view (a la Gosford Park) to her characteristic blend of magic, mystery and snortingly funny slapstick. Instead of going on to secondary school like most of his friends, 12-year-old Conrad is sent by his uncle to Stallery, a castle high in the English Alps, to work as an apprentice servant. Conrad has a secret mission: According to his uncle, he has a terrible karma that can only be cleared by seeking out and killing a mysterious someone who lives at the castle. On his way there, Conrad strikes up a friendship with a self-assured, slightly older boy, whom the author's fans will recognize as Christopher Chant, enchanter and future Chrestomanci. Christopher has a secret mission, too: He must locate his friend Millie, who has run away from her Swiss boarding school and hidden herself in Conrad's world. When Conrad and Christopher are not busy blacking boots, ironing linens and learning to be as discreet and unobtrusive as "Living. Pieces. Of furniture," the boys search for Millie and discover that Stallery stands on a "probability fault," with the power to whisk visitors to alternate worlds. Adding to the magical mayhem are at least two pairs of star-crossed lovers, a troupe of unemployed actors, and a couple of hair-raising visits from a messenger of the Lords of Karma. Long-time Chrestomanci fans will take particular pleasure in learning how the enchanter acquired some of his more notable traits. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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