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Unexpected Magic


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In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards--and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter--her books are filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.


Old favorites come in new trimmings with the gathering together of these 16 previously published stories by Diana Wynne Jones in Unexpected Magic: Collected Stories. Shorter tales include "The Master," a vet's account of a strange, portentous dream she has about a house in the forest, and "The Girl Who Loved the Sun," wherein Phega's adoration for that celestial body causes her to repeatedly attempt to transform herself into a tree. Jones's four-part novella, "Everard's Ride," concludes the collection, with the tale of Cecelia and Alex, siblings who travel to a mysterious island to help Robert, a fugitive accused of murder. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Gr 6 Up-This collection of 15 short stories and one novella begins with the autobiographical "The Girl Jones," about nine-year-old Diana. Among the selections that follow, readers will find stories about a science-fiction writer who becomes involved in an interstellar revolution, a haunting encounter with werewolves and a sinister fool, and a talking cat cursed with long life. In the concluding novella, four children become embroiled in intrigue over an innocent prince, an evil count, and a brave outlaw. All of the selections have characters that are both appealing and realistically flawed, and the worlds they inhabit are brought to life through detail and humor. Each story smoothly draws readers in and brings its own mood and adventure. This is a good choice for collections in which the author has a following, though the lack of "Chrestomanci" stories and the somewhat daunting size may put off readers. The hefty volume includes most of the selections from Warlock at the Wheel and Other Stories (1985; o.p.) and Believing Is Seeing: Seven Stories (1999). However, the lack of overlap with Stopping for a Spell (2004) and Mixed Magics (2001, all Greenwillow), along with the new tales included, makes this a solid addition.-Beth L. Meister, Yeshiva of Central Queens, Flushing, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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