Conrad’s Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones – Part of the Chrestomanci series, which takes place on a series of worlds similar to our own, this one occurs in an England that is part of the European mainland. A boy named Conrad finds himself working as a servant in Stallery, a mysterious and magical old mansion where, as is typical in Jones’s work, nothing is as it seems. He meets up with Christopher Chant, the future Chrestomanci, who at this point is still being trained by his predecessor Gabriel de Witt, and is searching for his friend Millie. It’s interesting to see Christopher starting to develop the personality he has as Chrestomanci in other books. He’s not as experienced yet, but still smugly confident and witty. Pretty much all of the characters involved have their own agendas and secrets, and as usual, it all comes together in a convoluted but still satisfying ending.
Of Jones’s other books, I have now read Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, The Magicians of Caprona, Witch Week, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Air, Archer’s Goon, Dark Lord of Derkholm, and Year of the Griffin. Since the third volume of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci also includes The Pinhoe Egg, that will be my next of hers that I’ll read, and I have House of Many Ways as well. I’ve had Eight Days of Luke suggested to me, but I haven’t come across that one in a library or bookstore yet. I think I did see The Merlin Conspiracy at the school library, but I haven’t actually seen any opinions on that one. Why does each new thing I read lead to so many others? I guess I shouldn’t complain, though, because it means it’s difficult for me to get bored. Well, except when I’m somewhere I can’t read, or have forgotten to bring a book.