Saturday, May 5, 2012

Book Review: Conrad's Fate by Diana Wynne Jones

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume 3

Conrad's Fate

Diana Wynne Jones

Review of Volume Two

Publication Date: April 1st 2005

Publisher: Eos

Pages: 300

Genre: Fantasy

Conrad is young, good at heart, and yet is apparently suffering from the effects of such bad karma that there is nothing in his future but terrible things. Unless he can alter his circumstances - well, quite frankly, he is DOOMED.

Conrad is sent in disguise to Stallery Mansion, to infiltrate the magical fortress that has power over the whole town of Stallchester, and to discover the identity of the person who is affecting his Fate so badly. Then he has to kill that person. But can any plan really be that simple and straightforward? Of course it can′t! And things start to go very strangely for Conrad from the moment he meets the boy called Christopher...

Although for the other two volumes of Chrestomanci I reviewed the stories together, this time around there's a lot more to both stories and they have improved in quality so I'm splitting my post up to cover each one.

First of all, I love Christopher aka Cat's Chrestomanci in this book. It shows how his personality developed from The Lives of Christopher Chant to the character of Chrestomanci in all the other books. He's begun to take on that dramatic well dressed air he is known for. He also makes a very pleasant fold for Conrad who is a very different sort of character. In fact Conrad reminds me a bit of Cat.

There is an overwhelming mystery throughout the book that keeps you guessing. Christopher is looking for Millie, who seems to be there but not really, and Conrad supposedly has terrible fate on him that he must fix by destroying someone with a being called a Walker. The Stallery proves to be even stranger than originally thought, somehow messing up all the possibilities for whatever ends.

There are some brilliant caricatured side characters in this book including the Lady of the house who has the habit of going: "But WHY" constantly and so well described that I can hear it in my head and causes me to burst out laughing almost every time as her children roll their eyes at her.

Like Witch Week, Conrad's Fate takes place in a completely different series of worlds, so you can easily read this book without touching the rest. It is very classic Jones and I actually hope to purchase this one for my collection, possibly just because I love how fabulous Christopher, soon to be the most well dressed Chrestomanci ever, is.



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