A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{January 30, 2011}   Mixed Magics by Diana Wynne Jones

Four short stories staring characters from the Chrestomanci universe.

I’m never quite sure how to review a book of short stories, especially in a case such as this where all the stories are quite different. But regardless it was a pleasure to return to the world of Chrestomancy.

The first story, The Warlock at the Wheel, is mostly silly. It stars the Willing Warlock from Charmed Life whose attempts to rob a bank go horribly awry. This is the weakest story in the book but it’s worth a laugh or two.

The second story, The Stealer of Souls, was, to me, the highlight of the book. It stars Cat Chant in an exciting adventure with a new companion. I would have read a novel length version of this story though it is perfect as it is.

The third story is also interesting and quite unique. In Carol Oneir’s Hundredth Dream, we find a young girl who is more cunning than she seems and who creates dreams that are sold as entertainment. Her encounter with Chrestomanci has quite unexpected consequences.

The final story, The Sage of Theare, has a cosmological scope. It deals with gods, order and fate. It is not as thrilling a read as The Stealer of Souls but it is the type of story that is worth rereading for a new perspective.

Altogether, a nice collection of stories, a quick and enjoyable read.

Challenges: Into the Old World Challenge (9)


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