The Magicians of Caprona

Diana Wynne Jones

I finished re-reading this classic kid's book for the umpteenth time last night.
Now having admitted that and losing what little veneer of cool I might have had I'm going to do one of my mini-reviews.
This is the story of Tonino Montana, a young boy living on an alternate Earth where magic is real and the Italy he lives in is still divided into city states. In Caprona, there are two families that surpass all others in the creation of spells, the Montanas and the Petrocchis. They hate each other due to some ancient half remembered grudge. Unfortunately they're fighting each other when Caprona is at it's weakest, under attack, with an evil enchanter undermining from within and other city states ready to attack from outside. Chrestomanci (yes, it's a Chrestomanci book, though he barely appears in this one) urges both families to find the real words to the Angel of Caprona, a powerful spell donated to the city by heaven, in order to save the city. Tonino is slow to learn spells, and has always got his head stuck in a book, yet he's the one who proves vital to the salvation of Caprona.
I love this book - it's a great children's fantasy. It blows Harry Potter out of the water. I urge to investigate anything written by Diana Wynne Jones, she's a very inventive and consistently good author, whether for children or for adults.

Posted by Greig

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