Reviews for Conrad's Fate : A Chrestomanci book
Booklist Reviews 2005 April #2
Gr. 5-8. Twelve-year-old Conrad is convinced by his magician uncle that his bad luck is the result of his failure to put an end to someone in his past life, as required by the Lords of Karma. To atone for his mistake and to save his own life, Conrad reluctantly applies for a job at the mysterious Stallery Mansion, where he must find and dispose of someone he doesn't know. At the mansion, he meets Christopher. Although Christopher is quite maddening, he's full of ideas and surprises, and Conrad eventually learns that he has traveled from a parallel universe in search of a missing friend. The two boys explore the mansion, which slips in and out of various universes, while they try to discover who is working the alarming magic that is threatening to destroy Conrad's universe. The latest in Jones' Chrestomanci series, this funny fantasy romp is as antic and farcical as the preceding books, and is sure to be appreciated by the series' fans. ((Reviewed April 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Fall
In this new Chrestomanci novel, a sequel to [cf2]The Lives of Christopher Chant[cf1], Jones once more turns her attention to a confused adolescent discovering his talents--this time twelve-year-old Conrad Tesdinic. Jones has a genius for inventiveness, humor, and flair: as usual, everyone in the cast has an essential part to play in a tricky, satisfying plot. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2005 #3
In this new Chrestomanci novel, a sequel to The Lives of Christopher Chant, Jones once more turns her attention to a confused adolescent discovering his talents -- this time twelve-year-old Conrad Tesdinic, who has been told by his uncle that he suffers from Bad Karma. Off Conrad goes to Stallery Castle, intent on murdering the one responsible for his evil fate. Instead, he meets Christopher Chant -- now a "tall boy" impeccably dressed, expensively groomed, and seeking Millie, who has fled her nasty finishing school only to be caught up in a "probability fault," stuck between ever-shifting worlds. Disguised as valets-in-training, Christopher and Conrad unearth more than Millie and a probability problem: they untangle Conrad's family history, bring down the powers of Stallery, and get into a great deal of trouble with their elders. Jones has a genius for inventiveness, humor, and flair: as usual, everyone in the full cast has an essential part to play in a tricky, satisfying plot. Conrad pales a little next to Christopher's bumptious, superior personality -- Christopher is definitely evolving into the Chrestomanci of elegant dressing-gowns he becomes in Charmed Life. This is "Upstairs, Downstairs" Diana Wynne Jones-style, where magicians, domestics, law enforcement officers, and actors cannot always be distinguished from one another. A speedy, entertaining read. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2005 March #2
Conrad Tesdinic has an Evil Fate in this entertaining Chrestomanci tale that begins a few years after The Lives of Christopher Chant (1988) leaves off. Conrad detests working in his Uncle Alfred's bookshop in the shadow of magical Stallery Mansion, and yearns for the day he can leave for high school. Alas, his dark Fate intervenes; Uncle Alfred explains that Conrad's Karma, earned with wicked deeds in a previous life, will lead to an agonizing death unless he kills a man in Stallery Mansion. Luckily for Conrad, Uncle Alfred has gotten him a job at Stallery. Conrad dislikes Stallery Mansion, and somebody keeps shifting reality, turning eggs into bacon and sundials into statues. He befriends fellow trainee Christopher, a charming and secretive boy who is searching for a magically stuck friend. As Conrad and Christopher explore multiple realities, Conrad's long-lost sister appears, involved in Stallery's dangerous intrigues. A wild romp with a fast-paced and satisfying conclusion, Conrad's humorous adventures will appeal to Christopher's existing fans and Jones neophytes alike. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 March #3
Wynne Jones's latest addition to her Chrestomanci books brings a servant's eye-view (a la Gosford Park) to her characteristic blend of magic, mystery and snortingly funny slapstick. Instead of going on to secondary school like most of his friends, 12-year-old Conrad is sent by his uncle to Stallery, a castle high in the English Alps, to work as an apprentice servant. Conrad has a secret mission: According to his uncle, he has a terrible karma that can only be cleared by seeking out and killing a mysterious someone who lives at the castle. On his way there, Conrad strikes up a friendship with a self-assured, slightly older boy, whom the author's fans will recognize as Christopher Chant, enchanter and future Chrestomanci. Christopher has a secret mission, too: He must locate his friend Millie, who has run away from her Swiss boarding school and hidden herself in Conrad's world. When Conrad and Christopher are not busy blacking boots, ironing linens and learning to be as discreet and unobtrusive as "Living. Pieces. Of furniture," the boys search for Millie and discover that Stallery stands on a "probability fault," with the power to whisk visitors to alternate worlds. Adding to the magical mayhem are at least two pairs of star-crossed lovers, a troupe of unemployed actors, and a couple of hair-raising visits from a messenger of the Lords of Karma. Long-time Chrestomanci fans will take particular pleasure in learning how the enchanter acquired some of his more notable traits. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2005 April
Gr 6-10-Jones is a master of British fantasies that are hilariously droll and totally heartfelt at the same time. This is a new novel in the series that began with Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant (both 1998, HarperCollins), the story of how Christopher, the "nine-lifed enchanter" who regulates the uses of magic throughout 12 sets of alternate worlds, began his career. This book introduces Conrad Tesdinic, a boy who lives in one of the Series Seven worlds and has been told throughout his youth that he has bad luck, an Evil Fate, bad karma. When he graduates from lower school at the age of 12, his magician uncle reveals that Conrad's black Fate has been caused by his failure to kill a depraved evildoer in a previous life. The reincarnated evildoer, he is told, dwells in nearby Stallery Mansion, which generates so much magic that no one living nearby gets any TV reception. Conrad must take a job as a servant at the mansion and kill the villain, whose identity he must discover. Once hired, he meets his roommate and fellow servant, a smug, handsome young man named-aha!-Christopher. Almost all the players-including Conrad-conceal their true identities as they dash from one alternate Stallery Mansion to another, solving several interlocking mysteries. This witty, satisfying story can be read on its own, but is much richer when read as part of the series. It's a must for all Jones fans.-Walter Minkel, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2005 June
Connoisseurs of fantasy fiction rank Jones's Chrestomanci books as among her best, and this first addition to that series in more than fifteen years should maintain this reputation. Twelve-year-old Conrad Tesdinic has terrible karma and a less-than-perfect home life. His father is dead, his writer mother has badly neglected him, and his magician uncle, who runs the family bookstore, is a serious cheapskate. Conrad must now choose between leaving school to get a job and continuing his education. He would prefer the latter but is told by his uncle that he suffers from a horrible fate, the result of his having not killed someone in a previous life. Conrad, his uncle tells him, will die within the year if he does not gain employment at nearby Stallery Mansion and then murder the latest incarnation of the person that he failed to kill previously. Unfortunately the owners of Stallery are not only the richest people around but also the most powerful magicians, capable of "pulling the possibilities" or altering reality virtually at will. When Conrad is hired he finds himself teamed with another boy who is at Stallery under false pretenses, a Christopher "Smith" whom veteran Chrestomanci fans will immediately recognize. Jones features all the pleasures that long-time fans have come to expect: droll humor; engaging, virtually Dickensian characters; intriguing magic; and wildly imaginative settings. At seventy years of age, Jones still writes at the top of her form.-Michael Levy PLB $17.89. ISBN 0-06-074744-7. 5Q 4P M J S Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.