Reviews for Enchanted Glass
Booklist Reviews 2010 February #2
*Starred Review* Fantasy is a field crowded with gifted newcomers. What happens when a veteran strides to the plate and takes another swing? If the veteran is Diana Wynne Jones, get your scorecards ready. She hits this irresistible new book out of the ballpark. Magician Jocelyn Brandon had always intended to pass his strange home, Melton House, and his trade secrets on to his grandson, Andrew. Unfortunately, Brandon died before he could complete his careful instructions, and Andrew, now grown, has forgotten much of what his grandfather tried to teach him as a child. The arrival of 12-year-old Aiden, who is seeking protection from dangerous magical beings, reawakens Andrew's memories. Surrounded by a fabulous cast of eccentric allies, including a parsnip-loving giant, Andrew finds himself in the middle of a mystery surrounding an enchanted glass. With a gleeful nod to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jones hits all the bases, combining fluid storytelling, sly humor, and exquisitely drawn characters. The magical chaos culminates in a hilarious summer fete and a delightfully tidy resolution. This enthralling book proves that Jones is still at the top of her game. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
BookPage Reviews 2010 April
Finding the magic
When Andrew Hope’s grandfather dies, the young college professor receives an expected inheritance—the house and lands of Melstone, an ancient English estate. But Andrew also discovers an unexpected inheritance—his grandfather’s mystical “field of care.” Old Jocelyn Brandon was more than just an eccentric country gentleman; he was a magician, a wizard. The realm of Melstone was both his property and his magical responsibility, to protect from those who would sap its powers for their own ends. Now that task has fallen on Andrew.
Though trained in magic by his grandfather, Andrew never learned the true secret of Melstone, or the nature of a mysterious parchment with a black seal, which Andrew has only seen in a vision. As a result, the new magician takes over his duties with no idea of either their importance or the ancient danger rising in his realm. The danger only increases when a young teen named Aidan shows up on his doorstep, seeking refuge from shadowy beings that are hunting the boy for reasons neither he nor Andrew can fathom.
Just like her classic Howl’s Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones’ Enchanted Glass is filled with rich description and wonderful, inventive characters infused with personality and depth. Jones is also a master at combining gentle storytelling with a strong undercurrent of suspense, which truly comes through in her newest work. Her language is equally beautiful, and filled with touches of humor that round out the reality of Andrew’s world.
The title comes from a mysterious stained glass window in Melstone House, but also from Andrew and Aidan’s habit of removing their own glasses in order to see the underlying magic of the world. The latter action is the key theme of the novel—that if you look at the world differently, you can see the magic. As such, Enchanted Glass is less about how Andrew and Aidan resolve the threats against them than about their growing understanding of their magical world. The final solution falls into place almost without their action, but the reader doesn’t much mind. The magic of Enchanted Glass is in the discovery. Copyright 2010 BookPage Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
A boy named Aidan, recently orphaned and fleeing stalkers, pleads for refuge at professor Andrew Hope's inherited estate. Aidan's presence--and the weredog and giant he befriends--draw the ire of the sinister and mysterious Mr. O. Brown. Jones's story is characteristically buoyant and witty; the magic is always brainteasingly clever and comically down-to-earth. An intelligent, refreshing hoot. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #3
Professor Andrew Hope is bemused when he inherits his grandfather's estate and "field-of-care" -- whatever that is. Between trying to write his brilliant book, figure out the field-of-care, and deal with the cantankerous household help (Mrs. Stock and Mr. Stock -- no relation), he's more than busy. Mrs. Stock insists Andrew hire her oversized, lumpen nephew, and Mr. Stock insists he hire his elvish niece. Then the boy Aidan arrives, recently orphaned and fleeing stalkers, he says, and pleading for refuge. But Aidan's presence -- and the weredog and giant he befriends -- draw the ire of the sinister and mysterious Mr. O. Brown, who complains, "My realm has been leaking," accuses Andrew of using "counterparts," and takes spectacular vengeance at the village fte. In this satisfying confection, Jones is characteristically buoyant and witty; the magic is always clever -- brain-teasing, even -- and it's also comically down-to-earth. Only Jones would invent a gardener who takes revenge through gifts of vegetables ("several hundred radishes, all with holes in them" or "a vegetable marrow like the body of a small crocodile") and a cook who does so with endless dishes of cauliflower cheese. An intelligent, refreshing hoot. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 March #1
Wynne Jones's inimitable style showcases a multi-generational cast of heroes and a chaotic finale at the village fête. Andrew Hope leaves his job as a university lecturer when his grandfather bequeaths him both a house and a field-of-care. Andrew isn't exactly sure what the field-of-care is, but he knows he needs to protect it. Perhaps it has something to do with the mystical beasties he'd forgotten inhabit his grandfather's land. Or perhaps it has something to do with 12-year-old Aidan, the runaway who's taken refuge with Andrew after being chased from a foster home by creatures he calls Stalkers. Goodness knows Andrew won't get a moment's peace to write his Great Work unless he takes control of the whole shebang. A rousing finale--complete with zeppelin-sized squash, a bouncy castle and several Darth Vaders--brings it all home for a gleeful, magic-packed conclusion. Too bad much of the humor comes from cheap fat jokes, classism and jibes about the cognitively disabled; the mean-spirited moments mar an otherwise playful frolic. (Fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2010 March/April
This is an enjoyable fantasy tale. Jocelyn, a former magician, is dying. He has left his home in the care of his grandson, Andrew. Andrew, a professor, has many fond childhood memories of time spent with his grandfather, so he gladly moves in. Things quickly get complicated for Andrew. There are Mr. and Mrs. Stock, his housekeeper and groundskeeper, to deal with. Mrs. Stock loves to show her disapproval by cooking Andrew vast quantities of cauliflower cheese. Mr. Stock prefers to show his displeasure by presenting Andrew with boxes of gigantic inedible vegetables. To make matters even worse, Andrew suddenly finds himself employing the Stocks' niece and nephew, and Aidan, a 12-year-old orphan in need of protection, shows up on his doorstep. Magical mayhem ensues. This story has all the ingredients for a winning middle grade fantasy including quirky, likable characters, magical manors, fantastical romps through the English countryside, and an intriguing plot. Recommended. Cecelia Carme ates, Librarian, Holmes Middle School, Alexandria, Virginia ¬ 2010 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 February #4
One of the foremost living children's fantasy writers, Jones serves up a quirky comedy of magicians dealing with an incursion of troublesome fairies in contemporary England. Andrew Hope, an absentminded academic with magical abilities he barely recognizes, has inherited the property and responsibilities of his wizard grandfather. Melstone House comes complete with two bossy and irate servants, Mr. Stock and Mrs. Stock (no relation), as well as a number of supernatural beings, including an elusive giant. Andrew wants to write a book, but he's soon distracted by 12-year-old Aidan, who is on the run from supernatural enemies; Stashe, a pretty young woman intent on becoming his secretary; and the wealthy, powerful, and mysterious Mr. Brown. The pacing is leisurely, but Jones writes with the utmost respect for readers' intelligence. One very funny gag has Stashe using horse racing results for divination ("The two-oh-five at Kempton: first, Dark Menace; second, Runaway; third, Sanctuary. That seems to outline the situation pretty well, doesn't it?"), just one of several unusual talents that Melstone residents exhibit. Although the book contains a few tense moments, whimsy is the dominant mood and there's little doubt that virtue and romance will triumph. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) [Page 68]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 April
Gr 6-9--Professor Andrew Hope inherits Melstone House, a place he had visited as a child, from his grandfather. When he arrives at the manor, everyone seems to know something that he doesn't. He remembers that the stained glass in the kitchen window has great significance, and he soon learns that he is also steward of a "field-of-care" that magically protects the estate. Things get odd when Aidan Cain, an orphan, arrives at the door looking for Andrew's grandfather, and the professor reluctantly takes the boy in. Andrew discovers that someone or something has been encroaching on his property, and with Aidan sets out to discover what. Jones excels at creating quirky, slightly off-center characters, including the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs. Stock; and the gardener, Mr. Stock (no relation); along with leprechaunlike Tarquin O'Connor and his daughter, Stashe, who becomes Andrew's secretary and perhaps more. A giant, Groil, eats the extraordinarily large and inedible vegetables that are left on the roof of the shed each night. This book is filled with the author's singular brand of humor, found in and not at the expense of her characters. The plot is slight, and the novel is not Jones's best, but it is still miles above most current fantasy and will be welcome not only where the author's books are popular, but also where there is an appetite for fantasy.--Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO [Page 161]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.