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Another gem from Diana Wynn Jones Really funny Great magic. This book was really great! I picked it up because I had it in my scribd library and was looking for something whimsical and fun to read I had never read any of Diana Wynne Jones books before, but I saw Neil Gaiman had given this book 5 stars and he is one of my favourite authors.This was very different from middle grade fantasy that I have read before It feels very magical throughout the book (although in the beginning there's just small things happening) it really captures this whimsical feeling.But the best thing about this book were all the colourful characters, not only our main characters were great but all the side characters had very distinct, and often quite funny personalities These characters gave the entire book quite a lighthearted and endearing feeling, even while some dark things were happening.I would really recommend this to anyone that loves middle grade fantasy, and anyone that doesn't I'm sure you'll love this book.
This is Diana Wynne Jones at her very best, a mixture of magic, humor, and sheer delight as an absentminded professor inherits/encounters his grandfather's house, his magical fieldofcare, two tyrannical servants, a giant, a weredog, a beautiful secretary, and a young boy hiding from the magical forces who are trying to kill him.Don't worry if you're confused, it will all be sorted out in the end, as Andrew gets his head out of the clouds and begins to figure out the puzzle that has been left to him, along with the help of the orphaned Aidan, the weredog, the beautiful secretary, andyou get the picture.This book was so utterly delightful that I was smiling goofily all while I was reading it I really think that Diana Wynne Jones is at her best when she's gently mocking English life There was a bit of a feel of Wallace Gromit: Curse of the WereRabbit here as the village prepares for the annual fete, complete with people obsessively growing enormous vegetables and planning where to put up the bouncy castle! Mixed up in the fete, of course, you have the usual (wonderful) mix of magic and humor that were her trademarks.I am quite sad to finish this book, as the wonderful author has recently passed away She leaves a wonderful legacy, however. 2.5 stars.I had to choose the UK edition, as the cover of the US version is totally lame Who do they think it's going to appeal to? Boys won't want to read it because it has rainbow swirls, and girls won't want to read it because it's about a smelly boy I certainly felt stupid finishing it in Starbucks this afternoon (though I did get to sit next to the old lady with a Kindle and her iPadwielding elderly husband again the second time I've encountered these techsavvy retirees).So this is a pleasant book with thoroughly delightful characters, but I have to admit that I often didn't have a very good idea of what was going on There's something about faerie kings and magical doppelgangers and mysterious parentage and the eponymous glass that does I'm note sure what Something magical It involves magnets? It's quite like Howl's Moving Castle in that way; that book also told a confusing story about very likable characters I suss that's just Diana Wynne Jones' style she doesn't work to overexplain everything, allowing for the mystery in the magical to remain This is probablyof a problem for her adult readers; kids get wrapped up in books in a different way, and the linear aspects of the plot are less important, because of course the magic colored glass is magical, like, no doy.It's better to focus on the quirky, slightly familiar characters the fussy gardener, the grouchy housekeeper which all have the same last name, Stock, which is probably DWJ's little joke, especially considering all the scattered references to A Midsummer Night's Dream I've got a whole stack of DWJ to enjoy, but I really wish I'd encountered her as a kid, because I think that's when she was meant to be read EDIT, SPOILERS:Oh, so I totally forgot to mention one really weird thing about this book, which requires a reveal of one of the key mysteries Specifically, we find out that one of the main characters, a young boy, is not, in fact, the offspring of the fairy king but of a seemingly benevolent old magician, who dies on page one The boy's mother seems to have been a bit of a problem child, sent to the magician for looking after by her grandmother when the girl was a teenager Um, so basically the 60something magician had sex with a 16yearold (this is excused by stating she threw herself at him, and also maybe because women can bewitch men with spells?), knocked her up, and blamed it all on fairy magic I guess it worked! I'm totally going to file that away for future reference Also, WTF, DWJ? 3.5 stars To be fair to this book, I think if I had the paper book as well as the audiobook and could've switched back and forth like I usually do, I'd have enjoyed this a lotHaving only the audiobook and a wandering, distracted mind didn't contribute to maximum enjoyment of this one I can almost bet I missed a paragraph here or there while multitasking that I'd have caught had I switched to the paper book at night Saying that though, I always enjoy this author's writing Her magic is bright and whimsical for the most part, which is perfect for me because I don't like dark fantasy (or dark anything, I read to escape) I'd have liked to see the enchanted glass of the title developedI enjoyed the young characters but I could've done without the instalove that developed toward the end of the story I believe this was the last book DWJ wrote and I wonder if it was meant to be the first of a series I have a feeling that maybe it was and it'd makesense to kick off a series than as a standalone The audiobook was well done; however, without the paper book to switch back and forth to, I'd need a lotrewinding to really absorb the world she created here. On the death of his grandfather, Andrew leaves his professorship to run the family homeand the accompanying magical estate As he grows used to his new responsibilities, he remembersandof what his grandfather taught him about magic, and he starts noticing encroachment on his magical lands Andrew tries to beat back the fairies' slow invasion with the (sometimes inadvertent) help of his fellow villagers.This is a lovely book, and I absolutely love the way the village, Melstone House, and magic are described Andrew has a way of thinking about reality as a mere option that I really enjoy The whole story is a wonderful mix of woodsy magic and old timey village life, with thoughtful and determined main characters I liked as people I would have adored this book completely, save for two quibbles: (view spoiler)[1, I didn't buy the romance between Andrew and Stashe It seems like they've only known each other for a few weeks before he asks her to marry him, and they never went on dates or really seemed to interact beforehand The whole thing seemed to come out of nowhere 2, I didn't like the final twist that Aidan wasn't Oberon's son at all, but Andrew's grandfather's I quite liked the idea of a halfhuman boy playing football with the local lads, and I heartily dislike the idea that Aidan's parents are instead an old man and his teenaged distant relation She was just a teenager in trouble with drugs and drinking when she was sent to stay with him for safety, and for all Oberon claims The girl Melanie almost certainly threw herself at your grandfather, just as she threw herself at me, the whole situation seems deeply gross and troubling Whereas it seems like I'm supposed to think it's cozy because it means Aidan and Andrew areclosely related Ugh (hide spoiler)] Diana Wynne Jones is my alltime favorite author, and I really enjoyed this book However especially compared to her previous work I felt like the characters and worldbuilding weren't as strong, and it had the younger feel of The Pinhoe Egg as opposed to the older feel of something like Fire and Hemlock The idea of counterparts didn't go far enough But I did love another DWJ read and hope I continue to get one every few years! Brilliant audiobook reading of another excellent Diana Wynne Jones tale.(Though I didn't notice this the first time around but I could have really done without the final, lastpage revelation that feels deeply problematic) (Download Kindle) í Enchanted Glass å When Andrew Hope's magician grandfather dies, he leaves his house and fieldofcare to his grandson who spent much of his childhood at the house Into this mix comes young Aidan Cain, who turns up from the orphanage asking for safety Who he is and why he's there is unclear, but a strong connection between the two becomes apparent I've followed DWJ's books for a loooong time I can't say with authority that I've read all of them, but I've certainly read most, at one time or another My husband grabbed this for me when he saw it at the library It's engaging and wellconstructed, with likeable characters, as usual but there are a couple of things about it that really kind of bother me First, within the first two chapters, we have three dead mothers and a dead grandmother in the backgrounds of the various main characters Dead mothers are such a common trope in fiction I wish we'd get over it and surely an author of DWJ's skill and inventiveness could construct her characters with less of a body count Second (spoiler!!): Right at the end of the book, we learn that one main character is not in fact the offspring of the fairy king, but is the result of a liaison between his teenaged badgirl mother and the elderly respectable magician to whom the teenage mother was sent for straightening out (The teenage mother was also the respectable magician's second cousin.) The book expects you to just take this in stride with a smile oh, they're all related, how nice which is what the character who finds this out does But I'm kind of horrified! If that happened in real life, we'd call it statutory rape it would (rightly) retroactively ruin the elder magician's reputation With both the dead mother and the statutory rape, I almost feel like DWJ's been writing too long? she's starting to treat plot points as only plot points, without thinking about the emotions and reactions they would provoke if they were realworld events Anyway It left me cross Diana, what gives?