by Emily May
There are a few authors whose books I absolutely love, whose books I collect and reread and reread. Georgette Heyer -- of course! -- and Jenny Crusie, Lois McMaster Bujold and Diana Wynne Jones. Alas, this week came the sad news that Diana Wynne Jones has died.
Jones wrote both young adult (which are my favourites) and adult novels. Her writing is beautiful, quirky, whimsical, and her young adult books are a brilliant mixture of magic and everyday life, menace and humour.
If you haven't read any of Jones' young adult books, you've missed something! If you'd like to discover the magic of her writing for yourself, here are some of my favourites. These are the ones I reread every year:
The Magicians of Caprona -- this is my number one favourite! Set in an alternate Victorian Italy that is awash with magic. It's one of Jones' young adult Chrestomanci series.
Witch Week -- another Chrestomanci book, this time set in a boarding school for witch orphans in a world strangely like our own...
Howl's Moving Castle -- a fabulous book about a perambulatory castle, an (apparently) evil wizard, and a (definitely) evil witch who turns a young girl into an old woman.
The Lives of Christopher Chant -- the story of the young nine-lived magician who will become Chrestomanci (in an alternate Victorian England) -- if he doesn't stop losing his lives...
Charmed Life -- the tale of the young (orphaned) magician who'll be the next Chrestomanci -- but his lives are vanishing too! Is someone else using them up?
Of course, there are other fabulous ones. The Power of Three is one of the first books by Diana Wynne Jones that I ever read, and is at the top of my pile to be read again this year.
And I must reread Conrad's Fate, a Chrestomanci book that went into storage not long after I bought it and has only had one reading!
It's always a joy to read a book by Diana Wynne Jones. Sadly, there will be no more of them; but she has left a marvellous legacy for us to enjoy.
Rest In Peace, Diana Wynne Jones -- you'll be missed.
If you've never read any of Jones' books, do give one a try! And if you've already discovered her, please share your favourites with us.