Witch Week (Chrestomanci)

Title: Witch Week

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Series: Chrestomanci

The anonymous note said: “Someone in this class is a witch.” 6B is nervous. Being a witch is a crime punishable by burning at the stake. No one wants to be accused of being a witch—even if several of them would be quite interested in having some kind of special power. Like Nan, the butt of all the girls’ jokes, or Charles Morgan, who hates nearly everything and can change almost nothing. And when no one confesses, speculation as well as spells start flying.

This starts a bit slowly, despite the note kicking things off. Most students in the class get at least some introduction, and the story builds just enough of the usual routine to help it all fall apart.

The spells are the best part. Whether it’s an invasion of birds interrupting choir or the mystery of the missing shoes, 6B shortly becomes a war of spell and counter-spell. The best spell lands on Simon.  It’s a glance at unintended consequences, but the way that it plays out when Simon goes too far is nothing short of hysterical. (And the reaction to it is just as good.)

Chrestomanci does appear, but more as a cameo than as a major player. He’s simply there in his element as a magical troubleshooter, attempting to untangle a world that has somehow gone back to front.

It’s a short book, so there really isn’t much more to say about it. It doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other Chrestmanci books, but it’s not a bad read either. I rate this book Recommended.

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