Title: Enchanted Glass
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Age Range: 11+
When Andrew Hope’s magician grandfather dies, he leaves his house and field-of-care 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.
Source: Second hand copy
There’s much to enjoy in this book, packed as it is with DWJ hallmarks – strange magic that seems to happen by accident, a young boy who feels very much an outsider, bossy older characters, absent-minded adults who are actually very powerful, strange goings on with the pets. It’s whimsical and wonderful and plain enjoyment.
Having said that, it reminded me rather a lot of The Pinhoe Egg, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I love that book, but the grumpy man in the wood with lots of barbed wire, strange creatures that a powerful local wants under control, lots of people running around with the same name who don’t necessarily like each other. It all adds to the fun and confusion, but it also gave me a sense that I’d read some of this before.
I liked young Aidan, and the fact the “wrong sort” could never get his name right. I loved the magic glass and the magic glasses, which both Aidan and Andrew use without really thinking about it. I liked Andrew too, though I was occasionally frustrated by his lack of curiosity regarding his grandfather’s notes and letters. I loved the idea of the counterparts, even if that’s never fully explained.
What I didn’t like so much was the romance between Andrew and Stashe, because it comes out of nowhere and has no real basis. I also didn’t like the end. While part of it made me sad because this was clearly intended to be the start of something, which DWJ never had a chance to continue, the other side of things just left a bad taste with regards to the information Andrew is given.
So it’s a mixed bag. For the most part this is an enjoyable, classic taste of DWJ, full of magic and whimsy and rural village life. It’s not her best work, but neither is it her worst. I found it a perfect read for lazy summer days, and I just wish there had been time for more – especially about the glass and the strange voice.
Enchanted Glass is Out Now!
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