Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. His gran died, he was sent to a foster home, and now malicious beings are stalking him. There is one person Gran told Aidan to go to if he ever got into trouble--a powerful sorcerer who lives at Melstone House.Read more...
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Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. His gran died, he was sent to a foster home, and now malicious beings are stalking him. There is one person Gran told Aidan to go to if he ever got into trouble--a powerful sorcerer who lives at Melstone House.
But when Aidan arrives on the doorstep, he finds that the sorcerer's grandson, Andrew, has inherited the house. The good news is that Aidan can tell immediately that Andrew's brimming with magic, too--and so is everyone else at Melstone. The bad news is that Andrew doesn't remember anything his grandfather taught him. Chaos is swiftly rising, and he has no idea how to control it. A sinister neighbor is stealing power from the land, magic is leaking between realms . . . and it's only a matter of time before the Stalkers find Aidan.
If Aidan and Andrew can harness their own magics, they may be able to help each other. But can they do it before the entire countryside comes apart at the seams?
- ISBN-13: 9780061866845
- ISBN-10: 0061866849
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books
- Publish Date: April 2010
- Page Count: 292
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 68.
- Review Date: 2010-02-22
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)
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.