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Enchanted Glass

Enchanted Glass

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Enchanted Glass

évaluations:
4/5 (42 évaluations)
Longueur:
261 pages
3 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Apr 6, 2010
ISBN:
9780061991936
Format:
Livre

Description

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?

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Apr 6, 2010
ISBN:
9780061991936
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

DIANA WYNNE JONES was born in August 1934 in London, where she had a chaotic and unsettled childhood against the background of World War II. The family moved around a lot, finally settling in rural Essex. As children, Diana and her two sisters were deprived of a good, steady supply of books by a father, ‘who could beat Scrooge in a meanness contest’. So, armed with a vivid imagination and an insatiable quest for good books to read, she decided that she would have to write them herself.

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Enchanted Glass - Diana Wynne Jones

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CHAPTER ONE

WHEN JOCELYN BRANDON DIED—AT A GREAT OLD AGE, as magicians tend to do—he left his house and his field-of-care to his grandson, Andrew Brandon Hope. Andrew himself was in his thirties. The house, Melstone House, was a simple matter of making a Will. But it had been old Jocelyn’s intention to pass the field-of-care on in the proper way, personally.

He left it rather too late. He knew Andrew could reach him very quickly. If you climbed to the top of Mel Tump, the hill beyond the house, you could see the University where Andrew taught as a dark blue clot on the edge of the great blue-green plain, only half an hour’s drive away. So, when he realized he was on his deathbed, Jocelyn commanded his housekeeper, Mrs. Stock, to telephone for his grandson.

Mrs. Stock did telephone. But the truth is, she did not try very hard. Partly, she did not take the old man’s illness seriously; but mostly, she did not approve of the old man’s daughter for marrying a Hope (and then dying of it). She therefore disapproved of the daughter’s son, Andrew Hope, also. Besides, she was waiting for the doctor and didn’t want to be on the phone when she should be answering the door. So when she had worked her way through the intricate University switchboard system and arrived at the History Department, and then to a person who described herself as a research assistant, who told her that Dr. Hope was in a committee meeting, she simply gave up.

Andrew Hope was driving in the general direction of Melstone that evening, returning from a site connected with his research. His research assistant, not having the least idea where he was, had simply told Mrs. Stock the lie she told everyone. Andrew had reached the curious dip in the road where, as he always said to himself, things went different. It was blue gloaming, and he had just switched his headlights on. Luckily, he was not going fast. A figure was suddenly there, dashing into his headlights’ glare, dark and human and seeming to wave.

Andrew trod on his brakes. His car wove about, wheels howling, in a long snaking skid, showing him horrendous detail of grass and blackthorn on both sides of the road, violently lit by his headlights. It followed this by going up and over and down off something sickeningly squashy. Then it stopped.

Andrew tore open his door and jumped out. Into something squashy. This proved to be the ditch in which his nearside wheel was planted. Horrified, he squelched out and around the bonnet and peered underneath the other three wheels. Nothing. The squashy lump must have been the wet bank between the road and the ditch. Only when he was sure of this did Andrew look round and see the human figure standing waiting for him in the beam of the headlights. It was tall and thin and very like himself, except that its hair was white, its back a little bent, and it did not wear glasses like Andrew did. Jocelyn’s eyesight had always been magically good.

Andrew recognized his grandfather. Well, at least I didn’t kill you, he said. Or did I?

The last question was because he realized he could see the white line in the middle of the road through his grandfather’s body.

His grandfather shook his head, grinned a little, and held something out toward him. Andrew could not see it clearly at first. He had to go nearer, remove his glasses, and peer. The thing seemed to be a folded paper with some kind of black seal on one corner. The old man shook it impatiently and held it out again. Andrew cautiously reached out for it. But his fingers went right through it and grew very cold. It was like putting his hand for an instant into a freezer.

Sorry, he said. I’ll come to the house and get it, shall I?

His grandfather gave the paper in his hand a look of keen exasperation, and nodded. Then he stepped back a pace, enough to take him out of the tilted beams of the headlights, and that was all. There was only dark road in the dip.

Andrew stepped outside the light himself to make sure his grandfather was gone. Finding that he was, Andrew put his glasses back on and went and retrieved his right shoe from the mud in the ditch. After that, he stood thinking, watching the right front wheel of his car sinking slowly deeper into the grassy ooze.

He thought movements of sky and earth, time, and space. He thought Einstein and skyhooks. He thought that the position of the wheel in the ditch was only a temporary and relative fact, untrue five minutes ago and untrue five minutes from now. He thought of the power and speed of that skid and the repelling power of the ditch. He thought of gravity reversing itself. Then he knelt down with one hand on the grassy mud and the other on the wheel and pushed the two apart. Obediently, with some reluctant sucking and squelching, the car moved out of the ditch and over the bank and bumped down in the road. Andrew sat himself in the driving seat to put his shoe back on, thinking ruefully that his grandfather would simply have stood in the road and beckoned to get the same result. He would have to work at the practical side of magic a bit more now. Pity. He sighed.

After that, he drove to his grandfather’s house. He’s dead, isn’t he? he said, when Mrs. Stock opened the door to him.

Mrs. Stock nodded, and redeemed what little conscience she had by saying, But I knew you’d know.

Andrew walked through the front door and into his inheritance.

There was, of course, a great deal of business involved, not only in Melstone and in Melton, the town nearby, but also in the University, because Andrew decided almost at once to leave the University and live in Melstone House. His parents had left him money, and he thought that, with what old Jocelyn had left him, he had enough to give up teaching and write the book he had always wanted to write. He wanted to give the world a completely new view of history. He was glad to leave the University, particularly glad to leave his research assistant. She was such a liar. Amazing that he had wanted to marry her a year ago. But he felt he had to make sure she was safely shunted to another post, and he did.

One way or another, it was nearly a year before Andrew could move into Melstone House.

Then he had to make sure that the various small legacies in his grandfather’s Will were paid, and he did that too; but he was vaguely puzzled that this Will, when he saw it, was quite a different size and shape from the paper his grandfather’s ghost had tried to give him. He shrugged and gave Mrs. Stock her five hundred pounds.

And I do hope you’ll continue to work for me just as you did for my grandfather, he said.

To which she retorted, I don’t know what you’d do if I didn’t. You live in a world of your own, being a professor.

Andrew took this to mean yes. I’m not a professor, he pointed out mildly. Just a mere academic.

Mrs. Stock took no notice of this. To her mind this was just splitting hairs. Everybody at a University was to her a professor, unless they were students, of course, and even worse. So she told everyone in Melstone that old Jocelyn’s grandson was a professor. Andrew soon became accustomed to being addressed as Professor, even by people who wrote to him from elsewhere about details of folklore or asking questions about magic.

He went to give Mr. Stock, the gardener, his legacy of five hundred pounds. And I do hope you’ll continue your admirable work for me too, he said.

Mr. Stock leaned on his spade. He was no relation to Mrs. Stock, not even by marriage. It was simply that a good half of the people in Melstone were called Stock. Both Mr. and Mrs. Stock were extremely touchy on this matter. They did not like one another. I suppose that old bossyboots says she’s carrying on for you? Mr. Stock asked aggressively.

"I believe so," Andrew said.

Then I’m staying to see fair play, Mr. Stock said, and went on banking up potatoes.

In this way, Andrew found himself employing two tyrants.

He did not see them this way, of course. To him the two Stocks were fixtures, his grandfather’s faithful servants, who had worked at Melstone House since Andrew had first visited the house as a child. He simply could not imagine the place without them.

Meanwhile, he was extremely happy, unpacking his books, going for walks, and simply being in the house where he had spent so many fine times as a boy. There was a smell here—beeswax, mildew, paraffin, and a spicy scent he could never pin down—which said Holidays! to Andrew. His mother had never got on with old Jocelyn. He’s a superstitious old stick-in-the-mud, she said to Andrew. Don’t let me find you believing in the stuff he tells you. But she sent Andrew to stay there most holidays to show that she had not exactly quarreled with her father.

So Andrew had gone to stay with old Jocelyn, and the two of them had walked, over fields, through woods, and up Mel Tump, and Andrew had learned many things. He did not remember old Jocelyn teaching him about anything magical, particularly; but he did remember companionable nights by the fire in the musty old living room, with the curtains drawn over the big French windows, when his grandfather taught him other things. Old Jocelyn Brandon had a practical turn of mind. He taught his grandson how to make flies for fishing, how to mortice joints, and how to make runestones, origami figures, and kites. They had invented riddles together and made up games. It was enough to make the whole place golden to Andrew—though he had to admit that, now he was living here, he missed the old man rather a lot.

But owning the place made up for that somewhat. He could make what changes he pleased. Mrs. Stock thought he should buy a television for the living room, but Andrew disliked television so he didn’t. Instead, he bought a freezer and a microwave, ignoring the outcry from Mrs. Stock, and went over the house to see what repairs were needed.

A freezer and a microwave! Mrs. Stock told her sister, Trixie. "Does he think I’m going to freeze good food solid, just for the pleasure of thawing it again with rays?"

Trixie remarked that Mrs. Stock had both amenities in her own house.

Because I’m a working woman, Mrs. Stock retorted. That’s not the point. I tell you that man lives in a world of his own!

Great was her indignation when she arrived at the house next day to find that Andrew had moved all the furniture around in the living room, so that he could see to play the piano and get the best armchair beside the fire. It took Mrs. Stock a whole morning of grunting, heaving, and pushing to put it all back where it had been before.

Andrew came in from inspecting the roof and the outbuilding in the yard after she had gone, sighed a little, and moved everything to where he wanted it again.

Next morning, Mrs. Stock stared, exclaimed, and rushed to haul the piano back to its hallowed spot in the darkest corner. World of his own! she muttered, as she pushed and kicked at the carpet. These professors! she said, heaving the armchair, the sofa, the table, and the standard lamps back to their traditional places. "Damn it! she added, finding that the carpet had now acquired a long slantwise ruck from corner to corner. And the dust!" she exclaimed, once she had jerked the carpet flat. It took her all morning to clean up the dust.

"So you’ll just have to have the same cauliflower cheese for lunch and supper," she told Andrew, by way of a strong hint.

Andrew nodded and smiled. That outbuilding, he was thinking, was going to fall down as soon as his grandfather’s magic drained from it. Likewise the roof of the house. In the attics, you could look up to see cobwebby patches of sky through the slanted ceilings. He wondered whether he could afford all the necessary repairs as well as the central heating he wanted to install. It was a pity he had just spent so much of his grandfather’s remaining money on a new computer.

In the evening, after Mrs. Stock had gone, he fetched a pizza out of his new freezer, threw away the cauliflower cheese, and while the pizza heated, he moved the living room furniture back the way he wanted it.

Dourly, the next day, Mrs. Stock moved it back to where tradition said it should be.

Andrew shrugged and moved it back again. Since he was using the method he had used on his ditched car, while Mrs. Stock was using brute force, he hoped she would shortly get tired of this. Meanwhile, he was getting some excellent magical practice. That evening, the piano actually trundled obediently into the light when he beckoned it.

Then there was Mr. Stock.

Mr. Stock’s mode of tyranny was to arrive at the back door, which opened straight into the kitchen, while Andrew was having breakfast. Nothing particular you want me to do today, so I’ll just get on as usual, he would announce. Then he would depart, leaving the door open to the winds.

Andrew would be forced to leap up and shut the door before the wind slammed it. A slam, as his grandfather had made clear to him, could easily break the delicate colored glass in the upper half of the door. Andrew loved that colored glass. As a boy, he had spent fascinated hours looking at the garden through each differently colored pane. Depending, you got a rose pink sunset garden, hushed and windless; a stormy orange garden, where it was suddenly autumn; a tropical green garden, where there seemed likely to be parrots and monkeys any second. And so on. As an adult now, Andrew valued that glass even more. Magic apart, it was old, old, old. The glass had all sorts of internal wrinkles and trapped bubbles, and the long-dead maker had somehow managed to make the colors both intense and misty at once, so that in some lights, the violet pane, for instance, was both a rich purple and a faint lilac gray at one and the same time. If a piece of that glass had broken or even cracked, Andrew’s heart would have cracked with it.

Mr. Stock knew that. It was his way of ensuring, like Mrs. Stock, that Andrew did not make any changes.

Unfortunately for Mr. Stock, Andrew went over the grounds as carefully as he went over Melstone House itself. The walled vegetable garden was beautiful. Mr. Stock’s great ambition was to win First Prize in all the vegetable classes at the Melstone Summer Fête, either from his own garden down the road or from Andrew’s. So the vegetables were phenomenal. But for the rest, Mr. Stock was content merely to mow lawns. Andrew shook his head at the flower garden and winced at the orchard.

After a couple of months, while he waited for Mr. Stock to mend his ways and Mr. Stock went on as usual, Andrew took to leaping up as soon as Mr. Stock appeared. Holding the precious door open, ready to shut again after Mr. Stock, he would say things like I think today would be a good time to get rid of all those nettles in the main flowerbed, and Give me a list of the shrubs we need to replace all the dead ones, and I’ll order them for you, and There’ll be no harm in pruning the apple trees today: none of them are bearing fruit. And so on. Mr. Stock found himself forced to leave his vegetables, often for days on end.

Mr. Stock took his revenge in his traditional manner. The following Monday, he kicked open the back door. Andrew was only just in time to stop it from crashing against the inside wall, even though he had cast aside his toast and leaped to the door handle at the sight of Mr. Stock’s hat silhouetted through the colored glass.

You’ll need both hands, Mr. Stock said. Here. And he placed a vast cardboard box loaded with vegetables in Andrew’s arms. "And you’re to eat these all yourself, see. Don’t you let that old bossyboots go pinching them off you. And she will. I know her greedy ways. Puts them in her bag and scuttles off home with them if you give her the chance. So you eat them. And don’t try chucking them away. I’ll know. I empty the bins. So. Nothing particular you want me to do today, I’ll just get on, shall I?"

"Well, actually there is, Andrew said. The roses need tying in and mulching."

Mr. Stock glared at him incredulously. This was rebellion.

Please, Andrew added in his usual polite way.

I’ll be—! said Mr. Stock. And turned and trudged away.

Andrew, very gently, nudged the door closed with his foot and dumped the cardboard box beside his toast. It was that or drop it, it was so heavy. Unpacked, it proved to contain six enormous onions, a bunch of twelve-inch carrots, a cabbage larger than Andrew’s head, ten peppers the size of melons, a swede like a medium-sized boulder, and a vegetable marrow like the body of a small crocodile. The spaces were carefully packed with overripe peapods and two-foot runner beans. Andrew grinned. This was all the stuff that would not be up to the standard of the Melstone Fête. He left a few of the most edible things out on the table and packed the rest back in the box, which he hid in the corner of the pantry.

Mrs. Stock found it, of course. He’s never palmed his rejects off on us again! she pronounced. "The size of them! All size and no taste. And what am I to do for potatoes? Whistle? Really, that man!"

Then she took her coat off and went to put the furniture back again. They were still at that.

The next day, Mr. Stock kicked the door open on behalf of a box full of fourteen lettuces. On Wednesday, for variety, he accosted Andrew as Andrew went out to check the state of the garden walls and presented a further cardboard box containing ten kilos of tomatoes and a squash like the deformed head of a baby. On Thursday, the box contained sixteen cauliflowers.

Andrew smiled nicely and accepted these things, staggering a bit under their weights. This had happened when his grandfather annoyed Mr. Stock too. They had often wondered, Andrew and his grandfather, if Mr. Stock collected cardboard boxes and stored them ready to be annoyed with. Andrew presented the tomatoes to Mrs. Stock.

I believe you had better make some chutney, he said.

And how do you expect me to find time for that, when I’m so busy— She broke off, mildly embarrassed.

Moving the furniture in the living room? suggested Andrew. Perhaps you could bring yourself to leave it for once.

Mrs. Stock found herself making chutney. World of his own! she muttered over her seething red vinegary saucepan, and occasionally, as she spooned the stuff into jars and it slid out and pooled stickily on the table, "Professors! Men! And, as she got her coat on to leave, Don’t blame me that the table’s covered in jars. I can’t label them until tomorrow and they’re not going anywhere until I have."

Once he was alone, Andrew did as he had done every evening that week. He heaved the latest box out of the pantry and carried it outside to where the lean-to of the woodshed made a flattish slope level with his head. With the help of a kitchen chair, he laid the vegetables out up there. Too high for Mr. Stock to see, his grandfather had remarked, or Mrs. Stock either.

Tomatoes, squash, and cauliflowers were all gone in the morning, but the marrow remained. Careful looking showed a slightly trampled place in the grass beside the woodshed, but Andrew, remembering his grandfather’s advice, inquired no further. He took the marrow back and tried to cut it up to hide it in the freezer. But no knife would penetrate the crocodile skin of the thing, and he was forced to bury it instead.

Friday brought a gross of radishes from Mr. Stock and five bloated eggplants. It also brought Andrew’s new computer. Finally. At last. Andrew forgot house, grounds, radishes, everything. He spent an absorbed and beatific day setting up the computer and beginning the database for his book, the book he really wanted to write, the new view of history.

Would you believe, it’s a computall now! Mrs. Stock

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Avis des lecteurs

  • (3/5)
    With a couple of exceptions, I quite liked this book. It isn't one of my favorite DWJ books, but it's definitely good enough. Except for a few things that I won't go into, because of potential spoilers. I'll just say that in one case, I believe that many people agree with me, as for the other, it's just a personal opinion of mine. One of the things I did like, is the fact that in books like these - fantasy for kids - the main characters almost always have people on their side, people who stand by them in times of trouble. In real life, that sort of thing is far too rare. In retrospect, the enchanted glass from the title doesn't get enough attention. Sure, it's important, that's clear, but I would have liked to have known more about it and everything behind it. In fact, when I'd finished reading this book, I felt that apart from those two things I can't stand, there was too little of pretty much everything.
  • (4/5)
    Love DWJ books and this was a good one. Pulled me right in from the start and it only took about 3 days to read! Magical in many senses, with a touch of mystery as always, with lovable characters. Andrew's grandfather dies, leaving him his house and his field-of-care. As Andrew tries to write a book in his new house he is bombarded by multiple distractions, from grumpy housekeeper and gardner, to a youmg boy, Aiden who needs Santuary from mysterious magical creatures that want to kill him. As Andrew gets sucked into Aiden's plight he learns exactly what his grandfather's legacy involves, not least of all keeping Mr Brown at bay. I wasn't so happy with the ending. I didn't think it was so necessary. It's as if Oberon & Puck got in the last laugh.
  • (3/5)
    Not as good as Howl's Moving Castle but I still liked it!
  • (5/5)
    Satisfying, chewy and deeply delicious at every level. I read Howl's Castle long ago for a childrens' literature class and immediately recognized my spiritual fantasy mother. A great read!
  • (3/5)
    On the death of his grandfather, Andrew leaves his professorship to run the family home...and the accompanying magical estate. As he grows used to his new responsibilities, he remembers more and more of 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: 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 half-human 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 are more closely related. Ugh.
  • (3/5)
    Perfectly good late-period, stand alone, Diana Wynne Jones. Allusions to the faeries of Shakespeare, a mythical Englishness, humor arising from chaos. Since it is late-period the internet and girls playing pick-up soccer make an appearance while teenage pregnancy is mentioned.Fun if you like that kind of thing, and not much fun if you don't.
  • (3/5)
    Loved this book, but found the ending to be rather abrupt. I don't know if there's supposed to be a sequel, or what, but it just kind of left you hanging, and there was a lot unexplained about the "enchanted glass" No explanation of how the magic works, and bits and pieces of unexplained things. And also, the implication that the grandfather is the boys father... no... that would not be right.
  • (4/5)
    This is the story of a young orphan boy named Aidan who comes looking for his grandmother's friend after her death. He finds that the friend has died to and the house has been inherited by his grandson Andrew. Aidan can tell that Andrew is full of magic but Andrew doesn't remember what his grandfather taught him as a boy. Andrew needs to remember because his neighbor O. Brown is trying to steal his land and power. And evil forces want Aidan too. Luckily they have friends in the town including a young giant and a weredog named Rolf and a bunch of cranky townspeople who will help them set things to rights. This was an entertaining middle grade fantasy with all sorts of great characters and all sorts of magic too.
  • (3/5)
    With a couple of exceptions, I quite liked this book. It isn't one of my favorite DWJ books, but it's definitely good enough. Except for a few things that I won't go into, because of potential spoilers. I'll just say that in one case, I believe that many people agree with me, as for the other, it's just a personal opinion of mine. One of the things I did like, is the fact that in books like these - fantasy for kids - the main characters almost always have people on their side, people who stand by them in times of trouble. In real life, that sort of thing is far too rare. In retrospect, the enchanted glass from the title doesn't get enough attention. Sure, it's important, that's clear, but I would have liked to have known more about it and everything behind it. In fact, when I'd finished reading this book, I felt that apart from those two things I can't stand, there was too little of pretty much everything.
  • (3/5)
    Good, but the end was rushed.
  • (4/5)
    Only a short way in and yet completely in love already. I had read a short story by her in a collection recently (that was edited by Neil Gaiman) and knew I had to find more immediately. Luckily she's written tons of stuff and I get to explore it all. It's a "young adult" book that feels about as all ages as it gets and it's full of magic and life and great images and interesting people and even horses! Can't wait for all the rest!
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable and very, very English village, with the "field of care", and the English faerie myth background.
  • (4/5)
    In a way, all Diana Wynne Jones' books remind me of each other. There's something very similar in the style of them -- though Enchanted Glass is perhaps a bit more subdued than the others -- and yet also something fresh, every time, something in the tone... A feeling, I suppose, that I wish Diana Wynne Jones would come and tell me bedtime stories, in a way: something about her stories would make my toes curl with glee at the same time as I would know it would be okay to go to sleep.

    Enchanted Glass has the same sort of pitfalls as most of her other stuff: somewhere in the last few chapters, everything that got kinked up straightens out with a jerk. And then there's a happy end. I've sort of got used to it, started seeing the signs, so when the rug starts to go from under my feet, I go with it. So now I can't really judge what effect that moment would have on the unsuspecting. If you're a fan of Diana Wynne Jones' work, though, it won't be a problem.

    I finished my exams today. This was a perfect book to unwind with. I loved Andrew most of all -- the mildness of him, I think, so different to the manic energy of Howl or the wizards from the Chrestomanci books. I liked the people of the village, perhaps especially Tarquin, and had such a soft spot for Shaun.

    My favourite part was when Aidan used Excalibur as a verb (yes, I'm predictable). "I seem to have excalibured this knife," indeed.

    It's -- fun. Not earth shaking or heart-breaking or even so very funny. But it's fun, and easy, and familiar.
  • (4/5)
    fantastic array of characters, humor and her always amazing storytelling - another winner!
  • (4/5)
    Ahahah! Me beauty, I gotcha after the disappointing weekend where it wasn't in anywhere. Yay! A good rip-roaring DWJ with lots to chew on. I look forward to re-reading many times.
  • (4/5)
    This book was intriguing because it was set in such a very, very big world. So much of what was going on seemed to extend beyond the pages of the book, including the characters themselves. The feeling of a book uninterested in conforming to readers' expectations was also communicated by the fact that we have an adult protagonist as well as a child.

    It was also a very enjoyable Magical Contemporary Britain (where magic resides in small villages and on the edges of fields, and ordinary people blink and keep walking). And I ADORED the doubles. To turn literary doubles and parallels into an actual magical phenomenon is nothing short of brilliant.
  • (4/5)
    I happened to have this sitting on my shelf with some other library books when I heard Diana Wynne Jones died. I have been a considerable fan of her fiction since I first read Charmed Life back in the late 70's. She seemed to have this great gift for making magic worlds where the magic felt as real as a sunset or a tree in bloom, without ever becoming mundane, pedestrian or .. well, unmagical.

    Not all of her fiction was particularly polished. Sometimes it could be a little bit of a homemade cake - still delicious but a little bit wonky on one side and with few crumbs in the frosting. But I kind of liked that about her. She felt to me like a workmanlike storyteller, a craftsperson. Nothing particularly precious about DWJ.

    Among the obits and memoriams printed this month there was one that said She was amused by the considerable academic attention her work attracted; reading in one paper that her work was "rooted in fluidity", she remarked: "Obviously hydroponic, probably a lettuce, possibly a cabbage."

    There's Diana, wry, funny, never above her company or seduced by others into thinking herself either better or worse than she actually was. Feet firmly on the ground, head firmly in the clouds. So. To Enchanted Glass. Its a lovely cabbage.

    In fact some parts of it concern cabbages. And village fetes, and incursions from Elfland, and computers, and werepuppies, and lost heirs and housekeepers who will insist on moving the furniture and messing up the filing system so nobody can find the spell to fix the leak in the roof. Its not the best thing she's ever written, its not the worst. Its right in the center of her wheelhouse, and so an ideal book really, with which to comfort myself in the week in which she left us.
  • (4/5)
    With a somewhat slow start this sucked me in after a few pages. Andre Hope's grandfather was a magician and when he dies he leaves his house and field-of-care to his grandson. Andrew has forgotten most of what he knew, dismissing it as flights of fancy but this is important stuff and Andrew's life is about to change. When Aidan Gain joins them, having run away from his foster home, things start to move and Andrew is going to have to acknowledge the magic to save everyone he cares for.I liked this story, I loved the way taking off the glasses changed perspective (possibly because I sometimes think of it like that). and how true sight was different from sight through your glasses. I also liked how Andrew had to grow to fill his place in the magical world. I have a sneaking suspicion that Mrs Stock won't stay as housekeeper for very long after the story ends!
  • (5/5)
    as always, dwj's books grab my interest thoroughly
  • (5/5)
    Great story - like most of Diana's, it presented an entirely new way of seeing things that could be real and unnoticed. Oberon etc were very interesting, the idea of the counterparts was fascinating (though not explicitly tied in to the knacks), both Andrew and Aidan were neat - the only problem with it is that it doesn't have a sequel, and won't (waaah! Diana gone! Selfish, but real). It ends rather abruptly and just after a couple new ideas have been presented...Still excellent, and no real loose ends, but I wish there could be more.
  • (4/5)
    Fun book. Has humor, adventure and magic - who could as for anything more!
  • (5/5)
     I am so sorry to finish one of my last new Diana Wynne Jones stories. A great deal of my love of literature has roots in early reading of her books. And this book was in flying form - a quiet story with hazy memory and hazy vision, where kind people softly battle monsters, and domestic rituals have unsuspected power. I enjoyed every moment in this village, while Andrew and Aiden come to terms with their inheritances.
  • (3/5)
    An enjoyable read, but I kept waiting for something to happen and not very much ever did. The characters were likable enough but they seemed a little hollow. The whole book felt as though it needed fleshing out. Even the title seems a little half baked, sure the glass is enchanted and it matters to the story but really the story is about Andrew coming into his inheritance and figuring out who Aiden is.
  • (4/5)
    Andrew has inherited his grandfather's "field of care," a responsibility he doesn't understand. Soon he is giving refuge to Aiden, a boy stalked by mysterious beings since his grandmother's death.Why I picked it up: There doesn't exist a Diana Wynne Jones novel I won't read. I shall miss her a great deal.Why I finished it: Jones frequently drew inspiration from classical myth and folklore, using puns and name corruptions to tease us toward the source. Some of these (Eight Days of Luke) are more successful than others (Hexwood). This one kept me interested.I'd give it to: Lin, who will like this audio production as much as I did.
  • (4/5)
    Enchanted Glass is a whimsical, witty children's fantasy filled with quirky characters. The plot is bizarre, yet engaging. Andrew, a typical absent-minded professor inherits his grandfather's old home and estate. It turns out that his grandfather was a magician and that he was in charge of a field-of-care that is now going awry. But Andrew doesn't recall any of the stuff that his grandfather had tried to teach him about magic and the field-of-care when he was a boy because he dismissed it as nonsense. Then, when things start getting terribly weird, young Aidan shows up, whose own magical Grandmother, with a field-of-care in London, has recently passed away. He is running away from some evil creatures called The Stalkers. Somehow, with a lot of humorous twists and turns, Andrew and Aidan figure out how to get control of the field-of-care that is now in Andrew's hands. A great part of the appeal to the book for me were all the strange and quirky characters...a gardener who gets revenge by bringing Andrew baskets of enormous, oversized vegetables; a housekeeper who expresses her disapproval by endlessly rearranging furniture and making cauliflower cheese which both Andrew and Aidan detest; and a secretary who makes predictions based on the names of the horses who won races the day before at the track; a dog who is not really a dog at all. I enjoyed the story and I regret that Diana Wynne Jones has passed away and now cannot continue their adventures in a sequel.
  • (4/5)
    This is a lovely book with gentle people putting up with rather bossy and intrusive people yet everyone works together. There's magic and danger, fairies, druids, shapeshifters and the stereotypical absent minded professor. The women are very bossy and competent. I don't know whether or not that is typical for DWJ, I'll have to read more of her work. I'm sure had she lived this would have been the start to a fine series.
  • (4/5)
    Andrew Hope has inherited his grandfather's house, the unusual staff, and responsibility for his 'field of care'. As he is coming to terms with this a young boy, Aiden, turns up on his doorstep asking for his help. Unusual things begin to happen that bring back memories of Andrew's childhood and threaten Aiden and Andrew's inheritance.A fantastic book from an author that knows how to spin a gripping story. I recommend this to children fro about 9 to young teens
  • (4/5)
    Good old Diana Wynne Jones. I love how with all of her books you feel like you're in the same world, different universe. She has created a 'Diana Wynne Jones' world all of her own.What always amazes me is that she never seems to bother with explaining anything, like the world, the magic it just is what is and she doesn't need to explain. You just get it. She always credits her readers with some intelligence which I love too. I can't help but say "I love" when speaking of Diana Wynne Jones.Although, the story itself felt a bit - recycled and put together, her older works are much better but I can't take credit away from her. It might not be as good, but still just as brilliant.
  • (4/5)
    As a child, Proffessor Andrew Hope knew that his grandfather could do magic--real magic, and was a very important man. But now that he has inherited the man's house, Andrew realizes that there was a lot more going on around him on those visits than he knew. With a housekeeper who likes things to stay the way they were, a groundskeeper who only has eyes for his vegetables and a runaway who is being pursued by mysterious creatures, more than just his life hinges on figuring out how to handle this new magical chapter in his life.This summary was a hard one to write, because the cover of the book does not show Andrew, but rather Aiden, the runaway who lost his grandmother and, to all appearances, his grandmother's magical protection when she died. But don't judge a book by it's cover, right? Right. Then look at it this way: the story is almost evenly divided between time with Aiden and time with Andrew. So who is the story actually about? Since the text is in the children's section, and the style is unadulteratedly for a youthful mind [which does not proclude an adult, thank you very much], it feels as though Aiden should be, in fact, your lead. But this story at least, there may yet be sequels because she left it open enough to pick up the threads again [but not in the obnoxious hack "I AM WRITING A SEQUEL HERE" kind of way], the lead is, in fact, Andrew. He is the one who inherits the house, who has to protect the house, who has to figure out what on earth is going on and, in the end, save the day.Don't get me wrong. Aiden is there, every step of the way, showing the reader a bit more of the world they are in. He also ends up being part of the problem, however. Not through any virtue of his own control, but rather because he's a kid who doesn't know who he really is. Part of the story right there, yeah. It also doesn't matter who the focus is, because Jones has created a cast of characters who are quirky and entertaining. Mrs. Stock, the housekeeper thinks Andrew is an absent minded professor and Aiden is a stomach on legs who will eat them out of house and home. If they do things she does not appreciate [like moving the piano do a different spot in the room], she punishes them with a dish called "cauliflower cheese." Now, I like cauliflower, and I like cheese, but something about the way she doesn't actually tell you what it entails puts the fear of it in me. It's almost got to be some sort of casserole of gooey doom. Alongside her is Mr. Stock [no relation], who has his revenge in bringing cartons of over-sized and under-flavored vegetables that won't make the cut at the fair. Aiden himself is really just a normal kid who is pleasant, kind, and curious enough to sneak around and find things out on his own while not alienating his new caregiver.These are really just the every-day characters at the beginning. More appear quickly, but are never overwhelming. The book is no philosophical masterpiece, but rather an example of a simple story, maybe even a fairy story, with people and a tale to enjoy. I know that I used the word in the last review, and it is even in title of the book, but Diana Wynn Jones' writing is simply enchanting. Delicately weaving her web of words over this quaint English countryside, Jones incorporates magic so subtlely that it never feels anything but normal for Andrew to be able to take off his glasses, polish them and then push the furniture about with his mind. It is just as natural that the vegetables left out on the shed should be eaten nightly by an unknown magical creature of some immense height. And it only makes sense that when Aiden, the runaway, should join the family and find a dog, the dog is far more than what it seems.Okay, let's be realistic here. She got me with Howl's Moving Castle. She held me with The House of Many Ways. And now, having read and adored a third book of hers, I will happily say that Diana Wynn Jones is going to be on my shelves forever.*This post should really be subtitled: Or a love-letter to the writings of Diana Wynn Jones.
  • (4/5)
    Like many DWJ titles, half the fun of Enchanted Glass for adult readers comes not just in being pulled along by the storytelling but in attempting to read between the lines. A feature of this fantasy is the links with A Midsummer Night's Dream -- key fairy characters, namely Oberon, Titania and Puck, reappear here, and there is a temptation to go searching for other covert appearances: are Andrew and Stache, for example, equivalent to Theseus and Hippolyta? There are also various themes, such as Beating the Bounds and the nature of the set of two enchanted windows, that beg to be developed further than is here, which suggests a possible sequel is planned. However, and this is a mild criticism of some of DWJ's books, there is the feeling of a rushed ending and of loose threads that remain untied which rather mar one's enjoyment of a tale well told.