Young Christopher Chant, in training to become the next Chrestomanci or head controller of magic in the world, becomes a key figure in a battle with renegade sorcerers because he has nine lives.
Christopher Chant is essentially a semi-normal little boy in Victorian England — the abnormal things are discounted, such as meeting mermaids -- or dreaming of places, and coming back with souvenirs. His parents are almost nebulous figures, and his nursemaids change continuously. One day he meets his Uncle Ralph, a friendlier person than any Christopher has encountered before.
It turns out that Christopher is a "spirit traveller" -- when he dreams, he actually drifts from one world into another. To add to this oddity, he also has nine lives (he uses up a few of them as the story progresses). And not only Uncle Ralph is interested in Christopher's talents — his father manages to get him to Chrestomanci Castle, to be trained as the next Chrestomanci (the person in charge of all magic).
And Christopher hears something more — about smugglers getting illegal magical goods from the different worlds. And Uncle Ralph may be connected to them. Who is good and who is bad? Christopher, the Goddess, and Thogmorten the cat try to save themselves from the sinister smugglers and the guards of another world...
One endearing thing about this book is the way that Diana Wynne-Jones understands a small child's way of thinking, such as Christopher assuming that if his mother wants him in a good profession, she wants him to be a missionary.Read more ›
"The Lives of Christoper Chant" is not about Cat but rather it is about the childhood of the Chrestomanci in "Charmed Life", so the book takes place some many years before "Charmed Life". Christopher Chant is a spirit traveler. He is able to travel to the other worlds. What is even more special is that he is able to take back things from other worlds to his world where as nobody before could do such a thing. Christoper didn't realize this was a gift but thought that these were dreams when he went to the other worlds because he could only go there once he fell asleep.
Unfortunately for Christoper, his Uncle Ralph, whom he admires greatly, finds a way to exploit Christopher's gift by making him take expensive and illegal items from other worlds into his own.Read more ›