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Magicians of Caprona [Paperback]

Diana Wynne Jones
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Paperback, May 26 1983 --  
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Book Description

May 26 1983 Beaver Books
In the worlds of Chrestomanci, anything can happen. This adventure takes place in the Italian Dukedom of Caprona, where spells are as slippery and as tricksy as spaghetti! Casa Montana and Casa Petrocchi look after the magical business in the Dukedom of Caprona, watched over by its magnificent guardian statue, the Angel. The families have been feuding for years, so when all the spells start going wrong, each naturally blames the other. Then young Tonino Montana and Angelica Petrocchi also disappear. Could the terrible rumours of a White Devil who threatens the Angel of Caprona be true after all?
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7 - Caprona, the Italian city of spellmakers, is in trouble in this, the third installment in the Chronicles of Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones. A mysterious evil enchanter has made the feud between the Montana family and their rivals, the Petrocchi family, worse then ever. Armies are poised to invade Caprona, and the Duke seems incapable of stopping the impending disaster. That leaves it up to Tonino Montana and Angelica Petrocchi, two of the youngest members of their respective families, to try to stop the evil enchanter and save their city. But the enemy they must bring down is powerful and cunning, especially for two children who have trouble making their spells work properly. To overcome the evil enchanter, the children must enlist the help of a special cat and find a way to get their feuding families to work together. The story starts slowly, but once it gets going fantasy fans will enjoy listening to narrator Gerard Doyle make the characters come to life and present Jones's entertaining descriptions of the magical parallel universe in which this story takes place. There are plenty of scary moments, but there are heartwarming ones as well. - David Bilmes, Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"...Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones's most outrageous plots to her readers' hopes and fears..." Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Chrestomanci -- Italian style July 11 2002
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Though "Magicians of Caprona" is the weakest of the Chrestomanci books so far, it remains an excellent fantasy with a strong storyline and extremely sympathetic characters. Jones introduces her parallel Italy with depth and skill, with some winks at "Romeo and Juliet."
The spell-making Montanas and Petrocchis have been feuding for two hundred years, over a fight between two of their ancestors. Now they repeat hideous rumors about each other, cast disgusting spells at each other, and remain stubborn about the matter, even though they are now threatened by outside forces. The city-states are in conflict with each other, and the famed song "Angel of Caprona" is mostly forgotten, despite being the thing that can help protect them from harm.
Tonina Montana is apparently the only member of his household who is unable to cast spells. His talents lie in communicating with cats -- but he finds himself an unwilling ally to a Petrocchi girl, Angelina, when they are both captured by the Duchess of Caprona. He, Angelina, and a cat must find the words to the "Angel" song and ally their families before it's too late.
As Jones explains in the foreword, this is an alternate Italy, still divided into city-states with their own Dukes, laws, and conflicts with one another, as they had in the Middle-Ages of our world. Anyone with knowledge of Italian history knows that the city-states offer a great deal of potential conflict, and Jones doesn't waste that potential.
Though the conflict of feuding rival families is a mild cliche by now, Jones handles it with a comic twist that keeps it from becoming stale. The twist of lovers from those feuding families is highly enjoyable, even though it is quite obvious from the beginning of the book. Her dialogue and narrative are as witty and entertaining as ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Family Fued Sept. 19 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This enchanting story takes place in a world parallel to ours where Italy is still divided into city states that are ruled by dukes. In Caprona the two best spell-writing families in the world live: the Montanas and the Petrocchis. And, of course, the two are bitter rivals ever since some long ago argument that no one really remembers.
But Caprona is in trouble from all sides, with other city-states chipping bits off of her all the time. Caprona is run by a rather silly yet lovable Duke and his downright evil Duchess.
When one misfit child from each of the fueding families turns up missing, of course the families blame each other, and end up having a havoc-wreaking fight in the down-town.
Then Caprona heads into war. It looks inevitable that she will fall, when the only possible solution would be to find the words to the Angel of Caprona, whom no one has sung properly for centuries. Then the two misfits miraculously save their state and re-uninte their fighting families.
This story was, like all of Jones' work, very well written. She has a marvelous and twisting plot that keeps your mind racing and your eyes glued to the page. She describes perfectly what it feels like to be left out of something that comes so natural to others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting book in the Chrestomanci Series May 23 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Italy, a place far far away from the Chrestomanci's home there lives two houses "both alike in dignity" (hehe though I'd through in a little SHakespere) who are very talented in making spells. The would work together magically if it wasn't for an old family feud that pits them against eachother every day. In the Montana house lives a boy named Tonino who has terrible luck working even the simpelest spells, but he has an amazing ability to talk to cats. When the Montana home and the Petrocci home enter a time of war, Tonino is thrown into the middle of a terrible plot. And the only way he can save Caprona is by finding the true words to the Angel song, which is the stongest spell known in the world. Which is hard enough now add onto the fact that he has to wrok with her sworn enemy, a Petrocci girl. Can the two stop fighting long enough to find the spell? Or will the evil enchanter have their way.
Though this wook wasn't as good as Charmed Life of Witch week it was still very entertaining. The plot line of two feuding houses it a bit chiched ever since Montagues and the Capulet's in Romeo and Juiet dropped into the scene. But the whole magic factor makes it a bit more orginal. All in all it was a very entertaining book. I'll probably read it again in again. I just wish Chrestomanci would show up a bit more. In the past few books he's only swooped in in time to do some magic, expalin things, than leave. I reccomend this to anyone whose a fan of the series. The last book in the series, The Lives of Christopher Chant, is on my shelf and ready to be read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chrestomanci's Back Again! July 3 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The third book in the Chrestomanci series, this one takes place in Caprona, Italy, far away from Chrestomanci Castle in England. It is rather different from the other three books in the series, but I enjoyed it a lot. I found it impossible to put down, even after I had finished reading it. I read it through a second time and then settled down to think about the plot. The feuding houses of Casa Montana and Casa Petrochi are the two strongest spell houses in Italy. Yet, their virtue is fading. An enemy enchanter is helping other states nibble on and finally war against Caprona. The only thing that can save Caprona is for the words to the powerful spell, "The Angel" to be found. And no one knows where they could be! Matters get horribly worse when young Tonino from Casa Montana and Angelica from Casa Petrochi are kidnapped by ? (you have to read the book to find out)! Both casas are sure that the other one has kidnapped their child. But Tonino and Angelica have made their peace inside their prison and have even figured out where the words of the Angel are. But they can't get away from their powerful and horrifying captor. And to make matters worse, the rest of their families seem to have been enchanted by the enemy enchanter as well. How can two young children who are the least talented in their families, ever save themselves, let alone Caprona? Read the book and find out!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
I first borrowed and read this book from a friend in 1996 and found it really good and interesting. The characters were spunky and memorable. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2003 by "edzmalim"
4.0 out of 5 stars The Magicians Of Caprona
I really enjoyed this book because it was very interesting and hard to put down! It is funny in all the right places and it was easy to understand and i now have my whole family... Read more
Published on May 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars fascintaing book w/an important lesson
I think that this is a very good book. It has a lot of very interesting stuff in it and it also keeps you in great suspense so you can't put the book down. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2001 by A 12-year old reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, but fabulous!
I found the first time I read this book, it was really confusing for some reason. Especially the part with the enchanted room and Punch and Judy. Read more
Published on June 27 2001 by L. Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars The third wonderful Chrestomanci novel of the quartet.
THE MAGICIANS OF CAPRONA , though having little to do with the enchanter Chrestomanci, is a thoroughly intriguing novel with the most suspenseful story yet. Read more
Published on March 31 2001 by "shayamorph"
4.0 out of 5 stars not one of her best
This is a good story, but in my mind doesn't even come close to the other Chrestomanci books. It's really funny, and the characters seem real, but its kind of hard to get into and... Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2001 by "kangaroozy_999"
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Juvenile Book
Diana Wynne Jones has written many books for children, young adults, and adults. Her output is a little uneven though she has not published any poor books. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2000 by R. Albin
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book if you like magic and excitment.
This is a really good book to read out loud with a family. My 13 and 7 year old sisters and I all loved it.
Published on Sept. 4 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome!
I've read all the Chrestomanci books, their the best. Perfect for someone who loves Harry Potter. I'm just a 13 year old who can't get enough of either. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 1999
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