Chrestomanci who?

Bosch Garden of Delights

Long regarded merely as children’s fantasy, Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci novels, like most of her work for the young reader, deserve more respect from adult readership. Her mix of apparent whimsy and magic with a small pinch of science fiction, plus the alliance of young protagonists with the most curious adult magician imaginable (he has a penchant for elaborate dressing-gowns, rather like Sherlock Holmes, but with added sorcery), might persuade those of us who have reached and passed the teenage years that the series is not for us. But they would be wrong, as I hope to show in an occasional series of reposts over the next few weeks.