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The next in the Chrestomanci series, this time set in a boarding school in a world where witches are persecuted and burned, yet in fact many people have magic powers and are afraid to show them. Diana Wynne Jones is particularly good at portraying children being nasty (and occasionally nice) to each other, and the boarding school setting gives her plenty of scope, with the overt snobbery between the ins and the outs, and the deep-rooted prejudice about magic; Larwood House is clearly one of the (many) sources of Hogwarts. As ever, her main characters are challenged to overcome their imperfections, once again with the help of Chrestomanci who appears abruptly but decisively at quite a late stage in proceedings. I enjoyed this one a lot.

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