Title: The Lives of Christopher Chant
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
The Lives of Christopher Chant is the second book of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, according to the recommended reading order of the author. This books actually serves as prequel to the first, Charmed Life (reflection here). We get the boyhood story of the much-neglected Christopher who travels between parallel worlds in his sleep. These are no mere dreams as Christopher is able to bring physical mementos back from his wanderings. This ability proves useful to those with nefarious purpose. Christopher, though the son of powerful musicians, believes he has no magical ability during his waking hours. Somewhat predictably, he finds the truth to be quite different. Shades of Xanth here.
All of Jones's usual charm is on offer here. She's a wonderful world
builder and with her, it's nearly always multiple worlds in the same
story. Christopher's visit to our own dimension is brief and
terrifying. He nearly gets run over by a bus.
One can always count on Diane Wynne Jones for creating likeable characters, even among the baddies. My favorite this time is Tacroy, Christopher's morally ambiguous, cricket loving traveling companion. In fact, I've already cast him should there ever be a movie: Richard Ayoade, best known for The IT Crowd.
Great book. Great series. Great author.