|Best of the bunch|
The only problem I can find with the Chrestomanci books is that I came to them too late. These are silly, witty fantasies involving young children engaging in silly and often even downright weird activities and experiencing magic in different and strange ways. It's a good deal of fun, and all I can think about is how I would have enjoyed these books as a young bookworm. The writing is unabashedly childish and fun, indeed charming. These are books to be read and enjoyed, books that remain as entertaining today as they must have been twenty-thirty-plus years ago when they were first published.
And then there's Chrestomanci himself. That is, Christopher Chant, who features as Chrestomanci in three of the four books that I've read in the series, and in the fourth is outright the main child character. Chrestomanci is one of the best characters of kids fantasy literature, period. His affinity for good clothing, his seemingly ambivalent outward demeanor, his unique sense of humor, his childhood passions and quirks, and a myriad of other original traits make him a strong character in The Lives of Christopher Chant (and the reason that that novel is the best of the bunch, by a long shot), and a delightful guest star (or even featured guest star) in the other books. Witch Week, which features perhaps the broadest cast of characters, shines brightest once Chrestomanci enters the picture and ties the story (and characters) together. The Magicians of Caprona, meanwhile, falls in part because of Chrestomanci's minimal involvement (though is rescued by an absolutely thrilling second half).
Whether or not the next DWJ book I read will be a Chrestomanci book, I cannot say. But I am certain by this point that there will be a next DWJ book, and that I will eventually want to finish reading all the Chrestomanci stories. And even more certainly, I know that when I recommend good fantasies for kids, the Chrestomanci books will be high on my list.