A short while ago, I finished reading this combo book which had The Magicians of Capona and Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones. I had purchased the audio of Magicians of Caprona and tried to listen to it on a trip, but I had to stop because after awhile, all the Italian names started to blend together and nearly put me to sleep on the road. I had to stop listening. I was afraid that reading the book would be as monotonous and I avoided it for a couple of years. But, I am such a Diana Wynne Jones fan that I just had to have another book to read.
Magicians of Caprona wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t what I was expecting either. In the end, I was really just kind of “meh” about it.
At least it didn’t take long as Castle in the Air.
I was ready to move onto Witch Week.
I’m going to start by saying that I really dislike it when writers hop from one character’s head to another. Witch Week continuously changes which character’s point of view we are seeing the story from. At first, it really bugged me because I didn’t see a point in it. Then I started to get into the swing of it and it wasn’t bad. When I started reading the next book in the series, Conrad’s Fate, I developed a theory that maybe she was doing all this on purpose in order to practice as a writer. Witch Week and Conrad’s Fate are two different points of view all together, Witch Week being third person omnipotent and Conrad’s Fate being first person. I really think now that she was trying to see if “head hopping” could be done effectively. I have seen so many authors claim that their head-hopping shifts were actually the omnipotent point of view, to which I scoff because it isn’t. It is merely a book told from two, three, or four character’s points of view. Witch Week is true omnipotent.
It’s taking me sitting here writing out some of my thoughts to really reflect on the story and what a truly amazing job she did with this. I will have to go back to it again and study this more. I might have to claim that this is the first time I’ve seen true omnipotent point of view done well.
Watch out. The last time I saw a writer attempt something I felt was outlandish (first person, present tense), I ended up writing the Loki series because I wanted to try my hand at it. That was because of Susan Ee’s Angelfall. #AffiliateLinks
In finishing Witch Week, I discovered what Magicians of Caprona was missing and it had to do with the ending. in Magicians of Caprona, the characters of the story, I feel, do very little to save the day. I won’t spoil it, and maybe I was reading fast to get through the story, but I just don’t feel like it had a satisfactory ending. Witch Week on the other hand, was ended by the main characters of the story realizing what needed to happen and carrying it out.
Overall, I’d say that both stories are worth the read. Okay, so far the whole Chrestomanci series is worth the read.
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