Thursday, March 22, 2012

DWJ March: Enchanted Glass

"Professor" Andrew Hope inherits his grandfather's home but doesn't immediately realize (or rather, remember) that with it he also inherits a "field-of-care" -- a magical parcel of land containing his home and the local town. After the arrival of young Aidan, a runaway orphan who is being chased by mysterious and obviously evil beings, Andrew has to recall things he learned as a child and try to figure out how to protect this young boy and all of the citizens of Melstone from the shady Mr. Brown. Luckily, he will be helped by a whole host of characters in and around his house as he solves the mystery of the ancient glass window in his kitchen door and figures out what to do with an abundance of large vegetables.
I am tempted to say "if you only read one Diana Wynne Jones book, make it Enchanted Glass". I have a couple of reasons for this.

Reason One: This is a perfect example of Diana's style and talent. It's low fantasy (magic in a regular sort of world), has a mismatched family unit, incorporates an existing mythology--in this case, the fairy world of Oberon, Titania and Mab--and has a spontaneous romance. It has good pacing with only a bit of a rushed ending.

Reason Two: It's a stand-alone novel so you don't have to commit to a series.

Reason Three: It's fun and exciting and I love it. Plus, the UK cover (shown above) is really, really pretty.

I read and adored this book when it came out in June 2010. If you haven't had the chance to read it yet, don't wait any longer. You have nine more days of Diana Wynne Jones month left!

Summoning all my powers of persuasion,


  1. You're right .. the UK cover is GORGEOUS!

  2. Okay, I finally had a chance to sit down and read this review! I've been keeping it saved until I really had some time. I've got this one on audio - the only DWJ audio at my library outside the Howl series - and cant' wait to get to it! I rarely get excited about children's lit these days, ever since my own kids got to that age group (which makes me want to get away a bit), but this one sounds fab!

  3. I'm interested that this is the one DWJ book you'd recommend this way. I haven't read Enchanted Glass enough times yet for it to have settled into the DWJ canon for me, so maybe this will change, but I always recommend Howl's Moving Castle. It's fun, accessible, and charming, and although it does have sequels in a way, the story in HMC is self-contained.

    I do love the way she uses the glass in this one though! Like she had been saving it up from underusing it in Deep Secret and finally managed to deal with it the way she wanted to.

  4. Jenners - And it's actually how the glass window is described in the book -- a rarity in book covers these days!

    Amanda - I read a decent amount of children's lit but none of it excites me the way that DWJ books do. I'm a bit sad that I'll be expected to read something else after the month is over. :)

    Jenny - I can't say why I think it's more accessible than Howl but I do think it is. It would probably be a close second though! And I think I was just reading The Game and there was a garden shed place with a glass window in it too! They simply walked in and past it but I thought it was fun that she had it in there. Sigh. She's such an awesome author.

  5. I am adding a ton of DWJ books to my wish list! I'm hoping to discover some of her treasures at some upcoming book fairs and this is one that I will definitely be keeping my eye out for!