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Someone At Stallery Mansion Is Changing The World At First, Only Small Details, But The Changes Get Bigger And Bigger It S Up To Conrad, A Twelve Year Old With Terrible Karma Who S Just Joined The Mansion S Staff, To Find Out Who Is Behind ItBut He S Not The Only One Snooping Around His Fellow Servant In Training, Christopher Chant, Is Charming, Confident, And From Another World, With A Mission Of His Own Rescuing His Friend, Lost In An Alternate Stallery Mansion Can They Save The Day Before Conrad S Awful Fate Catches Up With Them


10 thoughts on “Conrad's Fate

  1. says:

    kids have to beware of a lot of things, sometimes their own families most of all that seems to be an underlying theme to several of the books in Diana Wynne Jones splendid series of standalone fantasy novels for children families are dangerous they will let you down, they will break your heart, they will take advantage of you if it furthers their greedy ambitions, they will neglect you if you don t fit into their schemes such a harsh and heavy theme for books whose main appeal to me is the lightness of Jones touch and her resolve in placing adventures within worlds that may be magical but are also mundane, sometimes grindingly so an offbeat series, and a wonderful one.so what is Conrad s fate it may be that he was born with bad karma and his fate is to balance the decks so that he can get on with his life at least that s what the adults tell him but who can trust an adult in a Chrestomanci novel Conrad may be better off carving out his own fate.this is my favorite of the Chrestomanci novels so far Christopher Chant returns in his second adventure, but he plays second fiddle to Conrad the two are newly hired servants in training with two different secret agendas the place is a strange but bustling, lively manor chock full of all sorts of people the manor itself is having problems it phases in and out of various realities without warning there was so much to enjoy in this book the whole Upstairs Downstairs Downton Abbey ness of it all, with a lot of fun minutiae detailed in what it may be like to be a servant in such a place the slowly growing friendship between Conrad and Christopher, and the great little moments where we see how everyone else views the charming yet often unbearably smug Christopher Chant destined to someday be sorcerer supreme of all dimensions the cavalcade of assumed identities revealed at the end, the slowly simmering machinations, the dry and vaguely threatening deus ex machine appearance of Chrestomanci, the ghost, the part time actors slumming it as servants, the girl lost in another world, various adults with their own secret agendas, cruel witches, and especially the frequent and often disorientingly bizarre shifts into alternate worlds the author describes all of this craziness in the same way a person would describe a trip to the supermarket to pick up some milk and eggs.such a fun book, but that sad, dark theme at the heart of it all makes Conrad s Fate resonate in surprisingly profound ways.


  2. says:

    The incredible thing about this book is that there appear to be at least two other novels worth of plot going on behind the scenes of what we see, and Diana Wynne Jones just doesn t give a fuck She throws out plot points and tropes like they re on clearance and whether or not they receive any resolution or explanation is entirely left to capricious whim There are not one but TWO secretly evil manipulative uncles I get it, bro Christopher Chant , two offscreen secret romances, one beautiful scheming witch attempting to marry her way into power money, one ugly fat witch keeping powerful enchanters prisoner for no particular reason who is defeated because in her reality cameras steal souls except then she still manages to be a ghost in another reality, something about the stock market , a magic computer that changes reality, Dementor like spectres one summons at will who maybe work for the Lords of Karma , and a bad mother feminist harridan scholar and or dupe Oh, and Gypsies aka Travelers who can travel between realities Meanwhile the main story is just Conrad wants to go to school and is forced to be servant instead, which is annoying for him I believe DWJ was in her 70s when she wrote this, and having in her toolbox a a world where basically anything can happen and b stock characters like Evil Uncle and Conniving Witch and Ugly Fat Witch and Most Female Characters Really, she just set it all on shuffle and let er rip Lest you think I didn t enjoy this mishmash of questionable tropes and the occasional cultural insensitivity, it was actually very fun I would read a million books about teen Christopher Chant and Millie s adventures, and Conrad can come too THE MORE THE MERRIER.BTW Evil Uncle 2 s actual crimes are view spoiler giving up his title to become a butler instead trying to maintain a fancy house that the universe feels should fall to ruin Egads hide spoiler


  3. says:

    It s been a while since I read the Chrestomanci series, so when I started out with the first book, I just kept going until I d reread the whole thing My favorite out of the lot, curiously enough, is right in the middle of the series Conrad s Fate is a later book by Diana Wynne Jones, and I don t often hear much about it, but it s just as good as the rest of the series and a perfect example of what makes Diana Wynne Jones great The worldbuilding, little character moments, and just general, well, wordage is laugh out loud incredible and always wonderful to revisit Jessica Yangfrom The Best Books We Read In September 2016


  4. says:

    Conrad s Fate is the fifth in Diana Wynne Jones s marvelous Chrestomanci series, about a powerful enchanter who controls the magic in a universe a few worlds over from our own Conrad Tesdinic lives with his mother, his sister Anthea, and his uncle Alfred in Stallchester, in the English Alps High in the mountains above Stallchester is Stallery Mansion, where someone is working magic, pulling the possibilities so that the details of life are constantly changing a little one day the mailboxes all turn from red to blue, and the books in Uncle Alfred s bookshop are suddenly different When the changes start to get bigger, Uncle Alfred persuades Conrad to get a job at Stallery Mansion, find out what s happening, and fix it, so that Conrad can avoid the awful fate Uncle Alfred sees hovering over him At the mansion, Conrad meets Christopher whom Jones s readers will recognize quickly as the boy who will become Chrestomanci , who s looking for his friend Millie, who came to Conrad s universe and disappeared.If you haven t read any of the other Chrestomanci books, I d recommend at least reading The Lives of Christopher Chant and Charmed Life before Conrad s Fate, because although Conrad himself is well drawn, Christopher and Millie seem a little sketchy, perhaps because Jones is relying on readers pre knowledge of them I did like Conrad s Fate very much, though The depiction of Conrad and Christopher learning servants life was wonderful, and the changing magic pulling the possibilities was intriguing It s not the best in the series I d reserve that honor for Witch Week , but it s a welcome addition.


  5. says:

    Conrad s Fate is the story of Conrad Tesdinic, who is told by his uncle that he has bad karma, because he s neglected to kill someone he should ve killed in a previous life He is sent up to work at Stallery Mansion, where this person he has to kill supposedly lives All he has is the promise that he will know who to kill when he meets this person, and a way to call a Walker who will provide him with what he needs to do the killing But it s not as easy as it sounds, the world is very magical and some especially big magic seems to be happening at Stallery Mansion, most obviously the probability shifts that keep taking place, in which new probabilities suddenly come into place and everything changes..You know how they say you shouldn t judge a book by its cover In this case I m glad I did I loved the cover so much that I bought the book, just based on a very short blurb, the cover and the author s name I didn t regret it one bit.Conrad s Fate was my first Diana Wynne Jones book, but definitely not my last It was airy and interesting and exciting, and it was simply impossible to put the book down The twists in this book kept surprising me It was wonderful.Despite the summary, the story wasn t very dark at all The characters were all rather loveable and I found the story to be very original I really liked that Conrad had to work as a servant in the mansion, you usually read about the people who are being served instead of the people who do the serving, so I appreciated this theme This book is one of the books in the Chrestomanci series, yes, but you can easily read it as a stand alone book or as the first in a series It s what I did and you can follow it very easily Though I should warn you, it s possible to get a little addicted to the book I for one will be on the look out for the other books in the series.


  6. says:

    Maybe I should just turn this blog into a Diana Wynne Jones fan blog with how much I ve been reading her lately her books are just so good and perfect Conrad s Fate continues the Chronicles of Chrestomanci series I really like this series because each book has a different feel to it, since they all have different main characters and take place in different universes In this book, Conrad s uncle tells him that he has bad karma and a terrible fate, so he must go up to the castle and get a job as a servant to find the person responsible for his bad karma and kill him Conrad discovers, however, that things are a lot complicated in the castle than he previously thought.I love that we get Christopher in the story right off the bat You know something is going on because he s poking around in it, but you re stuck in Conrad s point of view and completely clueless Jones is a master at creating suspenseful, intriguing plot lines that seem like they re all separately going somewhere else until everything magically weaves together at the end and becomes a cohesive story, which I absolutely love She also has a wicked sense of humor, making her books pure enjoyment While this is book five in the series, this takes place rather early in Christopher s training, and it s so much fun to see him make mistakes and not really know what to do.I really enjoyed this one it s a wildly fun story that kept me on my toes.Also posted on Purple People Readers.


  7. says:

    I had forgotten I d read this before, so I read it again This time I m giving it four stars.___________________________This is one DWJ s worse, which is why I m giving it three stars really I d like to give it four, at least Like The Pinhoe Egg, this lacks the perfection of character and form of the real four Chrestomanci books It drags at the start and squashes the conclusion into the last chapter, and relies on an unrealistic omission by Anthea to create the plot.Naturally, though, it is still awesome.


  8. says:

    Although published later this volume could be read as following on from The Lives of Christopher Chant as Chrestomanci, as a teenager, is a main character However, the story is told in the first person by Conrad, who has been raised in a book shop in the alternative universe known as series 7 This is a world where magic works, and the town nestles below a mountain in the English Alps there is no British Isles and the land forms part of continental Europe where a big house called Stallery is situated The rich aristocrats who live in this house are believed to be responsible for the occasional probability shift known as pulling the probabilities which affect the town and the wider world, resulting in changes to books in the shop or turning post boxes from red to blue, for example.Conrad s father is dead, having committed suicide some years before and supposedly leaving half the bookshop to Conrad s uncle, Alfred, a magician Conrad has to manipulate this uncle by occasionally refusing to do the cooking for example in order to obtain any of the ordinary things his friends are given, such as a bicycle or pocket money For Conrad s mother is totally neglectful of him she is a feminist writer bit strange to see a critique like that in a book by a woman who spends her time writing books and articles and doesn t want to be bothered by either of her children Initially, older sister Anthea is there to take care of Conrad but she has been studying in secret and passes a scholarship only announcing on the day of her departure that she is off to university Her mother and uncle denounce this as selfishness and ingratitude, and her uncle creates a spell to keep her there if she comes back for the holidays because he wants her to carry on working for free in the bookshop as well as doing the household chores but she is too wise to that and Conrad does not see Anthea again until quite late in the story.Conrad hopes to go to senior school with his friends and learn magic there are hints that he has some gift for it but his plans are wrecked when his mother signs the part of his school leaving form to say he is going off to a job which children can do from the age of twelve in this universe Aghast, Conrad learns he is to apply for a trainee servant s job at Stallery, although his uncle convinces him it is essential as Conrad has such a dark spell over him his fate that unless he kills someone at Stallery whom he should have killed in a past life, he will die horribly himself before the year is out I must admit I wondered what the penalty for murder was in this world, but it transpired that the author had taken that into account as we discover late in the story.As soon as Conrad arrives at Stallery he meets a tall, charming but arrogant young man known as Christopher whom any reader of other stories in the series will soon recognise as Christopher Chant who later becomes Chrestomanci, the nine lived enchanter Both he and Conrad are there under false surnames Conrad because his father s name is the same as the aristocrats living there and Conrad is soon drawn into Christopher s quest to find his friend and future wife Millie who ran away from a terrible school in their own world when their guardian the present Chrestomanci refused to listen to either her or Christopher It now seems that Millie has become trapped in one of the probability shifts affecting the house and which general opinion is are caused by the rich familiy manipulating possibilities to increase their wealth.As in a lot of the author s fiction, a lot of the adults are unreliable or outright liars who betray and let down the child characters I enjoyed the pseudo nineteenth century setting reminiscent of Upstairs Downstairs or early Downtown Abbey, with the life of the servants, and the way they have to behave before the family The story for me, however, is a bit spoiled by the very convoluted resolution which is extremely rushed and not very clear Certain people end up dragged off to face justice but there are some inconsistencies, since certain servants were apparently at the house from an early age in which case why isn t the true identity of various characters known An epilogue is then tacked on in which we learn about the eventual role of Conrad in his world as a representative for Chrestomanci Quite a nice happy ending but a bit of an uneven jump from the end of the story proper So I would rate this as a solid 3 star read.


  9. says:

    3.5 not as fun as the previous two due to less magic presence also i wanted christopher s pov i thinkending was a little rushed epilogue was a bit cheap imo but it s nicemy hold for the hate u give came thru so idk if i should start the next one or read both concurrently or what hm


  10. says:

    This is a new Chrestomanci novel, this time set in a Series Seven world where Christopher Chant has, for various good and sufficient reasons of his own, gone in defiance of his guardian and teacher, Gabriel de Witt.But this is really the story of Conrad Tesdinic, who has grown up in a bookstore with an inattentive mother who spends all her time writing an uncle who generously allows his sister and her family to live with him after her husband sold his share of the bookstore to her brother, gambled away the money, and then killed himself and a sister who is intent on her own very sensible agenda of completing her education and getting out of the house before her magician uncle realizes what she s doing and takes steps to keep her there permanently.Conrad, who has his own plans to continue his education and move out, is horrified when his uncle tells him he has bad karma from an important deed left undone in a previous life, and if he doesn t take the opportunity to complete the task immediately in this life, he ll soon die and be forced to start over in his next life And in order to do this, he has to leave school now, take a job as a servant in Stallery Mansion home of the local Count , find the person he didn t deal with in the last life, and kill him.Conrad would almost rather die than leave school and take a job as a servant at the Stallery but not quite, and he reluctantly boards the tram, armed only with a false name Conrad Grant and wine cork and a spell to summon a Walker and get what he needs when he s identified the villain and is ready to do the job Almost the first person he meets, of course, is Christopher Chant, who s looking for his missing and possibly trapped friend Millie, and has also come to take a job at the Stallery in order to look for From there things get delightfully strange, as Conrad and Christopher attempt to sort out who s who, and who s putting what over on who, and not get caught or killed in the process.Great fun.