The Islands of Chaldea (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The last book written by Diana Wynne Jones, The Islands of Chaldea brims with Jones's characteristic sense of wonder, wit, and whimsy. A fitting hurrah from the undisputed grandmaster of children's fantasy.



— From The Islands of Chaldea


A stand-alone novel of magic and adventure by the renowned fantasy author Diana Wynne Jones, who also wrote Howl's Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci books. Almost finished upon her death in 2011, the manuscript was completed by Diana's sister Ursula Jones, an acclaimed novelist and actress. Publishers Weekly called The Islands of Chaldea "a story to cherish" in their starred review.

Aileen comes from a long line of magic makers, and her aunt Beck is the most powerful magician on Skarr. But Aileen's magic has yet to reveal itself, even though she is old enough and it should have by now. When Aileen is sent over the sea on a mission for the King, she worries that she'll be useless and in the way. A powerful talking cat changes all of that—and with every obstacle Aileen faces, she becomes stronger and more confident, until her magic blooms. This stand-alone novel, by the beloved and acclaimed author of such classic fantasy novels as Howl's Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci books, will be welcomed by fans old and new. "Jones's imaginative vigor is unabated in this last, picaresque novel; her deft, fluid style and penchant for precise, characterful description are amply present," proclaimed The Horn Book.

About the Author

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934‒2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards—and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter—her books are filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.

Ursula Jones is an actress, children’s author, and playwright. She has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Unicorn Theatre for Children. Her books include The Youngsters and The Lost King. She lives in London.

Praise For…

“The best children’s writer of the last 40 years.”
— Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline

“In the realm of other-world fantasy, this season’s gem is the late Diana Wynne Jones’s The Islands of Chaldea, completed by Ursula Jones. Humour, wisdom and inventive genius suffuse the tale . . . challenging readers’ minds while creating a full world of sympathetic characters.”
— Toronto Star

“Readers are treated to a nonstop plot, memorable characters, and signature DWJ touches. … For younger readers, a worthy introduction to the delights of the late, lamented master fantasist.”
— The Horn Book

“Beautiful and intricate…A strong, elegant fantasy [that] will linger with readers.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for Earwig and the Witch: “This funny story updates fairy tale conventions while highlighting Jones’s subversive wit. … A fine introduction to the author’s more complex YA novels.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Earwig is a plucky, albeit bossy, heroine, and the story is packed with wit and humor.”
— School Library Journal

“Only in an unorthodox children’s book does a girl hope that she won’t be … taken away from the orphanage. But then, Earwig isn’t your typical orphan. … An amusing story in which it takes hard work as well as magic and cleverness to bring about a happy ending.”
— Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062295071
ISBN-10: 0062295071
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 22nd, 2014
Pages: 368
Language: English