Diana Wynne Jones

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Neil Philip

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 138

[The Magicians of Caprona] is a sprightly, pleasant, ingenious book, but it is neither as strong nor as multi-layered as Charmed Life; the author seems here, as in her other recent work, to be marking time….

Neither the rivalry between the families nor the threat of defeat generate much tension. Only in the fifth chapter, when Tonino and Angelica, captives of an evil enchantress, are forced to act out a degrading Punch and Judy show for their captor's sadistic amusement, does the action rise to any pitch of excitement or suspense. Otherwise, it is light-hearted fun, played out against a rather ready-made, stagey background, written with flair but without penetration.

Neil Philip, "To Combat the Forces of Evil," in The Times Educational Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1980; reproduced from The Times Educational Supplement by permission), No. 3332, April 18, 1980, p. 25.∗

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Neil Philip


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