[[quoteright:262:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chrestomanci_419.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:262: Chrestomanci has one dressing gown for every day of the year, including leap days. They are all ''fabulous''.]]

A series of novels by Creator/DianaWynneJones and arguably her second most famous work(s) after ''Literature/HowlsMovingCastle''. A set of books set in the [[TheMultiverse Related Worlds]] about a government official (the "Chrestomanci") who has nine lives and the job of controlling the misuse of magic.

There are six novels and one collection of short stories, although, in some editions, pairs of novels are gathered under the title ''The Chronicles of Chrestomanci''.

'''The books are, in order of publication:'''
* ''Charmed Life''
* ''The Magicians of Caprona''
* ''Witch Week''
* ''The Lives of Christopher Chant''
* ''Mixed Magics'' (the short story collection):
** "Warlock at the Wheel"
** "Stealer of Souls"
** "Carol O'Neir's Hundredth Dream"
** "The Sage of Theare"
* ''Conrad's Fate''
* ''The Pinhoe Egg''

The stories more or less fall into three broad headings: those that focus on a young boy named Eric "Cat" Chant, those that focus on Christopher Chant, or those that merely feature Chrestomanci as a supporting character to an entirely separate main cast.

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!!Tropes featured include:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Charmed Life]]
* BewitchedAmphibians: [[spoiler: Gwendolen]] turns Euphemia the maid into a frog, having previously claimed that her bulging eyes made her look like one already.
* BigDamnHeroes: Chrestomanci castle's residents.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler: Gwendolen.]]
* EnfantTerrible: [[spoiler: Gwendolen]] was five when she started hijacking her brother's magic and put his lives into a matchbook, something that ''killed him'' once.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Janet. Well, it's an alternate dimension that closely resembles the past, anyway.
* IChooseToStay: [[spoiler:Janet and all the other alternate versions of Gwendolen.]]
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Gwendolen]] receives no comeuppance for her cruelty and malice, and ends up royalty.
* KissingCousins: Cat and Gwendolen's parents were both born Chants and cousins.
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: Cat has no idea [[spoiler: he's an enchanter]]; Gwendolen doesn't tell him because [[spoiler: she's using his magic]], and Chrestomanci doesn't tell him because he's unsure of Cat's motives.
* LonersAreFreaks: Cat sometimes has difficulty interacting with other people, which gets him in trouble the more his sister stirs up. WordOfGod is that he is autistic.
* ReplacementSibling: Janet for Gwendolen, to Cat.
* ScreeningTheCall: Gwendolen's actions had this effect on Cat.
* ServileSnarker: Mary and Euphemia, the two particular maids who serve the children, grow more and more snarky as Gwendolen shows more and more of her bitchy side.
* TookALevelInBadass: Cat, when he finally [[spoiler: tells Gwendolen where she can shove it.]]
* TranquilFury: Chrestomanci.
--> ''There was a moment of ice-cold silence. It was a moment such as Cat hoped never to live through again. “Bless my soul!” Chrestomanci said, gently as frost freezes a window. [...] Cat wondered how such a mild voice could send the hair prickling upright at the back of his head.''
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Gwendolen's behavior runs the gamut from just [[SpoiledBrat bratty]] to [[EnfantTerrible downright evil]].
* TwoActStructure: Act I ends with [[spoiler: Gwendolen losing her magic,]] and Act II begins with Janet's arrival.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Magicians of Caprona]]
* AdultsAreUseless: Throughout most of the book.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Angelica Petrocchi
* FeudingFamilies: Casa Montana and Casa Petrocchi.
* IneptMage: Angelica Petrocchi. Being tone-deaf in a family of [[MagicMusic singing magicians]] can have... mixed results.
* MagicMusic: The Montanas and Petrocchis prefer to sing their spells, most notably ''the Angel of Caprona''.
* PuppetPermutation: The PunchAndJudy sequence.
* StarCrossedLovers: Amusingly subverted and parodied. [[spoiler:Marco]] Petrocchi and [[spoiler:Rosa]] Montana successfully marry under both of their warring family's noses and [[HappilyMarried live through the end]].
* SuperEmpowering: A unique quality of [[spoiler: Tonino Montana]]'s magic is that he can greatly enhance any spell he takes part in or, in a pinch, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard turn it against the caster]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Witch Week]]
* BurnTheWitch: In this world's setting, this is very common and avoiding it is a main focus of the plot.
* FiveManBand: Witch Week's [[spoiler: witches]].
** TheHero: Charles Morgan
** TheLancer: Brian Wentworth
** TheSmartGuy: Nan Pilgrim
** TheBigGuy: Nirupam Singh (related to some very powerful witches)
** TheChick: Estelle Green (Oh goody, I'm a witch!)
* MergedReality: [[spoiler:At the end.]]
* YouAreWhatYouHate: [[spoiler:Witches are universally feared and persecuted despite nearly everyone being a witch.]]
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: and not just for the pupils. [[spoiler: turns into TheGoodOldBritishComp when the worlds merge at the end.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Lives of Christopher Chant]]
* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler:Uncle Ralph.]]
* AwfulTruth:
** Christopher realizes [[spoiler: his uncle Ralph has been killing and selling off the body parts of mythical creatures. Several of them being mermaids who had been Christopher's friends.]]
** The Goddess finds out [[spoiler: every old Living Asheth gets killed to make way for the new one. Slightly subverted in that Mother Proudfoot secretly saves most of them. Keyword being "most".]]
* BelligerentSexualTension: [[spoiler: Mordecai and Miss Rosalie.]] And by watching them, Christopher realizes it's the same case with his forever quarreling parents.
* BiggerBad: [[spoiler:The Dright.]]
* BirdsOfAFeather: Christopher and the Goddess.
--> '''The Goddess:''' Thank you for telling me about yourself. I think you've had a rotten life, even worse than mine. People only want either of us for what use we are to them -- you for your nine lives and me for my Goddess attributes. And both of us are caught and stuck and trapped in a life with a future all planned out by someone else -- like a long, long tunnel with no way out!
* TheButlerDidIt: It turns out that [[spoiler:Mordecai Roberts]] was working for the Wraith for years.
* TheCallPutMeOnHold: Although he wasn't bothered by it in the least, destiny didn't catch up with Christopher until that fateful moment when Dr. Pawson took all of his silver away, and Christopher [[spoiler: accidentally blew the roof of the house off.]]
* CatStereotype: Throgmorton is a loveable rogue orange cat (although "loveable" often spills over into "evil-tempered").
* CorruptionOfAMinor: [[spoiler:Those "experiments" Christopher does for his uncle?]] Aren't quite legal.
* DeadpanSnarker: Tacroy and Christopher both. Wonder who the latter learned it from?
* DimensionLord: The Dright of Series Eleven.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: The Wraith.
* DoubleAgent: [[spoiler:Tacroy]] is an unwilling ''triple'' agent.
* TheFairFolk: The people of Series Eleven are implied to be the inspiration behind the myths of elves.
* FormerTeenRebel: Christopher, and probably also Gabriel [=DeWitt=].
* FreakOut: The Goddess has a very justified one.
--> '' "Christopher," said the Goddess, obviously trying to sound calm, "Bethi's dead. That means [[spoiler: I'm going to die when they get a new Living Asheth]]." Kneeling by the dead cat, she screamed and screamed and screamed. ''
* GodInHumanForm: The Living Asheth, a human girl who is chosen to represent the Living Aspect of the Goddess Asheth and who apparently gains some degree of supernatural ability (or at least an extra set of arms) from the position. The subversion is that [[spoiler: Asheth doesn't really share her powers and the Living Asheth is an enchantress who is just that powerful on her own without realizing it.]]
* HisNameReallyIsBarkeep: The Living Asheth/the Goddess.
* HostageSituation: Towards the end [[spoiler:Gabriel De Witt is captured by the Dright of Series Eleven and Christopher travels there to negotiate for his release]].
* {{Jerkass}}: Young Christopher. Somewhat justified by the fact that he's being shunted around and neglected by everyone around him, but still, Flavian and Miss Rosalie did ''try'' to get along with him.
* MeaningfulRename: [[spoiler: The Goddess]] renames herself Millie.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: [[spoiler:Ralph Argent.]]
* NoSympathy: While young Christopher isn't terribly sympathetic himself, he has a point when he complains that he's getting lectured and blamed for ''dying''.
* OldRetainer: Discussed; Christopher is astonished by the idea, because he grew up in a household where the emotional atmosphere was such that the servants generally handed in their notice after a month or so.
* PetMonstrosity: Throgmorten.
* ProperlyParanoid: The Goddess is very concerned about [[spoiler: what happened to all the other Living Asheths]]. Christopher thinks she's being silly. [[AwfulTruth Christopher is wrong.]]
* PunchClockVillain: [[spoiler:Tacroy]], aka [[spoiler:Mordecai Roberts]].
* RageAgainstTheMentor: Christopher towards Gabriel De Witt, which lessens considerably when [[spoiler: Christopher realizes De Witt had hated becoming Chrestomanci just as much as he does]]. But that doesn't stop it from rising up whenever they butt heads, like in ''Conrad's Fate''.
* TheSyndicate: The Wraith.
* WakingUpAtTheMorgue: Christopher discovers he has nine lives this way.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mixed Magics]]
* MerlinSickness: ''The Sage of Theare'', though it's more that his life has been running backwards to catch up with him.
* VillainEpisode: The story "Warlock at the Wheel" focuses on a minor villain from ''Charmed Life''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Conrad's Fate]]
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Christopher and Millie.
* FreakOut: Christopher, of all people, has a minor one when [[spoiler: he can't find Millie]].
* {{Jerkass}}: Christopher has shades of this, but it's his job to be more diplomatic about it, and Millie helps.
* OnlySaneMan: Conrad, especially when he's with Christopher. Gabriel De Witt even lampshades it.
-->''He also said he was sorry to lose me, because I seemed to be the only person who could make Christopher see sense. I am not sure anyone can do that, but Christopher seems to think so too.''
* {{Reincarnation}}: Conrad's uncle tells him he has 'bad karma' because of something he did in a past life. [[spoiler:Turns out he's lying, and Conrad is brand new.]]
* ShipTease: Christopher and Millie, by the bucket loads.
* StrawFeminist: Conrad and Anthea's mother, who writes books about female enslavement that few people buy. A hypocritical version, since she exploits Anthea and later Conrad to do household chores she won't do herself and her reaction to learning that Anthea has secretly gotten herself accepted to a college is to protest that she's not clever enough.
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler: Christopher and Millie]] get married in the end. Though [[YouShouldKnowThisAlready this should come as no surprise]] if you've read any of the other books.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: The Pinhoe Egg]]
* AuthorTract: The thinly veiled {{Aesop}} about Christianity turning the Pinhoes, Farleighs and Cleeves into fanatics.
* CassandraTruth: Poor Marianne tries desperately to let people know that [[spoiler: Gammer has gone insane and is cursing the Farleighs,]] but everyone either has been bespelled not to believe her, or just won't listen.
* {{Egg McGuffin}}
* EvilMatriarch: Gammer Pinhoe.
* FeudingFamilies: The Pinhoes and the Farleighs.
* LastGirlWins: Marianne, in all likelihood.
* MagicalLand: "The distance," where all of the mythical creatures are sealed.
* {{Magitek}}: Roger and Joe's inventions.
* TheMasquerade: The Pinhoes, Farleighs and Cleeves pretend to not have magic so that Chrestomanci won't police them.
* ProperLady: Irene Yeldham, nee Pinhoe.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: The Pinhoes, Farleighs and Cleeves think that griffins, unicorns and the various spirits of the woods and households are "abominations".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tropes Found In All Series]]
* AchillesHeel: Each Chrestomanci has their own individual one.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: It's stated that the reason the "Related Worlds" are referred to as such is because they all share the same languages, but the people Christopher encounters in his travels often speak English. Particularly glaring in Asheth's city, which is in the desert and has something of an Indo-Arabic culture.
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel[=/=]BowtiesAreCool: Chrestomanci's dressing gowns.
* BadassTeacher: Michael Saunders
* BattleButler: All of the Castle staff are government employees, meaning they're trained mages who can back Chrestomanci up in a fight.
* BoardingSchool:
** Chrestomanci Castle winds up serving this function for young enchanters at times.
** ''Witch Week'' is set at a pretty dreadful one.
** Subverted in ''The Lives Of Christopher Chant'' where Christopher dreads going to school, but when he gets there loves it. He makes friends, excels at most lessons, and quickly grows into a more healthy person than he had been cooped up in his family home with no company. Unfortunately for him, fate - and more pointedly, the adults in his life - have designs on his future, and he is quite quickly whisked away from the school.
** In ''Conrad's Fate'' [[spoiler: Millie]] ends up ''running away'' to stop going to her awful boarding school.
* BuildingOfAdventure: Chrestomanci Castle in ''Charmed Life'', Stallery Manor in ''Conrad's Fate''.
* CallOnMe: Any Chrestomanci whenever his title is spoken thrice. Several times, Christopher's in a dressing gown because he doesn't always have time to get dressed up.
* CatsAreMagic
* CatsHaveNineLives: Referenced in ''Charmed Life'' (the protagonist's nickname is Cat because he has nine lives); used literally in ''The Lives of Christopher Chant''.
* ContinuityNod: A lot of them are scattered throughout the series.
** The tan, fair-haired aide of Gabriel De Witt's at the end of ''Conrad's Fate''.
** Millie's cats in ''The Pinhoe Egg''.
** Elizabeth, one of the students mentioned at the end of ''Conrad's Fate'', is Paolo and Tonino Montana's mother in ''The Magicians of Caprona''.
** Jason the boot boy from ''The Lives of Christopher Chant'' is featured a lot in ''The Pinhoe Egg''
** O'Neir, one of Christopher's childhood friends is the father of the girl featured in "Carol O'Neir's Hundredth Dream"
** Millie's throwaway line in ''Charmed Life'' about someone bullying her is central to the plot in ''Conrad's Fate''.
* DreamWeaver: "Carol O'Neir's Hundredth Dream" is about a girl who can control her dreams (to an extent) and siphon them off for commercial reproduction.
* TheEdwardianEra: Sort of. It's in another world, there's obviously no King Edward, and the books are set in modern-ish times, but 12-A bears quite a strong resemblance to the era of Edward's reign.
* EvilUncle:
** In ''The Lives of Christopher Chant''.
** In ''Conrad's Fate'', [[spoiler:Conrad has one on each side of the family!]]
* ExtremeDoormat: Cat, and Marianne, at first.
* FantasyKitchenSink: By the end of ''The Pinhoe Egg'', you not only have witches, wizards, magicians, sorcerers, and enchanters all in the same world, but now there are griffins, unicorns, and all sorts of hidden mythical beasts in the world. Expanding it to the rest of the Related Worlds includes the Lords of Karma (in ''Conrad's Fate''), mermaids, dragons, TheFairFolk, and the sort-of Indian-ish Goddess Asheth (in ''The Lives of Christopher Chant''), and the ClassicalMythology-ish gods and goddesses in ''The Sage of Theare''.
* FirstGirlWins: Millie. You can't win anymore than HappilyMarried with two kids.
* FlyingBroomstick: In ''The Pinhoe Egg'', women ride broomsticks and men ride bicycles. In ''Witch Week'' it's uni.
* FunctionalMagic
* GentlemanWizard: Chrestomanci. Quite a few other characters too.
* GoodParents: Millie and Christopher. Cat and Gwendolen's parents were hinted to be this, but they died too quickly to get a good impression.
* GoodThingYouCanHeal: Cat and Christopher burn through their nine lives at an alarming rate.
* HappilyMarried:
** Christopher and Millie.
** Cat is confused about [[spoiler:Miss Rosalie and Mordecai]] as they certainly ''act'' HappilyMarried, and she wears a gold wedding ring, but also insists on being called [[spoiler:''Miss'' Rosalie]].
* HealingFactor: The nine lives that Chrestomancis have are a form of this.
* HiddenDepths: In ''Charmed Life'' Millie is introduced as Chrestomanci's plain, proper wife. She is perceived as nothing more than a motherly figure until Janet lets Cat know that Millie has magic as well. Cat shrugs this off as paranoia, but by the end of the story it's apparent that Millie is one of the most powerful magic-users in the Castle.
* InSpiteOfANail
* InconvenientSummons
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: For the Chrestomanci's home world.
* ItRunsInTheFamily: Magic, particularly enchanter-strength magic, in the Chant family. When two cousins get married, the chance of them having magical kids quadruples.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: ''The Pinhoe Egg'' is extremely guilty of this. So is ''The Magicians of Caprona''.
* MagicMirror:
** The parlor mirror through which Christopher's mother contacts Uncle Ralph
** The mirror in [[spoiler:Gwendolen/Janet's room]] has a one-way spell that allows the person who cast it to watch what goes on there.
* MaliciousMisnaming:
** "Accidentally" getting a person's name wrong, in a way that implies that he just doesn't consider them important enough to remember it properly, is one of Chrestomanci's weapons against people who annoy him.
** Janet does the same to Mr. Balsam in ''Charmed Life''. At first she's genuinely having trouble remembering his name, but when Cat corrects her she declares that he doesn't deserve to have his name got right, and thereafter makes a point of getting it wrong a different way every time she says it.
* MeaningfulName:
** "Cat" Chant.
** DreamWeaver Carol O'Neir; "oneiric" means having to do with dreams.
* ModernMayincatecEmpire: Apparently America is called Atlantis and ruled by the Incas.
* TheMultiverse: The Series of Related Worlds.
* {{Nephewism}}: A year after Cat and Gwendolen's parents die, they're sent to live with their previously-unknown cousin on... [[KissingCousins both sides of the family]]. He didn't take them in out of filial obligation, though.
* NeverTheSelvesShallMeet: Made most explicit in ''Charmed Life''.
* OfficialCouple: [[HappilyMarried Christopher and Millie]], [[BelligerentSexualTension Mordecai and Rosalie]], Rosa and Marco...
* OurDragonsAreDifferent
* PalsWithJesus:
** In ''The Lives of Christopher Chant'', a young Christopher Chant (the Chrestomanci of ''Charmed Life'') meets and befriends a young girl who is the Living Aspect of the Goddess Asheth. Fast-forward ten years and they're married.
** Conrad to Christopher, too, considering Christopher is basically a RealityWarper.
* ParentalAbandonment: Par for the course for a DWJ novel. Christopher's mother is a ControlFreak social climber and his father a {{Workaholic}} who blew all his money, both of whom, though they do love him, [[MeddlingParents want to dictate his life]] for personal gain. Cat and Gwendolen's parents are both implied to have been very kind, but they die within the first two pages.
** On the other hand, Christopher and Millie subvert this, both being very loving and attentive parents to not only their biological children, but to their growing number of adopted children and students.
** The protagonists of ''Witch Week'' are all missing at least one parent, except for Charles, whose parents sent him off to a school he hates so they wouldn't have to deal with him.
** [[spoiler: Conrad Tesdinic's]] father is dead, and his unbelievably neglectful mother lets him be manipulated by his EvilUncle who lives with them. She's fully aware that her brother is a ManipulativeBastard, but she simply doesn't care enough to take an active role in his life. It's implied she herself was manipulated, reinforced with just a hint of magic.
* ParentalSubstitute: Christopher and Millie for Cat and Janet.
* PowerLimiter[=/=]PowerNullifier: Every nine-lived enchanter has some sort of AchillesHeel. For Christopher, it's silver: being in contact with it in any way renders him completely incapable of using magic. In Cat's case, he's left handed and thus has to use it to cast magic; any magic cast with his right will either be very weak or not work at all.
* RealityWarper: Enchanters. Before receiving formal training in magic, Christopher and Cat warped reality without even realizing it.
* TheScottishTrope: Because of what happens [[CallOnMe when someone says "Chrestomanci"]], criminals go out of their way to use euphemisms to refer to him, such as "Eminent Personage".
* SoulJar: Millie's wedding band for Christopher, the matchbook for Cat.
* SustainedMisunderstanding: One of Christopher's favorite discussion tactics.
* TrueSight: Witch Sight.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: "Don't Notice" spells deliberately invoke this, and are undetectable by weaker mages.
[[/folder]]

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