Chrestomanci has one dressing gown for every day of the year, including leap days. They are all fabulous.
A series of novels by Diana Wynne Jones and arguably her second most famous work(s) after Howl's Moving Castle. A set of books set in the 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:
The Magicians of Caprona
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"
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.
Aliens Speaking English: 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.
Author Tract: The Pinhoe Egg's thinly veiled Aesop about Christianity turning the Pinhoes, Farleighs and Cleeves into fanatics.
Burn the Witch!: Witch Week is set in a world where this is common, and avoiding it is a main focus of the plot.
The Butler Did It: It turns out that Mordecai Roberts was working for the Wraith for years.
Call On Me: Chrestomanci whenever his title is spoken thrice. Several times, he's in a dressing gown because he doesn't always have time to get dressed up.
The Call Put Me On Hold: Although he wasn't bothered by it in the least, certainly destiny didn't catch up with Christopher until that fateful moment when Dr. Pawson took all of his silver away, and Christopher blew the roof of the house off.
Cassandra Truth: Poor Marianne tries desperately to let people know that Gammer has gone insane and is cursing the Farleighs, but everyone either has been bespelled not to believe her, or just won't listen.
Enfant Terrible: Gwendolen was five when she started hijacking her brother's magic and put his lives into a matchbook, something that killed him. And then she was perfectly happy to let him be murdered in cold blood to break the barrier preventing travel between the worlds.
The Fair Folk: The people of Series Eleven are implied to be the inspiration behind the elves myths.
Fantasy Kitchen Sink: 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, The Fair Folk, and the sort-of Indian-ish Goddess Asheth (in The Lives of Christopher Chant), and the Classical Mythology-ish gods and goddesses in The Sage of Theare.
God in Human Form: 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 Asheth doesn't really share her powers and the Living Asheth in The Lives of Christopher Chant is an enchantress who is just that powerful on her own without realizing it.
Good Parents: Millie and Christopher. Cat and Gwendolen's parents were hinted to be this, but they died too quickly to get a good impression.
Healing Factor: The nine lives that Chrestomancis have are a form of this.
Hidden Depths: 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.
Hostage Situation: Towards the end of The Lives of Christopher Chant, Gabriel De Witt is captured by the Dright of Series Eleven. Christopher travels there to negotiate for his release.
I Choose to Stay: Janet and all the other alternate versions of Gwendolen at the end of Charmed Life.
It Runs in the Family: Magic, particularly enchanter-strength magic, in the Chant family. When two cousins get married, the chance of them having magical kids quadruples.
Jerkass: Young Christopher. So, so, so much. 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. Older Christopher, too, but it's his job to be more diplomatic about it and (if Conrad's Fate is any indication) Millie helps.
Kissing Cousins: Cat and Gwendolen's parents were both born Chants, cousins of Christopher.
Nephewism: A year after Cat and Gwendolen's parents die, they're sent to live with their previously-unknown cousin on... both sides of the family. He didn't take them in out of filial obligation, though.
Old Retainer: Discussed in The Lives of Christopher Chant; 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.
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 Reality Warper.
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.
Conrad Tesdinic's father is dead, and his unbelievably neglectful mother lets him be manipulated by his Evil Uncle who lives with them. She's fully aware that her brother is a Manipulative Bastard, 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.
Power Limiter/Power Nullifier: Every nine-lived enchanter has some sort of Achilles Heel. 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.
Servile Snarker: 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.
Soul Jar: Millie's wedding band for Christopher, the matchbook for Cat.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Amusingly subverted and parodied by The Magicians of Caprona. Marco Petrocchi and Rosa Montana successfully marry under both of their warring family's noses and live through the end.
Straw Feminist: Conrad and Anthea's mother in Conrad's Fate, 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.