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A Sudden Wild Magic by Diana Wynne Jones

Review by Alleandra

The World
Our own Earth (or is it?) , a pocket universe called Arth and the Pentarchy. Both Arth and the Pentarchy are similar to Earth except that fantastical creatures such as centaurs Gualdians are prevalent

The Characters
On Earth, we have Mark and his wife Paulie, Gladys, Maureen, Amanda and Zillah and Zillah’s son Marcus. From Arth, there is the High Head Lawrence, Brother Edward, and 3 servicemen from the Pentarchy. They are Tod, a human, a centaur named Josh and a Gualdian named Philo. There are also the lady witches of Leathe, including Lady Merceny, and her son Harral.

The Story
The earth characters mentioned above (excluding Zillah and her 2 year old son) are all members of a legion called The Ring that monitors and controls magical activity in Britan. It seems that Mark has discovered a pirate universe that causes awful things to occur on earth (such as World War 2, Chernoble and global warming) in order to learn how earth humans fix the situation. Then they steal the ideas for themselves.

The Ring has decided to send a strike force to the universe to bring down the pirating operation. Learning that the universe is completely male, they send a crew of mostly female members.

This is the first non YA book by Diana Wynne Jones that I have tried, and I was extremely disappointed. The book mixes fantasy and some weak science fiction elements together. What is meant to be funny is just stupid. Occasionally, her wit shines through the mess of the plot, but not often enough. She is a very good writer, but his is a poor book at best.

1.5 out of 5 amulets

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