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Witch Week: 02/29/08
Witch Week is the fourth book in the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynn Jones.
This story reminds me of both the Harry Potter series (except that it predates the series by a decade) and Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
The story opens with a teacher at a boarding school finding a note that says: "someone in this class is a witch." In this alternate earth magic exists but is illegal in Britain. Fear of having an Inquisitor come to the school causes trouble for a number of the students.
Like the Shadow Children of Among the Impostors, the school has been protecting a number of witches, old and young. Under the stress of having the school under such close scrutiny causes a number of magical flare ups. Each of these events allows Jones to drop hints at the historical events that lead to the modern day situation of witches being forced into hiding and witchcraft being an automatic death sentence (by burning, of course).
To tie up the original quartet, the Chrestomanci from the first book makes an appearance to set things straight. His involvement helps to tie this alternate world to the worlds of the previous books and to create a much richer universe than the world Rowling has created for Harry Potter et al.
If you haven't read the other books in the series, it isn't necessary to start at the beginning. Each book can be read as a stand-alone volume.
I found the first two books, Charmed Life and Lives of Christopher Chant, far superior to the last two. Witch Week was good, and I didn't much care for Magicians of Caprona. I often give the first two as gifts. "
My all time favorite of the series is Christopher Chant but I did really enjoy Witch Week.I found it hard to put down and tore through it in an afternoon."
I found the first two books."
There are actually three books ahead of Witch Week."