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Search tags: the-islands-of-chaldea
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review 2015-05-22 00:02
The Islands of Chaldea
The Islands of Chaldea - Ursula Jones,Diana Wynne Jones

As much as I tried to get into this book, I couldn't. I liked Aileen and Aunt Beck and all the rest of the crew and it had a nice questing atmosphere, but for some unknown reason, it didn't make much of an impression on me. Additionally, it is rather a slow go until the last 50 pages or so.

 

It oddly also didn't feel much like a DWJ book, even if I couldn't tell where Diana ended and Ursula began.

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review 2014-07-12 23:29
The Islands of Chaldea - Diana Wynne Jones
The Islands of Chaldea - Ursula Jones,Diana Wynne Jones

The Islands of Chaldea is a bittersweet little book-mostly because it is Wynne Jones' last. It was published posthumously, and it wasn't completely when it was found, and thus it had to be completed by her sister, herself a children's author. It takes place in an alternate universe Great Britain, where all the countries are separated by water-but water is not the only thing that separates them. Culture does too-and a magical barrier put up by Logra (England) ten years before. It concerns a quest involving the heir to a powerfully gifted (in magic, of course) family named Aileen, and her companions-Ivar, a prince of Skarr (her Scotland), Aunt Beck, her aunt and a powerfully gifted wise woman, and Ogo, an stranded Logran-to take down Logra's barrier. Well, originally. They also pick up passengers from the three islands they visit in the meantime (Bernica, her representation of Ireland, Gallis, her representation of Wales and Lone, maybe a representation of Orkney and the Isle of Man).

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review 2014-07-01 00:00
The Islands of Chaldea
The Islands of Chaldea - Diana Wynne Jones,Ursula Jones I absolutely loved this book. It is fanciful, dramatic, clever, and beautiful. Diana Wynne Jones' last story is a masterpiece.

Reminiscent of Clive Barker's ""Abarat"" series and J.R.R. Tolkien's ""The Hobbit"", ""The Islands of Chaldea"" is an epic fantasy quest contained within the pages of a single lovely novel. The plot moves at just the right pace: sometimes a page-turning thrill, sometimes slow and contemplative. The cast of characters is well-rounded and interesting. There is so much character development that you easily get attached to all of them, the friends and enemies alike.

What I loved about it:
Aunt Beck. That woman is the best mother ever. It doesn't even matter that she isn't Aileen's real mother. Aunt Beck is so amazing. Like, Molly Weasley-level of amazing. She is tough and smart, loving and caring, while still being obtuse and mysterious at times. Seriously, if I had one wish right now it might be to have Aunt Beck become my fairy godmother.

Aileen grows so much over the course of the story. This isn't just a book. It's not just a quest. It's Aileen actually growing up and becoming a Wise Woman, making friends and reconciling differences, overcoming challenges and finding long-lost relatives. It is Aileen coming to terms with her own maturation, her own feelings and needs. Aileen's growth is very natural and relatable, and it's one of the strongest aspects of the story.

The cute-ugly magical cat. Seriously, every fantasy book needs a magical cat. I was quite pleased to discover that ""The Islands of Chaldea"" has a magical cat, and he is incredible. And powerful. And sneaky. And clever.

Will you love it? Do you like epic fantasy? Did you love ""The Hobbit""? Have you read every ""Forgotten Realms"" book ever written, and you're looking for something different? Then, yes. Absolutely. It doesn't matter if you're 11 years old or 50, I think you'll love this fantasy coming-of-age adventure. Highly recommended for fantasy fans, teachers, and librarians.
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review 2014-05-06 11:51
The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones
The Islands of Chaldea - Diana Wynne Jones,Ursula Jones

Aileen doesn't know if she'll ever become a Wise Woman after failing her initiation. She want to the Place and nothing happened for her.

 

But soon the High King sends Aileen and her Aunt Beck on a quest to finally left the barrier that separates them and Logra. Aileens a bit suspicious of the quest, but it seems she, and her Aunt Beck, have no choice in the matter. They are to go and before Aileen knows it, she's off on an adventure.

 

"Getting to read an extra Diana Wynne Jones novel, almost finished at the time of her death, is like being given extra time with her: the wisdom, the humour and the storytelling magic were hers until the end. It's a fantastical set of islands - Caledonian, Hibernian and otherwise, and I am only grateful that she took us on this final journey." - Neil Gaiman about The Islands of Chaldea

 

When Diana Wynne Jones passed away in 2011 I was devastated. I felt as if I had lost a very close friend or family member. It was hard on me and I soon came to find out that I was not alone. All of her fans pretty much felt the same as I did.

 

But there was going to be one last book - and that was Earwig and the Witch. I had accepted that and was happy to at least get one more book from Diana Wynne Jones. And it was a good book. A very fun, but too short story.

 

And when it was announced there would be another book by Diana Wynne Jones, I was beyond excited.

 

I pre-ordered The Islands of Chaldea in December and for America the release date was April 22nd. The book came in the mail the next day after its release and I decided to wait to read it until May. This month 5 years ago I became a fan of Diana Wynne Jones and so I am celebrating this month.

 

The Islands of Chaldea was wonderfully magical and worth the wait. It had everything that I've come to know and love from Diana Wynne Jones. The story was a fun adventure with a cast of different characters. I liked Aileen instantly. She was unsure of herself, but I felt that made her more real. And Plug-Ugly, I just loved that cat.

 

I liked the other characters too. Although Aunt Beck could be a bit moody and Prince Ivar was a bit whiny. Ogo was interesting and so was the Monk, as well as the Parrot named Green Greet.

 

And all the places they visited on their quest were quite different from one another, which I thought was cool. And it was fun to see Aileen change over the course of the story, to learn more about her family and herself.

 

In every book I've ever read by Diana Wynne Jones, she creates strong female characters and Aileen was no different. She was very likable, and when they had to depend on her, she came through.

 

This book was a wonderful adventure, a very enjoyable and memorable read. And now it has become a favorite of mine.

 

And I couldn't tell where Diana's writing ends and Ursula's begins. Ursula Jones did a good job and I just want to thank her. Diana may have written most of the story, but because of her, us fans were able to get another book from our favorite author.

 

Thank you Ursula Jones. I love this book so much.

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text 2014-04-02 18:38

the islands of chaldea

 

 

Oh yes so nice whimsy - uh. I'm getting the weirdest déjà-vu vibes for some -

 

treasure planet

 

...Right, nevermind.

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