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The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones

Updated: Jan 7, 2022


Funny, heartfelt, and exciting, The Islands of Chaldea is a wonderful novel for

tweens. The story is of a young girl (Aileen) and her aunt who are two of the magic women who live throughout the four Islands of Chaldea. Near the start of the novel, Aileen, her Aunt, and some other misfits from their kingdom are sent out on a journey. It will be a difficult and treacherous journey, especially since somebody seems to be attempting to sabotage it.


AGE RANGE INTERMEDIATE


THEMES

Fantasy

Family

Comedy

Coming of Age

Adventure

Donkeys

Cats


OVERALL RATING 7.5/10

The Islands of Chaldea is a good story - I even think the characters are great, and I don't usually think that when it comes to middle grade fantasy! My issue with the book is the pacing and confusing details. I am sure this is due to the fact that the story was completed by Ursula Jones after her sister (Diana Wynne Jones) passed away, so I understand the reason behind the issues, but I still have to rate the book on quality instead of sympathy for the authors. Near the end, things start to be extremely fast paced, to the point where I don't even really know what happened. What should have been stretched over three chapters to create an understandable and conclusive ending was instead one chapter. This is a large flaw with the book, and it definitely brings my rating down a bit.


PROS

Exciting

Funny

Strong characters

Heartfelt

Great plot/plot ideas


CONS

Too fast paced at the end

Very hard to understand the conclusion

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