This has not been a great year for me, bookwise. There haven’t been a whole lot of books I’ve connected with or really loved, and that has made it difficult to write these reviews. Most of my reviews can be summed up as, “It didn’t suck, but neither did it rock.”
The Magicians of Caprona is in that category. It’s part of the Chrestomanci series, and I read and enjoyed the first one last month. The Chrestomanci series all take place in the same universe and may have a few overlapping characters, but you don’t need to read them in order and it’s not really one overarching story. This one (the second written, though technically the fourth in the series according to Amazon) is about a boy in Italy, Tonino, who’s part of a family of powerful magicians. They’re feuding with the other powerful magician family, the Petrocchis, in their city-state, Caprona (in this universe Italy is not a unified country but a group of small city-states and duchies). When Tonino and a Petrocchi daughter are kidnapped by a powerful enchanter, the two families have to work together to rescue them, while also trying to save Caprona from war.
The book was somewhat entertaining, but it has a huge cast of characters and I had trouble keeping them all straight. The problem was I didn’t really like the book enough to care about who was who. The puppets Punch and Judy play a large role in the plot, and let me tell you something. I hate Punch and Judy. I think they’re vile. In this book they are used in a most vile way that just made me hate them even more. The book had a couple redeeming factors–I liked Tonino, and there’s a cat who’s a total badass–I liked him too. Other than that, I could take The Magicians of Caprona, or leave it.