Book Review: The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne 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.


6 responses to “Book Review: The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones

    • I’ve read a few books by Neil Gaiman and I like what I’ve read of his. Neil and Diana were very good friends while she was alive and he always highly recommends her books.

      It is sad. I can remember how sad I was when Diana had passed. I cried.


  1. I am sorry she passed away, and am happy you got more of her writing and hope you can enjoy more books by Ursula Jones.


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