Christopher Chant, also known as Chrestomanci, is a nine-lived enchanter who is a government official with the task of policing the use of magic.
His family was very rich, and he didn't often see his mother and father. When he was a small child, he used to travel to different worlds in his dreams. However, when one of the governesses heard about this, he was sent to boarding school. He made friends, however when he was hit over the head with a cricket bat, a blow that should have killed him, his father took him out of school to see a magician, though he had never been able to do any magic before.
The magician made him empty his pockets, including a silver sixpence and made him remove a silver brace. When he was asked to a do a simple lifting spell, he lifted up everything in the house.
Christopher lost the majority of his lives while spirit-traveling to other worlds. This caused a bit of a strain in the real world, where he had to lose each of those lives "properly" in a manner similar to how he'd lost them spirit-traveling, leading to a lot of strange coincidences. Christopher ends "The Lives of Christopher Chant" with three lives, including the one Millie used to travel between worlds, but which still exists and can presumably be returned to him. But in "Charmed Life" he has only two lives left.
He is hit on the head by a swinging hook on the dockside in Series Ten during a spirit journey. Christopher later discovers that it was a trap set by Gabriel de Witt and his staff in an attempt to catch the Wraith. In the real world, he is hit on the head by a cricket bat when his school friend Oneir swings it around in a circle.
Christopher loses his third life by breaking his neck falling off a disused part of Chrestomanci Castle while he is exploring.
Christopher breaks his neck falling off a high part of the Place Between while trying to get to Series Eleven. In the real world he trips over Throgmorten and breaks his neck after he falls down the grand staircase while he is leaving Gabriel's office.
His fifth life is lost when he is burnt by a dragon expressing its displeasure about dragon's blood poachers in Series Eight. In the real world, he is burnt by a fire conjuring spell that he overdoes.
Christopher kills his own life after he gives it to the Dright of Series Eleven, to prevent it from being misused.
Christopher's sixth and seventh lives are not destroyed like the others. They are extracted from him intact. The Goddess takes his sixth life from him and hides it in a temple wall so that she can travel to another world to avoid being killed, and Gabriel extracts Christopher's seventh life from him and places it in a ring to prevent Christopher from losing anymore lives. Christopher later gives this same ring to Millie as a wedding ring, knowing it would be safe there.
Role in the BooksEdit
Christopher appears in all of the Chrestomanci books. In Charmed Life, which was the first book in this series written by Diana Wynne Jones, he is an adult in the position of Chrestomanci. He becomes involved in finding and then starting to train, the only other nine-lived individual who can become qualified to become the next Chrestomanci -- young Eric (Cat) Chant. In The Lives of Christopher Chant, we meet him in his youth, when he is convinced he can do no magic, and only by losing so many of his lives while traveling to other worlds at night while presumably sleeping, does anyone learn that he started out with nine. In The Magicians of Caprona and in Witch Week, he appears when called on to help people in need, and does so in his identity as Chrestomanci. In Conrad's Fate, he shows up in Series Seven as a disgruntled 15-year-old going undercover as a lackey at a Count's manor house, trying to track down what has happened to Millie, who is lost and apparently in danger. And finally, in The Pinhoe Egg, he and Cat Chant work together to discover what's going on in the villages and woods around Chrestomanci Castle, and discover new types of magic.
Appearances in the Chrestomanci SeriesEdit
- Charmed Life
- The Lives of Christopher Chant
- Witch Week
- The Magicians of Caprona
- Mixed Magics
- The Pinhoe Egg
- He always looks vague, and apparently, the more vague he looks the more attention he is paying to you.
- His weakness is silver, which neutralizes his magic and constrains him to the truth.
- He is extremely particular about his clothing, and cares about looking right. Exceptional dressing gowns.
- His two cousins, Frank and Caroline Chant, are Cat and Gwendolen's parents.
- Unless a person is important to him, he's very liable to forget their name.