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There has been a series of books that I have been looking for, but for the life of me cannot remember the name.

In the two books I have read from the series (I believe the first two) there was a boy and his sister who were brought into the house of a great wizard, supposedly because of the girl's magic powers, but as it turned out she had been stealing his lives (of which he had 7) in order to cast magic. Later she left her world to be a princess in another world and causing all variety of problems for her other selves.

The other (I believe to be the second) had the wizard from the previous book as a child with 7 lives. He knew he had magic powers (I believe) and against his teacher's wishes (who also had seven lives). He met a cat princess who was supposed to be sacrificed to the cat gods and rescued her, though she was never to be sacrificed in the first place (they were going to use one of the cats in the temple).

I remember this was something that I had read as a teen (10-12 years ago) and really enjoyed it, but I have never been able to find the name of this series so that I could start buying them for myself. Can you all help me out?

  • Hi, Welcome to SFf.SE! Could you add or clarify when you were a teen, i.e. 5 years ago, 25 years ago? Good luck! – Möoz Feb 12 '15 at 0:24
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From Charmed Life by Dianna Wynn Jones. From Wikipedia:It features Eric "Cat" Chant and his older sister Gwendolen, a witch. The Chant parents have some magic but they drown in a boating accident in the first pages, leaving a boy who relies on a girl who needs training. The children go to live with the Chrestomanci, the most powerful wizard, for training. As Charmed Life progresses it is revealed that Cat is actually an immensely powerful enchanter with nine lives.

Unbeknownst to Cat, his sister Gwendolen constantly uses and abuses Cat's magic. He only has three lives remaining, having lost his first life when he only just survived being born, his second when Gwendolen had put his lives into a book of matches (to make them easier for her to use), the third when he drowned in the boating accident that killed his parents, the fourth when Gwendolen used it to turn his fiddle into a cat (which he kept as a pet and named Fiddle), the fifth when Gwendolen used it to take her into her new world where she reigned as queen, and the sixth when he burned a match from his 'life book' of matches in an attempt to prove that he didn't have nine lives and the matches weren't connected to him. This matchbox is his main weakness.

The second book you're referring to is probably the Lives of Christopher Chant, which details the childhood of the Chrestomanci from the first book.

  • Holy cats, thanks. That is exactly what I was looking for. I have been looking for many years. – Jake Feb 12 '15 at 0:37
  • I have them on my bookshelf! The Chrestomanci stories are great. I still need to read Howl's Moving Castle (also by DWJ). – user31178 Feb 12 '15 at 6:53
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    CreationEdge, thanks for the edit. Dianna Wynn Jones is a favorite of mine, too – KenM Feb 12 '15 at 13:40

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