Chrestomanci Wiki

The Pinhoe Egg is a book in the Chrestomanci series.


The plot revolves around Marianne Pinhoe and Eric "Cat" Chant.

Marianne's family are witches who mostly live in Ulverscote, 10 miles from Chrestomanci Castle and do not want Chrestomanci finding out about them and preventing them using magic. The book begins with Gammer Pinhoe, Marianne's grandmother, having a terrific row with the heads of a rival witch family. Afterwards she is unable to speak coherently and the family believes her mind has gone due to old age, though Marianne believes that Gaffer Farleigh cast a spell on her. The family decides to move Gammer into the home of one of her sons and sell Woods House, the family home.

Meanwhile at Chrestomanci Castle Janet and Julia Chant have persuaded Chrestomanci that they must have a horse, whilst Roger Chant gets a new bicycle. Cat isn't interested in either of these things until he meets the horse, named Syracuse, and discovers that he has a sort of psychic connection with him. As Cat explores the countryside with his new friend he discovers that the roads are bespelled to send him back to the castle, and meets the terrifying Gaffer Farleigh who warns him off.

When Marianne returns to Woods House to look for Gammer's cat Nutcase she meets Cat as well as Jason and Irene Yeldham who are looking to buy the house. Cat notices that Marianne is easily put down by her relatives so he tells her that she has strong magic. They search for Nutcase in the attics and find a mysterious object to which Cat is strongly drawn. Marianne agrees to let him keep it. Meanwhile, Marianne's brother Joe, who has been working as a boot boy in the Castle, has made fast friends with Roger and they are trying to invent a flying machine together.

There is trouble at the Castle when Chrestomanci disappears. No one will listen to Cat when he tries to help so he goes off to find Chrestomanci by himself. On the way he meets a mysterious man with a unicorn in the woods. Chrestomanci has been trapped behind a magical barrier and it takes all of Cat's strength as well as Chrestomanci's to get free. There is trouble in Ulverscote as well, and it appears that someone has put an ill-chancing on the Pinhoes. Marianne becomes convinced that the Farleighs have done it, but only because Gammer Pinhoe has been setting terrible spells on them. She tries to tell her family but no one will believe her, and she gets into a fight with some righteously angry Farleigh girls. Then her father finds out that she gave Cat the mysterious object, which was a griffin egg, and is very angry.

Marianne flies to Chrestomanci Castle by broomstick at night to ask for Joe's help, but finds Cat instead. She tells Cat everything, and asks him to help. She also meets the griffin Klartch who hatched from the egg. Cat promises to find a way to help, but struggles to think of anything. They agree to meet at Woods House the next day. On his way Cat meets Gaffer Farleigh who is very angry about Cat getting through the misdirection spells and threatens to shoot Klartch. Cat stops him, but then Roger and Joe's flying machine appears in the sky and Gaffer Farleigh shoots at that. Cat turns Gaffer Farleigh into a stone tree and sends him away.

Cat takes Marianne to the mysterious man in the woods, who turns out to be her grandfather, Gaffer Pinhoe, who she had believed was dead. He tells them that there is a barrier keeping all the magical creatures trapped, and Cat and Marianne pull it down together.

The story ends with a battle between the Farleigh and Pinhoe families which is stopped by Chrestomanci, who was injured when Gaffer Farleigh shot at the flying machine. Chrestomanci takes away the Farleigh family magic and makes a deal with the Pinhoes that they can keep their magic if they allow his staff to study dwimmer. Marianne and Joe agree to go to Chrestomanci Castle to be educated and teach Chrestomanci about dwimmer.

Books in the Chrestomanci series
Charmed Life, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Witch Week, The Magicians of Caprona, Conrad's Fate, The Pinhoe Egg, Mixed Magics