“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
I remember reading this book 20+ years ago (zomg) as a kid. I've never really been big on magic or sorcery or fantasy (though I've read a handful of books like this over the years, and enjoy them, it's just not a genre I pursue for some reason) and this was the first book of this type I read.
I can still remember some of the imagery that certain scenes evoked in my young little brain. I'm excited to revisit these scenes to experience these scenes as an adult.
Finding this book was quite a challenge though...
....since I couldn't remember the name of the book! I could vaguely remember the cover, and I remembered a weird name for one of the main characters (turned out to be Chrestomanci), another character named Gwendolyn (who I thought was the dragon for some reason, but turns out not) and something else vaguely about a cat (who turned out to be Gwendolyn's brother Eric, nicknamed Cat). Kudos to Google for bringing me to this book based on the few clues I could remember.
I also remembered a couple of scenes. One was a castle that you had to keep in the corner of your eye to approach it. Looking directly at it caused the castle to change location. I think that's further toward the end.
The other scene I remembered, I read this morning:
"I'll show you! You wait!" she screamed. But Chrestomanci had gone out of sight around the bend in the staircase and perhaps he could not hear. Even Gwendolyn's loudest scream sounded thin and small. Cat was puzzled. What was it about this castle? He looked up at the dome where the light came in and thought that Gwendolyn's screaming ought to have echoed around it like the dickens. Instead, it made a small, high squawking. While he waited for her to get her temper back, Cat experimentally put his fingers to his mouth and whistled as hard as he could. It made a queer, blunt noise, like a squeaky boot.