Conrad's Fate
Cover Artist
Publication information
UK Release Date 2005
US Release Date 2005
Series Chrestomanci
Preceded by Witch Week
Followed by The Pinhoe Egg

Conrad Tesdinic has bad karma. Deathly bad karma. When he's old enough to leave school, he is forced to take a job at posh local mansion Stallery Manor to discover the cause before it's too late.  This is that rare thing that many never expected -- a chance to meet some of the main characters of the Chrestomanci series in that in-between state between childhood and full responsibility.


Loosely, the events in this story are that Conrad is sent off to get a job at Stallery Manor.  On the way, he and the dozens of other young people on Conrad's train who have come to apply for jobs meet a young man who jumps down from a gypsy van and comes to join them.   This is Christopher, and as it turns out, both Christopher and Conrad are hired for the one good job that was advertised; a few of the others get lower-level jobs and are led away to the gardens and the sculleries.

The two boys are sent to room together in the attics, and told they will be "improvers" -- each of them vying for the future job of valet to the new Count of Stallery.  Meanwhile they will train as footmen and learn the many skills that are part of a high-class valet position.

Conrad is trying to figure out who is responsible for his bad karma, while Christopher is trying to figure out what happened to a friend of his who seems to be lost somewhere near Stallery.  The plot circles around these two goals, and the many obstacles that stem from trying to do this while being servants, at the beck and call of practically everyone.