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review 2018-07-10 01:15
The Crown of Dalemark, Dalemark Quartet #4 by Diana Wynne Jones
The Crown of Dalemark - Diana Wynne Jones

Intro: It has been seven years since the death of Diana Wynne Jones, and I've been a fan of hers since childhood, but I had never read this series before.

The Dalemark Quartet, arguably the most effective series Jones ever wrote. Jones' genius didn't lend itself to sequels. When she created a world and characters she said all that she wanted to say in that first volume. That's why many sequels often had mostly new sets of characters, if not new worlds, and often, fell flat. Dalemark is a magical kingdom divided among feuding lords, with a sharp division between those in the North and those in the South. Ideology, prejudice, and history must be overcome and its fate rests in the hands of children, sometimes scattered over centuries.

 

This is where it all comes together. Our heroes, with some disappointing behavior from a certain young lady from 'Drowned Ammet' who I expected more of frankly, come together. Mitt and Moril strike sparks as protagonists must when colliding, but there is a fresh perspective in the form of Maewen. A girl of modern Dalemark, she has been transported into, for her, the distant past, and must help unite the disparate factions of Dalemark and trust her new friends, before an ancient evil arises and changes history.

 

'Crown' effectively ties together all of the loose ends of the series, blending Mitt and Moril's stories, the distant past and even the modern coda at the end of 'Spellcoats' into a whole greater then its parts. That very effectiveness takes away some of the thrill of the book, as a reader can see where much of the plot is headed, but is still a worthy ending to the series with a strong message of forgiveness entwined in its plots.

 

Previous: The Spellcoats

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review 2018-07-10 01:01
The Spellcoats, Dalemark Quartet #3 by Diana Wynne Jones
The Spellcoats - Diana Wynne Jones

Intro: It has been seven years since the death of Diana Wynne Jones, and I've been a fan of hers since childhood, but I had never read this series before.

The Dalemark Quartet, arguably the most effective series Jones ever wrote. Jones' genius didn't lend itself to sequels. When she created a world and characters she said all that she wanted to say in that first volume. That's why many sequels often had mostly new sets of characters, if not new worlds, and often, fell flat. Dalemark is a magical kingdom divided among feuding lords, with a sharp division between those in the North and those in the South. Ideology, prejudice, and history must be overcome and its fate rests in the hands of children, sometimes scattered over centuries.

 

The Spellcoats takes us deep into the history of Dalemark, before there was a kingdom to be divided. It is a story of survival and overcoming prejudice and becoming one's own savior. Treated with Jones' characteristic wit, this was my favorite of the quartet by a long shot. There were additional puzzles to solve and it was wonderful coming onto every new bit of lore Jones threw my way.

 

Next: The Crown of Dalemark

 

Previous: Drowned Ammet

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review 2018-07-10 00:53
Drowned Ammet, Dalemark Quarter #2 by Diana Wynne Jones
Drowned Ammet - Diana Wynne Jones

Intro: It has been seven years since the death of Diana Wynne Jones, and I've been a fan of hers since childhood, but I had never read this series before.

The Dalemark Quartet, arguably the most effective series Jones ever wrote. Jones' genius didn't lend itself to sequels. When she created a world and characters she said all that she wanted to say in that first volume. That's why many sequels often had mostly new sets of characters, if not new worlds, and often, fell flat. Dalemark is a magical kingdom divided among feuding lords, with a sharp division between those in the North and those in the South. Ideology, prejudice, and history must be overcome and its fate rests in the hands of children, sometimes scattered over centuries.

'Drowned Ammet' takes us to events slightly before 'Cart and Cwidder', to a boy in a port city of the dreadful South. Mitt sees his parents crushed beneath the ruthlessness of the Southern lord's greed, and after his father dies when a member of the resistance betrays him, Mitt vows revenge. This leads him to boarding a ship with two noble children on the run and what may be two gods guiding their journey.

 

A wonderful reversal. Jones tells us in one book what to expect out of characters from a certain region, and then she turns it on its head and creates an adventure that works very well on its own.

Next: The Spellcoats

Previous: Cart and Cwidder

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review 2018-07-10 00:52
Cart and Cwidder, Dalemark Quartet #1 by Diana Wynne Jones
Cart and Cwidder - Diana Wynne Jones

It has been seven years since the death of Diana Wynne Jones, and I've been a fan of hers since childhood, but I had never read this series before.

The Dalemark Quartet, arguably the most effective series Jones ever wrote. Jones' genius didn't lend itself to sequels. When she created a world and characters she said all that she wanted to say in that first volume. That's why many sequels often had mostly new sets of characters, if not new worlds, and often, fell flat. Dalemark is a magical kingdom divided among feuding lords, with a sharp division between those in the North and those in the South. Ideology, prejudice, and history must be overcome and its fate rests in the hands of children, sometimes scattered over centuries.

'Cart and Cwidder' is the first novel of the series, and follows Moril and his siblings as they travel as musicians in their parent's cart. A journey across the treacherous South is dangerous enough without a price on their heads and being armed only with an ancestral cwidder, a musical instrument rumored to have rare powers.

This is a classic Jones novel, and I enjoyed the interplay between the young characters. It sketches out many elements of the plot that will be revealed as the story continues. In particular, the rules of magic were noteworthy, and the hints of the Undying, to be revealed further in later novels. This is a complete adventure, and can be read by itself.

Next: Drowned Ammet

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-13 06:17
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles – March Edition

 

Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 12, 2018.

 

2017

 

15195

 

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Find my review here

 

 

 

25667918

 

 

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Review here

 

16029965

 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 My review

 

 

234225

 

Dune by Frank Herbert

FirstSecondThird, and Fourth parts.

 

 

2892446

 

All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford D. Simak

The review

 

 

2016

 

668473

 

The Chameleon’s Shadow by Minette Walters

I love reading books by this author because they portray human interaction in all its forms. They bring out what most of us would prefer that it remained hidden the darkest corners of her hearts. The stories show how people are capable of kindness in the unlikeliest of situations. But they also show what we’d do when we think no one is watching. With issues like the mistreatment of transgenderschild rape, and oppression of women, these stories hit you like a sledgehammer. You realize there is nothing fictional about her fiction. This story is no different. It deals with the fragmentation of a person’s psyche after returning home from a war. War breaks something inside you, no matter which side you are on.

 

 

2015

 

6567017

 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Really fun book!

 

 

47510

 

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

I don’t remember much about this one but the fact that it makes fun of everything that has become cliché in epic fantasy.

 

 

2013

 

 

4137

 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Sedaris books are funny af.

 

 

2012

 

12993240

 

How Gods Bleed by Shane Porteous

An old review:

 

Loved this book!
the book is about people belonging to a city that is the first line of defense for humans. If the werewolves ever tried to take over the human empire, this would be where the first battle would take place. Naturally, the people living in such a place have to be extraordinary-always alert and ready to defend. Add to that a king who would do anything to ensure his people’s survival and warriors who worship him. Could it be more awesome?Yes, it can. The king not only wants to win every war, he also plans to make the werewolves fear him and his warriors. The tricks and maneuvers that the king uses to instill fear in the werewolves are just.. wow! Then there is Cada Varl- the coolest immortal you’ll ever read about. He’s the best and yet he never gloats but just goes on being his rockin’ self! And of course, the 6 Helluvan warriors (poor 7th best warrior) were just that..one helluva adventure!

 

 

13417545

 

Zombie Killa by Jason Z. Christie

I got this book for free from Making Connections to read and review:
I started the book and almost gave up right then. Not only did it start slow-but then Shaun of the Dead did too-it also had a lot of jargon and big nerdy words that I couldn’t get at all. And the first mention of Router wasn’t all that, either. Then the book picked up its pace and proved me wrong. Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, Nerds, Smart-mouthed women..the story had everything! And it was exactly the right length. The humor was just my type and despite some (okay, many) references that I didn’t get, I loved it! Zombie fans, you just can’t miss this one!

Oh, I almost forgot “F**k you, High-C!”

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