Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
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*****Cart and Cwidder

Book One of the Dalemark Quartet

by Diana Wynne Jones

Reviewed July 21, 2004.
Beech Tree Paperback Books, New York, 1995.  First published in Great Britain in 1975.  214 pages. 
Available at Sembach Library (JF JON).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #4, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Old Favorites

I’ve read many books by Diana Wynne Jones, but I think The Dalemark Quartet, the first ones I read, are still my favorites.

In Cart and Cwidder, we meet Moril, the youngest member of the family of Clennan the Singer.  Clennan’s traveling throughout the South, giving performances, bringing news, and carrying messages.  In the South, they have to be careful, since freedom of speech is not permitted, and everyone knows that freedom fighters are trying to change that.

Moril’s anxious to get to the North, though he’s not crazy about the young passenger they’ve been paid to carry there.  Then something terrible happens, and Moril’s world changes.  They may not be able to get to the North at all unless he learns how to use the big cwidder, handed down through the generations to him from the legendary Osfameron himself.

Although Moril is young, I’m calling this a book for Young Adults, because the later books do have older characters, and there are some heavy themes.  However, it’s a book that will appeal to a wide range of ages.  This time, I read it aloud to my almost-10-year-old son, and we thoroughly enjoyed it together.

Reviews of other books by Diana Wynne Jones:

Book Two in the Dalemark Quartet: Drowned Ammet
Book Three in the Dalemark Quartet:  The Spellcoats
Book Four in the Dalemark Quartet:  The Crown of Dalemark
Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin
Conrad's Fate
Unexpected Magic
The Merlin Conspiracy
Wild Robert
The Ogre Downstairs
Witch's Business

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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