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*****= An all-time favorite
*****The Crown of Dalemark
Book Four of the Dalemark Quartet
by Diana Wynne Jones
Reviewed November 18, 2004.Beech Tree Books, New York, 1996. Originally published in Great Britain in 1993. 471 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF JON).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #5, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy Old Favorites
I’ve been reading The Dalemark Quartet to my ten-year-old son at bedtime, and he agrees with me that this last book is the best of them all. I like the way she has composed this series. The first book is about Moril the Singer, trying to get to the North of Dalemark. The second book is about Mitt, who is a revolutionary in the South. The third book goes back to prehistoric Dalemark, telling the tale of the Spellcoats and an ancient evil, Kankredin. The fourth book ties all of them together, bringing in characters and themes from all three of the other books.
Besides old friends from the earlier books, The Crown of Dalemark introduces Maewen, a thirteen-year-old girl of modern Dalemark. She’s sent back in time, to a time just before a new king takes over the many earldoms and unites Dalemark. She looks just like Noreth Onesdaughter, who is planning to ride the Royal Road as she turns eighteen and announce herself Queen. Noreth has disappeared, and Maewen has been sent to ride the Royal Road in her place and get the Ring, the Cup, the Sword, and the Crown. Maewen figures she will hand them over to the king she knows is coming.
Along the way, Maewen sees evidence that Kankredin is back and is interested in her. And who is the new king really supposed to be?
Here’s a wonderfully woven conclusion to an outstanding fantasy series. People will enjoy this from about ten years old all the way up to adults. This is good family reading for those who enjoy fantasy stories.
Reviews of other books by Diana Wynne Jones:
Book One in the Dalemark Quartet: Cart and Cwidder
Book Two in the Dalemark Quartet: Drowned Ammet
Book Three in the Dalemark Quartet: The Spellcoats
Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin
The Merlin Conspiracy
The Ogre Downstairs
Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All