[DWJ] Some brief reviews

Lucy Pearson lucy.r.pearson at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 08:43:51 EST 2013


Me too! I picked up he Spellcoats in a charity shop and absolutely adored
it. I was thrilled when I got hold of the other books in the series - then
really disappointed when they turned out to be quite different. I love the
handling of Tanaqui's growing control and narrative agency through her
weaving - it's a trope that plays out again over a lot of other books, but
there's something really particularly magical about it here. In fact, it's
one of the few DWJs books where the magic feels really, well, magical to me
- in many of the others its more matter of fact.

I like the other books now, but it did take me a long time to come around
to the difference between those and the Spellcoats.

Lucy

On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 1:17 PM, Charlotte Taylor <ccwtaylor at gmail.com>wrote:

> I read  and re-read The Spellcoats as a standalone, when I was 11 or
> so, years and years before I though to wonder if DWJ wrote any books
> (I was kind of dim that way).  I remember vividly the day I walked
> into a bookstore when I was about 22 and saw the other books in the
> Dalemark Quartet---I was so so so thrilled out of my mind to find out
> more about the Spellcoats characters. So Cart and Cwidder and Drowned
> Ammet were perhaps the most crushingly disappointing books I have ever
> read in my life, and I have never re-read them.  The Crown of Dalemark
> brought me some comfort, but not enough.
>
> Charlotte
>
> On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 6:45 AM, Kyra Jucovy <arykiy at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I must say, I love *The Spellcoats* and *The Crown of Dalemark *both with
> > quite a lot of intensity.  I find them both extremely thought-provoking.
>  I
> > mostly reread *Drowned Ammett *for Navis, in all honesty. . . but if
> Navis
> > is very strongly my favorite Dalemark character, Duck/Wend is quite
> > possibly second - I find him a fascinating character and agree with
> > everyone who wants to know more about him.
> >
> > I always assumed that the godhood of Undying was very much tied to the
> > extent of people's belief in them as gods.  I don't think that being
> > Undying necessarily makes one a God - I think what was going on with Hern
> > and Mitt was that Hern was not Undying, but given that he had Undying
> > ancestry he thought he might be and tried to be cautious by not leaving
> > images of himself, because if he *had been* Undying, that could have led
> to
> > him becoming a god.  Since he wasn't Undying, this became a moot point,
> but
> > Mitt was able to learn from his example and consequently avoid becoming a
> > god, although he was clearly Undying.  I think Wend and Cennoreth were
> very
> > much gods, but, especially for Wend, they weren't believed in or
> worshipped
> > as much, so their power had faded.  Whereas Old Ammett and Libby Beer
> seem
> > to have still had quite a lot of worship in the Holy Islanders and even
> > were paid tribute by the rituals in South Dalemark, even if the Holanders
> > didn't know what they were doing, so I think that's why they had more
> > power.  They also may have been gods for a longer time?  Although I was
> > never quite sure if they were also supposed to be Tanamil and Robin?
> >
> > ---Kyra
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 4:15 AM, Otter Perry <
> ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
> >> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> We find out some of this in _The Crown of Dalemark_, which,
> >> unlike some, I like a lot.
> >>
> >> On Feb 4, 2013, at 8:46 AM, deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:
> >>
> >> > I always loved The Spellcoats most out of that whole series. I
> >> > was quite young when I read it, and just getting introduced to
> >> > the idea of metafiction, and the spellcoats themselves are such a
> >> > clear and lovely introduction, with the framing story to clarify.
> >> > Possibly the book was actually formative in my love of the
> >> > technique.
> >> >
> >> > One thing I think I left about it is how FINAL it leaves the
> >> > global tragedy at the end. You know it's coming, and then you get
> >> > the frame storytelling you that everything changed, geography and
> >> > all. But still, it's left unknown how individuals, the
> >> > individuals you have grown to love and care for through the
> >> > story, coped. Many of them we know are immortal and we meet
> >> > later, so what does actually happen to Duck and Tanaqui et al.?
> >> > How do they become, well, gods?
> >> >
> >> > -deborah
> >> >
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> >>
> >>
> >> -----
> >>
> >> War does not determine who is right;
> >> war determines who is left.
> >>
> >>
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-- 
Lucy Pearson, Lecturer in Children's Literature
Newcastle University Children's Literature Unit
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/elll/research/children/unit.htm


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