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Power of Three [Paperback]

Diana Wynne Jones
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Jan 2011

This is the story of Ayna and Ceri, who both had Gifts, and of Gair, who thought he was ordinary.

Gair spent his time gazing out onto the Moor and brooding. Ayna could answer questions about the future, Ceri could find things which were lost. Gair seems to have no Gift and knew he was a disappointment to his jovial, heroic father – who is Chief. Perhaps his feelings of not fitting in was what made him so curious about these other different sorts of beings who lived on the Moor – the Giants and the Dorig. Certainly it was because he believed he was ordinary that he did his best to become wise, and to learn as much as he could abou the three great Powers of Sun, Moon and Earth. And when the crisis came, Gair found the knowledge he had gained was to help save not only his own life but those of all his people.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New Ed edition (6 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007113706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007113705
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 175,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is recognised internationally as a major writer of fantasy and in 2007 received a LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the World Fantasy Convention. She has also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (twice) and the Guardian Award for CHARMED LIFE. Her books have been translated into more than eighteen languages, and her novel HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Diana lives in Bristol with her husband, a professor of Early English literature.

Product Description


“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones spent her childhood in Essex and has been writing fantasy novels for children since 1973. With her unique combination of magic, humour and imagination, she has been enthralling children and adults with her work ever since. She won the Guardian Award in 1977 with Charmed Life, was runner-up for the Children’s Book Award in 1981, and was twice runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. She is married with three sons, and lives in Bristol with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful "Three" 18 Jan 2006
Diana Wynne-Jones's books are enjoying a much-deserved resurgence, thanks to the renewed interest in well-written juvenile fantasy. One of the latest reprinted novels is "Power of Three," a unique story about three very unusual siblings, and the Moor that is under attack.
The leader of the mound of Garholt has three children. Eldest Ayna has the Sight, and youngest Ceri has the Gift of Finding AND the Gift of Thought. The middle child, Gair, considers himself extremely ordinary, and tries to become wise and skilled to make up for his lack of extraordinary gifts. Gair isn't as ordinary as he had thought, but his secret talents lie hidden until a disaster falls.
Long ago, their uncle Orban killed a Dorig (a water-dwelling reptilian creature) for its golden collar, and the Dorig's brother laid a curse on everyone. Now the Dorig invade the mound when the chief is out on a hunt and the three kids manage to escape, taking refuge with the Giants (who are apparently ordinary human beings). They learn that they're running out of time -- the Moor will soon be turned into a lake, driving out the Giants and killing the Moung People and Dorig, unless they find a way to stop it.
"Power of Three" is in some ways a much darker book than many of Jones' others. There are more complex issues about morality and ethics. Not to mention the enviroment, and the question of what makes a person special. (Even before Gair's gift surfaces, he's considered special for his hunger for knowledge) There's murder, trickery, there are battles (not magical ones either), hostage situations and curses that affect entire populations.
Jones gives the Mound People a semi-Celtic flair; the story about how the kids' dad had to win their mom is reminiscent of old Irish legends.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
What a pure unadulterated pleasure to be re-reading The Power of Three. Last time I read it I was just eight - Thirty years later and I'm still just as impressed. Three Children borne by a wise-woman of the 'faerie' race (who consider themselves to be people) show rare gifts; not just of Magic, but of making peace and finding common ground with traditional racial enemies - what a shame that the lessons they learned can't be put to use in the World today! The novel is well written, with a thread of wry humour throughout which will please adults and children alike. I have Nephews and Nieces, and I will certainly be presenting them with this story when they are old enough to follow it, along with other childrens' classics such as the Chronicles of Narnia.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
My first exposure to DWJ was Power of Three. I LOVE this book and have given it to friends both small and not-small who love engrossing, brilliant fantasy stories.
There are people living in the moorish mounds whose existence is threatened by both Giants and Dorigs (scaly underwater-living creatures). These three races have shakily co-existed for many years, but now the Dorig are overpopulated and are driving the people from their mounds to make room for themselves. Meanwhile, Giants are preparing to flood the entire moor to increase water supplies. All of this bad luck seems tied to a curse on all three races that only the children of Gest, chief of Garholt, can fix.
Gair, the oldest son, is convinced that he's far too ordinary, unlike his brother Ceri, who has the gift of Thought, or Ayna his sister with the gift of Sight - and especially unlike his brawny, heroic father. As ordinary as his odious cousin Ondo, Gair isn't sure what he can possibly do to save his people.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just superb 18 Aug 2003
By StuartR
Now that I'm all growed up, I still remember what it was first like to read "Power of Three" (and Charmed Life) all those moons ago. It was just superb. The story is wonderful, and we can all identify with Gair who thinks he is ordinary and goes off to watch Giants and Dorig largely because he shouldn't.
I enjoyed the book so much, in fact, that I took a certain childish delight in living near Otmoor in Oxfordshire (where the book is set) for a few years. Never saw anyone, mind.
But enough of that - what are you doing reading this, just go buy the book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply wonderful 24 Nov 2001
By A Customer
from beginning to end, I wanted this book to last longer.
there's the conflict between the dorig and the giants and Gair's people. There's the complex relationships within his own family, his mother's childhood overshadowed by her big brother.
there's Gair's struggle to cope with feeling less gifted and talented than his siblings, and he also comes to realise (as all children do) that his father isn't perfect and can't fix everything after all. Oh, and he over comes generations of racism (or should that be species-ism?) too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 18 May 2011
By Rhian
I first read this when I was a kid and was a bit nervous about rereading it, I'm so glad that i did though.
First time reading it, I fell into the plot and it was all about finding what happens at the end.
But on the reread I was more interested in the (not quite) world that I was being shown. I've reread it so many times now and it's still interesting, it's more than worth buying.
(It also made me really want a collar, because they seem so vital.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super! 7 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This book was outstandingly good.I really enjoyed reading it. It is about three races of people living in very different ways on an English moor.The giants(probably us by the way they are described), the evil Dorig who live underground, and the people of Gair. When some giants plan to turn the moor in a reservoir, all three races find that they have to work together and settle their differences to stop it happening. They then find that all three races have things in common. My favourite character is gifted Ayna.To find out more about her READ THE BOOK. At first I found it hard to get into but I kept reading at it and couldn't put it down....
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jacket
Wonderful book but this jacket is just AWFUL. And the Amazon synopsis is wrong -they do NOT try to live together in harmony for most of the book!
Published 4 months ago by Chatringer
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
This book is a real page turner I could not put it down till it was finished.

Charming, captivating, and imaginative.
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of Three
I first read this book when I was 10 and loved it but lost my copy. Many, many years later I was delighted to find it for download to my Kindle and I'm re-reading it with great... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Samantha L Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, imaginative and delightful!
This is a wonderfully inventive and charming fantasy story, managing to be fast-paced and exciting, while also dealing with issues of prejudice, acceptance and morality. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rowena
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I loved this book so much i read it twice in a row. the different powers make it really fun. the three kids live with their mother and father who is the head of his clan or tribe... Read more
Published on 23 April 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure, mystery, rivalry, morality: the power of DWJ
This is another fantastic read from Diana Wynne Jones. The story focuses on the tension and rivalries between the tiny bee-farming Lymen, mysterious water-living Dorig and... Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2002 by K. Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop reading it
When you read this book for the first time, start early in the day. The first time I read it I couldn't take my eyes away from it and I ended up finishing it at 4.00am. Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2001
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