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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful "Three", 18 Jan 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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. The shapeshifting, water-dwelling Dorig are suitably mysterious and alien. Jones fills her story with atmospheric wildlands, cozy British houses and plenty of vivid descriptions.
Gair is clearly the center of this book. He's a likable kid, quiet when his rotten cousin isn't taunting him, and more thoughtful than his siblings. Ayna and Ceri are also well-done. The biggest problem is probably Gerald and Brenda. While Jones does a passable job with these two, it takes awhile to warm up to them because we don't get a lot of insight into their thoughts.
"Power of Three" is a fast-paced, well-written fantasy adventure, full of strange and mysterious creatures (and a few who are all too familiar). Like just about all of Jones' works, a treat.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read slowly - you'll wish this book would never end!, 12 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celtic Mythology for kids, with a humourous twist, 27 May 2004
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply wonderful, 24 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just superb, 18 Aug 2003
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super!, 7 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure, mystery, rivalry, morality: the power of DWJ, 5 Sep 2002
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 strangely familiar 'Giants'. It's a very character-driven story, with all Diana's usual sense of 'otherlyness' and wonder. Rather than the rip-roaring 'magic at every turn' style of the Chrestomanci series it echos more the thought-provoking and compelling atmosphere you find in Homeward Bounders. You get mystery and plot by the bucket, combined with subtle interwoven themes relating to relationships and morality... as magical as Harry Potter, but more intelligent, inventive and educational and with a uniqueness that you can never forget. I LOVED this age 11, and I still love it now age 30.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 18 May 2011
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop reading it, 29 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Power of Three (Paperback)
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. It was fascinating to wonder if Gair would ever understand his father or the stories that didn't add up about the collar with the curse. I kept turning back to make sure I hadn't missed any detail that might help me figure out the plot. I dare you to start it and guess how it ends - I don't think you ever will.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jacket, 7 Mar 2014
This review is from: Power of Three (Hardcover)
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!
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Power of Three
Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones (Paperback - 6 Jan 2011)
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