on 16 September 2001
Good to see this back in print! It was a (very pleasant) surprise when I first noticed "The Crown of Dalemark"; it had been so long I assumed we'd seen the last of Dalemark after book 3, "The Spellcoats". I was very glad to be proved wrong. With the kind of authorial audacity that takes your breath away, Diana Wynne Jones picks up all the threads from the previous three - books you'd never think could be tied so closely together - and spins from them a tale that constantly defies expectations, flowing smoothly through changing moods of adventure, humour, and truthfully drawn emotion.
She not only carries on the story from the earlier books (which, by the way, are also most enjoyable), but takes it off in new and unanticipated directions. Rest assured that Jones has a good number of surprises up her proverbial sleeve. All in all, everything you could want from the conclusion to "Dalemark", and significantly more.
Oh yeah, it's marketed as a kids' book. Please don't take this seriously, as stuff like the Dalemark books is far too good for them.
on 19 September 2000
The Crown of Dalemark reunites the reader with all the characters previously encountered in Cart & Cwidder and Drowned Ammet - Mitt, Hildy, Ynen and Moril - and even manages to weave into the background some of the mystical historical elements of The Spellcoats, which would otherwise seem completely disconnected from the previous two books in the quartet. This book returns triumphantly to form - I found The Spellcoats rather disappointing - and additionally incorporates elements of a thriller, with an unfolding mystery round the book's heroine and a plot that builds to a climactic denouement. Exciting, chunky, satisfying - everything you'd want from a children's fantasy saga!
on 4 January 1999
I read this book as the fial of a four part series on Dalemark, and this is my favourite of them all. It brings to a climax the lives of such characters as Mitt, a freedom fighter from the south, and Moril, a talented young travelling singer. This is complicated by the arrival of Maewen a girl sent from the future to take the place of the prophesised queen. As Dalemark moves towards an uprise, all the characters lives are turned upside down by the all-powerful god 'The One' and his evil counterpart Kankredin.
I have been reading and re-reading this book for years and although it is possibly too childish, it does not only interest the very young. An all-time great, with an ending which leaves you begging for more.
on 14 November 2001
The crown of Dalemark is a very good book in it all the characters of the previos three books are brought together with many intresting additions and twists, do not be detterred when the begining starts in some modern world instead of the ancient world the other books are set in it does all make sence in the end and i would reccomend it to any one above the age of twelve. i thought it was a good book because of the fast moving storyline and unsuspected events.