aryllian: (Default)
[personal profile] aryllian
I never liked this book when I was a kid reading Diana Wynne Jones. I disliked Mitt, which pretty much made the book unpleasant reading for me. (I also didn't really appreciate The Homeward Bounders, which I felt had a similar hero who I disliked for similar reasons.)

It's hard to articulate why I disliked these characters, but I think it has to do with them being thoughtless.

Of course, that was a long time ago, and the last time I reread The Homeward Bounders, I liked it quite a bit. So I had hopes for Drowned Ammet...

And I did actually enjoy the pure simplicity of revolution for kids (that is, written for kids, though in a way it reminds me of Avatar: The Last Airbender in the way it approaches its audience: i.e. simplified in plot and presentation to some degree, but not holding back on the places where human nature is ugly...though perhaps kids would not have the imagination to fill out some of the more glancing references in the way that an adult might), and the part with Mitt and his father was nice character plotting...

But the action plot doesn't come to a conclusion, IMO.

The character plots (Mitt and Hildrida) both come to points of decision, which are lampshaded by them being asked questions by gods and then having to act in ways that are consistent with the decisions that they make.

I can't even quite figure out what the action plot is, though it surely has to do with Mitt the revolutionary. I mean, the book begins talking about Mitt and gunpowder... Does the story stop at the point where Mitt quits being a revolutionary, at the point where Mitt stops being an enemy?

And he saves the other characters from going back to that should be a resolution, I guess? But they never get to the north, and there's all this talk of coming back to the Holy Islands, which gives the book a very unfinished feel. I can't remember if this stuff gets resolved in the fourth book, but the third book plays more with the idea of gods (and also has a ... well, it's not an unfinished ending, but it doesn't really get resolved in a way that satisfies me either. It feels like a just so story about some fact I didn't know in the first place.)

I think what doesn't satisfy me is that most stories let you have some kind of glimpse of what happens after, and neither of these middle Dalemark books give me the glimpse that I was looking for in order to consider things settled.

I can't really say they don't give a glimpse at all, it's just not the one I want.

Or possibly, even though the individual books are mostly stand-alone, Dalemark really needs to be read as a series?


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