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THE DALEMARK QUARTET


The first three books can be read in any order, but the last in the sequence, Crown of Dalemark, has to be read last. You won't get a proper understanding of who the characters are and why they do what they do unless you've already read at the very least Cart and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet, but preferably all three.

The Spellcoats

Description from book
Click here for larger picture Click here for larger pictureI had not seen how they hated us till I heard them shout.  It was terrible.

Tanaqui and her family have always known they were somehow different from the other villagers.  But when the great floods come and they are driven out by the village, they begin to see the part they must play in the destiny of the land.

As Tanaqui weaves the story of their frightening journey to the sea,and the terrifying, powerful evil of the mage Kankredin, she realises the desperate need to understand the meaning of it all.  Can she fit the pieces of the puzzle together in time to halt Kankredin's destruction?



Cart and Cwidder
Click here for larger picture Click here for larger picture Click here for larger picture Click here for larger picture
Quote from Edward Blishen, Times Educational Supplement
"An exhilarating surface, and clear all the way down to equally exhilarating depths. The cart of the title belongs to a family of wandering singers, who travel through a kingdom divided into free North and oppressed South. Very swiftly we are introduced to the members of the troupe - the cheerful father, who turns out to be more than he seems; his cool reluctant wife; the elder son, with a gift for song but none for showmanship; the impulsive daughter and the younger son, who is either prodigiously talented or has no skill at all. Threading and thrumming their way through southern dangers, they pick up a mysterious young stranger bound for the North. Father is strangely slain. All sorts of relationships emerge that carry the political conflict deep into the developing characters of the children themselves. The geography is beautifully real. Terror accumulates... What different uses, one thinks, can be made of magic."

Drowned Ammet

Description from book
Click here for larger picture Click here for larger picture The Sea Festival was always quite a holiday in Holand. Nobody knew quite why the Earl had to walk in procession down to the harbour and throw in the traditional effigies, Poor Old Ammet made of plaited straw and Libby Beer made of fruit, but everyone knew that terrible ill luck would befall Holand if the figures were not cast upon the tide with the proper words. Not that the Earl was well liked. Quite the opposite. Earl Hadd was a hard man, and his two elder sons were worse. No one knew much about the third son, but it was assumed he would be just as bad. The city teemed with spies and informers, and a ruthless secret police worked ceaselessly to suppress the illicit bands of Freedom Fighters plotting against the Earl. Mitt's father had belonged to such a band and Mitt, left with his feckless cheerful mother, grew up with no alternative but to join the Free Holanders in his turn - or so he thought.

This story, like Cart and Cwidder, is laid in the country of Dalemark, rancorously divided between the united North and the quarrelling earldoms of the South - where, just occasionally, unexpected and mysterious forces of an earlier age moved to slacken the hold of tyranny.

Pix of Ammet's horses.

The Crown of Dalemark

Description from book
Click here for larger picture Click here for larger picture Mitt arrived at the top of the steps, panting, and pushed open the door.
"Oh, there you are," said the Countess. "We want you to kill someone."

Since his arrival in the North of Dalemark, Mitt has become disillusioned. The North seems no more free than the Holand he fled from, a fugitive accused of attempted murder. And now he is trapped by the order to kill someone he doesn't know or else risk the lives of his friends.

Forced once more to flee, Mitt is joined by Moril, the quietly powerful musician, and Maewen - out of her time, but mysteriously fated to play a part in their quest. For the evil powers of the mage Krankredin are re-assembling, and only the Adon's gifts - the ring, sword and crown - can once more unite Dalemark.

Fanzine article on The Green Roads.


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