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Drowned Ammet (1977)

by Diana Wynne Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dalemark Quartet (2)

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9091520,545 (3.82)25
When his protest against the tyrannical government fails, a young boy escapes, with two other children, to the mysterious Holy Islands where they learn the identity and the power of two folk figures celebrated by their countrymen.

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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
As we follow another protagonist through South Dalemark, readers are exposed to the freedom fighting efforts of the Southern people. Clearly the crowd feeling is of discontent towards the current ruling class of Earls, but actual movement towards social change has stagnated. Wynne explores themes of social unrest through the journey of teenager Mitt. His father was a freedom fighter before he disappeared (or died), and Mitt was raised to believe in the same social values. Yet when Mitt's chance to assassinate the Earl (and to take revenge on the men who informed on his father) goes awry he falls into the company of the runaway grandchildren of the Earl. Mitt begins to question his cause, the people he knows best (or thinks he knows), and his future choices as this chance interaction broadens his horizons on their journey North. A well thought-out second book in the quartet, and clearly a precursor for an eventful future! ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Ouch. For Diana Wynne Jones to rate a 3 from me, that's rare. I liked some of it, I disliked much of it, she's a wonderful writer, but the plot and the pacing frustrated me. I'm also much more of a "let's have tea with the vicar" kind of person, and less of a "let's throw a bomb at the despot" kind of person. Rebels plotting to overthrow the ruler? Boring. And so, so much of the book was about this, and I wanted to shake the main character, and (as far as I can tell from later events) Ms. Jones wants us to want to to shake the main character, but it could have been dealt with in a single chapter, not a third of the book.

The bits from the point of view of Hildy seemed much more interesting to me, but ultimately she didn't seem to matter and her plot line faded away. The resolution was sudden, strange, and disappointing.

Really, it's only because she's such a good writer (her sentences are lively, simple, and interesting all at the same time) that this didn't descend to the 2 star level. And there are moments of joy, but they are few and far between. I read in a review this was an "early" book of hers, but it was published the same year as Charmed Life, which is a masterpiece, so I won't let her off the hook for inexperience.

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). I feel a lot of readers automatically render any book they enjoy 5, but I grade on a curve! ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 13, 2020 |
It has been seven years since the death of Diana Wynne Jones, and I've been a fan of hers since childhood, but I had never read this series before.

The Dalemark Quartet, arguably the most effective series Jones ever wrote. Jones' genius didn't lend itself to sequels. When she created a world and characters she said all that she wanted to say in that first volume. That's why many sequels often had mostly new sets of characters, if not new worlds, and often, fell flat. Dalemark is a magical kingdom divided among feuding lords, with a sharp division between those in the North and those in the South. Ideology, prejudice, and history must be overcome and its fate rests in the hands of children, sometimes scattered over centuries.

'Drowned Ammet' takes us to events slightly before 'Cart and Cwidder', to a boy in a port city of the dreadful South. Mitt sees his parents crushed beneath the ruthlessness of the Southern lord's greed, and after his father dies when a member of the resistance betrays him, Mitt vows revenge. This leads him to boarding a ship with two noble children on the run and what may be two gods guiding their journey.

A wonderful reversal. Jones tells us in one book what to expect out of characters from a certain region, and then she turns it on its head and creates an adventure that works very well on its own.

Dalemark Quartet

Next: 'The Spellcoats'

Previous: 'Cart and Cwidder' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 20, 2019 |
The myths of "Drowned Ammett" and "Libby Beer" are artfully resurrected in this tale of Freedom Fighters and evil rulers in South Dalemark. The plot is fairly convoluted; however, DWJ writes* that children make the leaps her books require much more easily than adults do. Re-reading was easier!
*Reflections on the Magic of Writing ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 21, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Call, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Jos. A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteman, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mother
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People may wonder how Mitt came to join in the Holand Sea Festival, carrying a bomb, and what he thought he was doing.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When his protest against the tyrannical government fails, a young boy escapes, with two other children, to the mysterious Holy Islands where they learn the identity and the power of two folk figures celebrated by their countrymen.

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