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Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Fire and Hemlock (original 1985; edition 2000)

by Diana Wynne Jones (Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)

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English (38)  Finnish (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Finished this last night and my brain still aches! Even for a Diana Wynne Jones story this is incredibly convoluted, particularly the last section, and the ending still baffles me (I can see perfectly well what Polly and Tom end up doing, but am somewhat befuddled as to the whys). I did love all the talk about stories and the characters are extremely strong and vivid, even if some of the workings of the plot remain opaque. There are easier fantasy novels of Jones to start with, but this one will stay with me for a long while. ( )
1 vote bostonian71 | Jan 30, 2014 |
Rereading for the third (?) time. ( )
  tigerbuns | Jan 10, 2014 |
It will have an introduction by Garth Nix!

A bunch of Diana Wynne Jones books are being republished.


http://www.amazon.com/Dogsbody-Diana-Wynne-Jones/dp/0142420131/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331989760&sr=1-5 (read this one last year, but want this edition for sure!)


I love the style and look of the covers for the different books...
  classicmaiden | Jul 8, 2013 |
It's strange. I was sure at first that I'd read this when I was younger, and bits still chimed with me, but a lot of it felt like new discoveries. Strange parallels with the main character, here! I can't decide whether it counts as a new read or a reread. Hmm. Anyway! I just read a handful of reviews and they all mentioned the idea that when Diana Wynne Jones writes for children, magic doesn't need so much explaining as it does for adults. I think that probably is true, to some extent, but there are plenty of adults who can get on the ride too, and I did. Okay, I made my frowny face of confusion sometimes, but...

The characters are fun. I especially like Granny, I think, with the biscuity smell and the cat called Mintchoc and her matter-of-fact ways. And her sailing out to court battles, and winning them. I wanted to kick the rest of Polly's family. I do kind of wonder why there was rather a lot of emphasis on Polly's family woes, although I guess it does make it that much more realistic. Polly's a real fleshed-out sort of character, with the same kinds of worries as other kids -- nobody coming to her play, wondering whether a certain someone will show up to her sports day, wondering when she'll get a decent figure, worrying about her parents' divorce...

I definitely identified with the love of reading stuff. In case anyone wondered.

The plot is fun, too. It's based on old legends of Tam Lin/Thomas the Rhymer, etc. Makes me curious to go and pick up the other book I've got on my list about Thomas the Rhymer -- by Ellen Kushner. Hmm, maybe. Anyway, it's a legend I've always been somewhat interested in. Particularly since I heard Karine Polwart's take on it, in the form of a song, "Tongue That Cannot Lie". (Here on Spotify, lyrics here.) It's a modern take on it, really, an extension of the old legend into the present.

The main trouble with it is how much it picked up pace in the last quarter or so of the book. It lost me a couple of times, there. But I liked it overall, big grown up adult (nearly twenty omg omg omg omg omg) or not. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
I'm not a huge fan of Diana Wynne Jones, but I enjoyed this variation on the Tam Lin/ Thomas the Rhymer legends. Polly is the Janet character, and she's a pretty sympathetic lead. There's a lot of extraneous spookiness and several dangling strings left at the end. The minor nitpick that actually made me 7 kinds of crazy is the fact that the band The Doors is referred to as Doors throughout. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006447352X, Mass Market Paperback)

Polly has two sets of memories...

One is normal: school, home, friends. The other, stranger memories begin nine years ago, when she was ten and gate-crashed an odd funeral in the mansion near her grandmother's house. Polly's just beginning to recall the sometimes marvelous, sometimes frightening adventures she embarked on with Tom Lynn after that. And then she did something terrible, and everything changed.

But what did she do? Why can't she remember? Polly must uncover the secret, or her true love -- and perhaps Polly herself -- will be lost.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:45 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

At nineteen, Polly has two sets of sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting memories, the real-life ones of school days and her parents' divorce, and the heroic adventure ones that began the day she accidentally gate-crashed a funeral and met the cellist Thomas Lynn.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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