Monday, July 20, 2009

Cart and Cwidder (MG)


Jones, Diana Wynne. 1975. Cart and Cwidder. 214.

Overall, I liked this one. It was an enjoyable fantasy novel about a young boy coming-of-age and having adventures. Moril has only known one lifestyle. He's eleven (or twelve) and most of his life--for at least as far back as his memory takes him--he's lived a traveling life. His family lives in a cart--they're all minstrel performers--and they travel around and around and around performing in various villages. They're able to share news from one to the other as well as passing along personal messages from one to the other. They live in the country of Dalemark, and it's not as peaceful and free as one would hope. There's strife and division. There is no king. Just different earls or lords ruling over smaller regions. Divided into North versus South at times. In all his years, he never realized just how dangerous and unpredictable life could be. He took for granted that life would treat his family kindly. That things would stay the same. Okay, maybe they're not wealthy. Maybe they're just surviving with the barest of essentials. Maybe there are times when they're hungrier than they would like. When the money for performing isn't coming is as they'd hoped. Their lives are far from grand--or even comfortable. But there's the security of having his father nearby.

Moril begins to notice things a bit more closely when the family takes in Kialan, a young boy they've promised passage North. (Few people are allowed the freedom to travel from district to district or region to region.) And so it begins...these changes aren't necessarily happy ones. But they're life-changing, character-building ones.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

7 comments:

Sandra Stiles 9:36 AM  

This sounds so interesting, and what a beautiful cover. I guess I have another book to add to my TBR pile. Thanks.

Kailana 4:43 PM  

I am in the process of reading my way through her books. The cover of this one caught my attention. Coupled with your review I think this will be one of the next books I see if the library has.

Rhinoa 3:41 AM  

The cover is beautiful. I really enjoyed both books I have read by her and do keep meaning to dip into more of her writing. Thanks for the recommendation.

DesLily 4:52 AM  

i love the covers to her books. the artist seems to stay with the same color scheme and it works well!

Debi 7:05 AM  

Man, she's got a lot of books! I've never heard of this series, but the book sounds like one I'd really enjoy.

Sliding on the Edge 12:27 AM  

Thanks for another great review. I'm compiling my Christmas list early, thanks to you.

Zibilee 2:10 PM  

I've only read a couple of books by this author, and this wasn't among them. I did like your review though, and think I might try to pick up a copy. Thanks!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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