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Spellcoats (Dalemark Quartet) por Diana…
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Spellcoats (Dalemark Quartet) (original 1979; edição 2003)

por Diana Wynne Jones

Séries: Dalemark Quartet (3)

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9762021,093 (3.99)1 / 53
Tanqui discovers she has the only means to conquer the evil Kankredin who threatens her own people and the Heathens who have invaded prehistoric Dalemark.
Título:Spellcoats (Dalemark Quartet)
Autores:Diana Wynne Jones
Informação:Oxford Childrens (2003), Paperback, 256 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca

Informação Sobre a Obra

The Spellcoats por Diana Wynne Jones (1979)

  1. 10
    The Crown of Dalemark por Diana Wynne Jones (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: The Spellcoats and The Crown of Dalemark provide the frame for the Dalemark Quartet.
  2. 00
    Finnikin of the Rock por Melina Marchetta (LiddyGally)
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 Name that Book: Children’s book about a spell caster4 não lido / 4Nerilka, Agosto 2012

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The Spellcoats (#3 in the Dalemark Quartet) acts as a prequel of sorts to the previous entries in the quartet although it is the third book in the series. This takes place in prehistoric Dalemark, whose later history Jones dealt with in Cart and Cwidder (1977) and Drowned Ammet (1978); but there is no evident connection except that the characters of The Spellcoats have become legendary figures in the other novels. The story, all 280 pages, is purportedly being woven, as it happens, into the coats created by young narrator Tanaqui--at first, it seems, she weaves only to record her family's adventures, but later for the inherent magic power of the woven symbols. Orphaned by a war against blond, invading Heathens, Tanaqui and her siblings (who look like the Heathens) are expelled from their village and embark on a long journey down river to an encounter with an evil enchanter out to capture their souls. The children carry with them three ancestral figures called the Undying. (For a while they also carry an ailing older brother, magically transformed into a clay figure.) They learn en route that The One, the most revered of the three figures, is the supreme river god and their own grandfather, and that their dead mother is also the river--and like Grandfather, a god and one of the figures (the Lady).

As usual with DWJ, siblings are at the center. They're not a perfect family--this would not be a book by DWJ if they were. Tanaqui gets impatient with her siblings, especially her sister Robin; Hern is a rationalist who doesn't believe in magic (unfortunate, because it seems to surround them) and Duck gets all vague whenever trouble threatens. But this is exactly what makes the story work, because it's the conflicts between them that create the conflict that drives the story. Their encounter with the evil Kankredin (a stealer of souls and weaver) is perfect because the children have to learn to overcome their conflicts if they are to survive. Tanaqui fights with her brothers and wants to shake her sister, but they all still love each other and support one another.

The main conceit of this book, as mentioned above, is that Tanaqui, a master weaver, is telling the story through weaving it into a giant "rugcoat"; those who know how can read it. DWJ's skill makes this conceit hold together, as Tanaqui tells the story as if it's all already happened (which it has) and the "coats" end and begin in places where Tanaqui would have the ability to weave. This acts as interesting yet initially confusing storytelling device but about half through the novel things start to fall in place.

It’s also easy to not realize that The Spellcoats is part of a quartet. Of the four books, it’s by far the most independent. It’s set centuries (maybe millennia) prior to the first two books in the series, and connects only in an epilogue (until the fourth book ties things together more).

I believe this book deserves multiple rereads to be fully appreciated. I plan to revisit it one day soon. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
I didn't recall a great deal about this book as this was a re-read after a long interval. It concerns a family of children, who have always been a bit "different" from the others in their village. Their mother died some years before (or at least that is what they believe) and their father plays only a minor role in the story since he and the eldest son, Gull, are drafted into the King's army to fight a war against invaders called the Heathern. Unfortunately, only Gull returns, suffering from what we would call PTSD. Meanwhile, the resemblance of the fair-haired children to the invaders has now become known, and the villagers are whipped up against them by the unpleasant headman. This necessitates a hasty departure downriver in their boat, at a time when the river is undergoing a flood, and as the story develops it becomes clear that the flood is an attack by a malevolent wizard who is part of the Heathern forces, but has his own agenda.

The story is a first person narrative told by the younger daughter, Tanaqui, who is actually weaving it into a coat. The part played by weaving as a form of magic and the mythical beings known as the Undying, who have taken the form of three household gods or idols that the children carry into exile with them, is quite fascinating. The main characters are all delineated, although the elder daughter Robin is rather a feeble person, and Tanaqui is quite often annoyed with her especially when Robin is ill. Gull has a quite minor part to play, other than his role in drawing them further towards the sea where the wizard awaits, but Hern and Mallard (known as Duck) are quite interesting characters and the family dynamic between them and their sisters is well developed.

The relationship between the Undying isn't always clear and the ending of the main story is quite abrupt, leaving the subsequent fate of the characters open to interpretation, but at least a couple must have survived to become the legendary figures they are identified with in the post script material. For that reason, I rate this as a 4 star read but very enjoyable despite the slight niggles. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
The third book in the Dalemark Quartet seems to go back in time, to tell the tale of a legendary family connected to the Old Ones. Their story tells the tale of the Heathen invasion of the land, and how they have to turn back the real invador, a powerful mage. But the mage is the main enemy in the last book in the series, so either he's really old or the book isn't meant to be historical... While I enjoyed some aspects of the story I found much of it kind of tedious since it didn't seem to connect to the other two novels. I'm going to assume that the fourth book ties everything neatly together, since Jones is not one for sloppy series. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
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.

The Spellcoats takes us deep into the history of Dalemark, before there was a kingdom to be divided. It is a story of survival and overcoming prejudice and becoming one's own savior. Treated with Jones' characteristic wit, this was my favorite of the quartet by a long shot. There were additional puzzles to solve and it was wonderful coming onto every new bit of lore Jones threw my way.

Dalemark Quartet

Next: 'The Crown of Dalemark'

Previous: 'Drowned Ammet' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 20, 2019 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Diana Wynne Jonesautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Call, GregArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Falkenstern, LisaArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Goodchild, PamelaArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sanderson, RuthArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Smith, Jos. A.Artista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Taylor, GeoffArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wyatt, DavidArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For my sister Ursula
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I want to tell of our journey down the River.
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Tanqui discovers she has the only means to conquer the evil Kankredin who threatens her own people and the Heathens who have invaded prehistoric Dalemark.

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