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The Crown of Dalemark (The Dalemark Quartet #4)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,854 ratings  ·  79 reviews
For centuries, Dalemark has been a land divided by the warning earldoms of the North and South. Now, with the help of the Undying, the mysterious gods of Dalemark, four extraordinary young people -- from the past, present, and future -- must join forced to reunify their beloved land.
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by HarperTrophy (first published 1993)
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Favourite Diana Wynne Jones
25th out of 39 books — 344 voters
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Community Reviews

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This is a long ‘un, folks.

Let me begin this with a confession: I am rating this book more by nostalgia than truth. It’s a horrible choice, I know. It inflates the rating and gives first-time readers a false impression. But, frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn.

I read the Dalemark Quartet when I was in my early teens, and I ADORED them with every fiber of my sheltered, book-obsessed being. I re-read them three or four times in that year alone. But oh, how the mighty have fallen! Why, OH WHY did
Finally got round to reading the last Dalemark book, and I don't regret it. It is very characteristically Diana Wynne Jones, but it's also the fourth book of a quartet, which I don't recall happening very much at all with Jones' other work -- so the gap before I read it wasn't a good idea. It took me some time to get back into it.

But when I did, I had a lot of fun. Jones' work often makes me feel a bit stupid because her characters seem to know what she's doing a lot better than I do and underst
Narrated in the first chapter by Mitt, this at first seems like a continuance of Drowned Ammet, but then it continues into Maewen's fish-out-of-water tale, which is a great way to end this series.

One of the great fun of reading series, I always think, is finding out what has become of the characters you grew to know and love in previous books. Even as I become attached to new characters -- such as Maewen (and, surprisingly, Navis, who is not new but gets more narrative time in this book) -- I li
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Huh. I said of a previous book in this series that I didn't really understand what DWJ was doing; having finished it, I'm not sure DWJ understood what DWJ was doing.

This was supposed to pull everything together. And it tried to, I think – structurally this series is supposed to be woven (like a story coat) with characters moving through time, taking each other's places, etc. etc. And it just . . . didn't. The threads swapped out too many times and I was never sure who I was supposed to be caring
YA Fantasy. When I picked this up, I was ready for Jones to show me that she did have a master plan, that here, in the last book, she would pull together all the loose threads and dish out some serious resolution, making up for the fact that each of the previous books ended about a chapter too soon.

That didn't happen.

I had to force myself to read this. It's slow and boring. The perspective is sloppy. Like the other three books, this one centers around a journey, but it's muddled. There's nothin
It's taken me ten years to get into the Dalemark Quartet enough to finish it, but here I am, finally, at the end. I really enjoyed this book but some things bothered me about it which is why I downgraded my rating to 4 stars. It's a fun and engaging read with lots of tension and twists along the way. Like most Diana Wynne Jones books, I couldn't put it down, partly because I was desperate to know who ended up as King (though I had a suspicion, which turned out to be correct). I also wanted to kn ...more
Lord help me with these DWJ endings PLEASE. I'm starting to get used to them and learning to recognize the cliff but the doesn't mean I like them at all.
Damnit. I enjoyed this. But not as much as the 3rd book, which is by far the best if the series, most likely because of the first person voice. I did enjoy seeing how all the characters from all the previous books came together along with Maewen the new arrival 200 yyears from the future.

I cant give a proper review I just cant. This style of DW
Fourteen years after The Spellcoats, Diana Wynne Jones finally ended the series with The Crown of Dalemark. She claimed it took her that long to conceptualize how she wanted to put all the pieces from the previous three standalones together, and unfortunately that struggle basically shows in the final product. For one, there’s simply too many characters to do all of them, or even most of them justice. Though thankfully Moril and Mitt remain central* to the story, it’s a bit of a case of anything ...more
Maureen E
The Crown of Dalemark really doesn't have a good cover, which is a pity.* This is the best I could do, and if I didn't know any better I would guess it was supposed to be for Cart and Cwidder. Bah.

The Crown of Dalemark is where all the disparate threads start to finally come together. Mitt, Moril, a new character named Maewen, Navis, Ynen, Kialan--all of a sudden they reappear and their stories combine.** Maewen comes from Dalemark's future, which looks suspiciously like our present. I love t
Finale volume | where past and present meet and, | maybe, all’s resolved.

Young Mitt is from South Dalemark, but when he escapes its politics and intrigues he finds that the North is equally dangerous because he is manoeuvred into an assassination attempt on a pretender to the crown of Dalemark. The plot also turns on a present-day girl, Maewen, who gets propelled into Dalemark’s past to play a role not of her own choosing, in a narrative that is reminiscent of the premise in Mark Twain’s The Pri
I knew it! It all came together in the end! Characters from all 3 previous novels returned and met up for the first time, and they all work together to unite Dalemark. This is definitely a series I would like to read again. Now that I know what happens, it would be interesting to see the clues and hints that lead up to the ending.

One thing I really liked: the glossary (appendix?) at the end. This would have been helpful to have in some of the earlier books, too, although it might have spoiled a
WELL. That was an adventure.
While I haven't managed to put my Drowned Ammet feels down in writing yet, at the close of that book Mitt was one of my least favorite protagonists. Possibly ever. (Well. Second to Holden Caulfield.) It was so terrible that when I opened Crown of Dalemark and saw his POV, I almost wrote the book off as a lost cause. BUT THEN. Maewen appears like a glorious freckled breath of fresh air. Time travel is one of my most very favorite tropes in fiction, so as soon as I real
I have to say, this wrap-up to an otherwise amazing quartet left me lukewarm. Not that it wasn't good, or even great, just that I expect more from the mostly-perfect Diana Wynne Jones. Still, I'm not disappointed I read the quartet, and I would highly recommend it. It's darker and more mature than the Chrestomanci or Moving Castle series, which pleased me as a lifelong reader of her work but it might be too much for newer (younger) fans.
Sadly, this book was just not as good as the others in the Dalemark Quartet. I found myself struggling to get through it instead of racing along in excitement. It just wasn't very exciting. I also had to keep on looking up characters and names to try to get everything straight and I'm still a little confused about which Adon married whose person, etc. As another reviewer has stated, all the books in the Dalemark Quartet feel like they were finished one chapter early. This I agree with, especiall ...more
Ties up the other three Dalemark books nicely, but brings something of its own as well. I didn't want it to end.
What I love about Diana Wynne Jones's work in general is a) though she writes primarily for children, her writing style is sophisticated enough that I still truly enjoy delving into her prose and b) there's always some new facet of the story that I didn't get before. Her plots are usually quite intricate, and it's a lot of fun figuring out the puzzle for yourself. She drops allusions to previous books and characters with just the right amount of subtlety: you get it, but it requires enough thoug ...more
Deborah O'Carroll


Excuse me while I go around in a mind-blown haze of post-Diana-Wynne-Jones-book-ness for the next few days.

You don't know the meaning of mind-blown until you've read this series and finished reading The Crown of Dalemark.

In fact I need to read them all over again.

Like now.

No one had better expect me to be coherent for some time.

I can't word.

(Only slightly more coherent review from my top-reads-of-2014-blog-post)

This is my favorite book I read in 2014.

Ohhhhhh my goodness. I CANNO
Althea Ann
In this last book, many of the elements of ‘The Spellcoats' become more clear, as it is shown that many of the characters and gods mentioned in that story have become part of Dalemark's mythology and legends – it explains why it was decided to print it there, out of chronological order!
Here, Maewen, a young girl from ‘modern' Dalemark is convinced/tricked to go 200 years back in time and impersonate a young woman who has disappeared – but who was convinced that gods spoke to her and that she was
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Originally posted at A Novel Idea Reviews

Rating: 5/5

Modern Dalemark has come a long way from the time of Tanaqui and The Spellcoats. It is now a bustling industrial nation, with north and south united for over 200 years. Maewen Singer, whose parents are divorced, is on her way to visit her father in Kernsburgh for the first time. As the train makes its way through the landscape of Dalemark, which has changed but still possesses the grandeur of ages past, Maewen has no idea what lies in store for
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]I had not realised that this is actually the fourth and final novel in a sequence of which I had read only the third, and that more than thirty years ago, so I found myself struggling a bit with events which were carried over from the previous volume. But it is certainly enjuoyable on its own, and I suspect is a good climax to the whole sequence of novels - our heroine, Maewen, is snatched two hundred years back in time to find herself pl ...more
Jones' epic quartet is concluded in this book, which brings together the past, present, and future inhabitants of Dalemark to bring about the reign of King Amil and the ultimate defeat of Kankredin. We are told the story from the perspective of Maeqin, a girl from the future who is sent back in time by Wend (of the Undying and one of the four siblings from the Spellcoats) to play the part of the girl who would unite Dalemark under one crown. It seems like an easy replacement - she does know what ...more
I loved this book. I love the characters, and even just reading the glossary I can admire this world so much. I love the characters, the plot, the world building, how this all worked out. I love all of it.

It's just the the ending (in present day) really rubs me the wrong way. It's all so sudden, and I simply wasn't satisfied. It didn't seem like a conclusion. Obviously what happens after's explained, it was just so sudden. I also don't approve of a certain relationship, because the Undying have
This book was much better than the one that preceded it. This one felt like a true Diana Wynne Jones novel. It took all the threads from the previous books and weaved them all together so cleverly. Old characters pop up in unexpected and delightful places. It almost makes me want to go back and reread the previous books so I can fully appreciate this one. I would suggest to people who are venturing to read this series to possibly read "The Spellcoats" last, instead of third, as they are publishe ...more
Jessica Reid
This book fills me with so many feelings I can't even describe it.

I read these books as a pre-teen/young teen (not sure exactly when) and this was my favourite book. I loved it so much I even made my own audio tape of it. Mitt was my favourite character of all time and he will always be in my heart.

This book ties together the world of Dalemark and brings together all the best characters. It also has time-travel, which is my favourite trope of all time.

I will always love this book and I hope that
Oct 27, 2007 Sabrina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Imaginative and well read pre-teens, early-mid teens.
Shelves: for_children
For that post-Harry, pre-something heavy and involved time.

Recommended to me by my genetics prof (who saw me finishing a Harry Potter book one day on campus). The Dalemark Quartet is more advanced reading than the Harry Potter books, but the same type of fanstasy and contains a long and interwoven story line that fully comes together in The Crown of Dalemark. Characters and items in each previous book play a main role in this last installment so the quartet must be read in order and close togeth
This serie was even better than i remembered. It is remarkable, totally amazing. It has such an amazing story and wisdom.
Once again, DWJ skilfully delineates the route from childhood to adulthood in a clever mixing of past and present in her Dalemark universe. The world-building and plotting are solid (though it's been so long since I read the other books - the first book 14 years ago and the second and third seven years ago - the I found myself floundering a little), though the ending is slightly oblique (par for the course with a lot of her works). I enjoyed this one more than I recall liking those earlier books ...more
This was by far the best book in the series.
The children started to act more like their age and not like homicidal maniacs. It still wasn't a great book and the 4 stars are barely 4 stars, but i did like how the previous three books all come together in this one. you can read the previous three in whatever order you want or read one and not the rest, but if you read this one it is nice to have read the rest first.
However if I had known what I was going to think about this books before I read the
Absolutely brilliant writing.

The ending was unexpected and perfect.

I won't say much more for fear of spoilers but... how Wynne Jones weaves magic and mystery and the everyday together is amazing.
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Diana Wynne Jones was the author of more than thirty critically acclaimed fantasy stories, including the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.

For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see
More about Diana Wynne Jones...

Other Books in the Series

The Dalemark Quartet (4 books)
  • Cart and Cwidder (The Dalemark Quartet, #1)
  • Drowned Ammet (The Dalemark Quartet, #2)
  • The Spellcoats (The Dalemark Quartet, #3)

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