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Minor Arcana

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  153 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Seven tales of fantasy, including the stories of: a child born to an ordered world, pre-ordained to spread Dissolution; a girl who so loves the sun that she will deny her humanity for all time; and a writer battling for supremacy over her computer keyboard.
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Gollancz
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Anna Hepworth
Jan 15, 2015 Anna Hepworth rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I wanted to love this book. Short stories have such potential, and Jones has such power in her writing as a general rule. But I found that these typically fell flat - that they weren't the stories that she necessarily wanted told, but that they need writing so that she could get on to the next thing. Or maybe they were the indulgences that she allowed herself between writing semi-successful populist literature.

Either way, I struggled. I struggled with most of the stories, and the very last (nov
I'm a little torn on this one. I bought this collection specifically to read "The True State of Affairs," which I was REALLY excited about because it was set in Dalemark. I was surprised to find out from the introduction that the novella was actually written in the early 70s, before the first Dalemark book. While I enjoyed the story - I think - I was also a bit nonplussed that it wasn't strictly part of the Dalemark chronology.

Anyway, "The True State of Affairs!" (view spoiler)
Zach Sparks
Jul 16, 2013 Zach Sparks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dwj, books-i-own
I had already read all of the other short stories in this collection, and I picked it up just so that I could read "The True State of Affairs." I went into it expecting something very different from what I actually found. It is set in the same world as "The Dalemark Quartet," so I thought I was going to get a story that felt adolescent with maturing overtones, since kids being thrown into adult situations like murder, theft, conspiracy, and plot seems to me to be a major theme of the series. I s ...more
Julie Davis
Jun 01, 2011 Julie Davis rated it it was ok
This is a collection of short stories and a novella. The plots and style are widely varied although all the stories are easily identifiable as being those of Diana Wynne Jones. I appreciate all of them, although I'm about halfway through and have only read one that I really liked a lot. All thus far are worth reading though.

Final: As I mentioned, some of these were fine and others didn't grab me. Par for the course for short stories. I really didn't like the novella at the end which was written
Jun 21, 2011 John rated it really liked it
120-some pages is not a short story, especially when the entire book is only 280 pages long. Also didn't think the ending of said story (The Truth of the Matter) was up to standard DWJ level, but the other short stories were great.
Jenny Burridge
Jan 04, 2013 Jenny Burridge rated it it was 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...

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