Charlotte English's Reviews > Hexwood

Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones
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Apr 11, 11

bookshelves: fantasy
Read from April 09 to 10, 2011

The events of this book are told out of sequence, and yet they are laid out in chronological order. Sounds odd? This is a decidedly odd book, in a fascinating and absorbing way.

Early in the story we meet Ann, a teenager recovering from a long illness. Bored of lying in bed, Ann adjusts her bedroom mirror so she can see the goings-on at the Hexwood Farm Estate opposite her street. And the goings-on are very strange indeed. All manner of peculiar people go in - and none of them come out. As soon as Ann is feeling better, she goes to investigate.

She finds that Hexwood is much bigger than it ought to be, and nothing there is as it appears to be either. She makes regular visits to 'Hume' (short for 'Human'), a boy who was created from blood and magic. She is also fascinated by the mysterious Mordion, a powerful but melancholy wizard whose real identity is unclear.

The events within the wood are generated by a mysterious machine known as 'the Bannus' - the best generator of role-playing games imaginable. Nobody is ever as they seem - or even who they believe themselves to be. Nothing happens quite when it ought to. But this elaborate charade is quite necessary in order to overthrow the ruthless 'Reigner' organisation, who have controlled Earth and every other world for a thousand years.

Reading this book is like doing a literary jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces are there, but it's intriguingly hard to figure out how they fit together. Plot twists and surprising revelations come thick and fast as the book nears its end. I was riveted by it and read it in a single day. Truly original and highly recommended for any reader who enjoys the strange, weird, imaginative tales with a twist of mystery.
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