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Drowned Ammet

(The Dalemark Quartet #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,661 ratings  ·  160 reviews
The people of Holand are bitterly crushed by the tyrannical rule of Earl Hadd, whose armies of spies, informers, secret police and cruel rent-collectors terrorise the countryside. Mitt, the son of a Free Holander, had grown up with the idea of joining the Freedom Fighters and avenging the wrongs done to his father. But when his part in the plot to assassinate the tyrant Ea ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published 2001 by Oxford University Press (first published 1977)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,661 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diana Wynne Jones doesn't make the worldbuilding too easy to follow. I remember reading in her collected non-fiction writings that she found that children made the leaps her books require much more easily than adults do. So I try to think like a child when I read her work (it sort of pleases me, the way people are often so snobby about children "not understanding" adult literature -- which I did, on some level at least, from the age of nine -- that perhaps this is something children understand b ...more
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If Cart and Cwidder had hidden depths, Drowned Ammet is all depths, and they're right out of the open. This second book in the quartet ratchets up the danger of the North/South conflict, and also brings the gods right out into the open.

Mitt is a wholly sympathetic and fascinating character, snappish and sarcastic like so many DWJ characters are, but with a well-tuned moral compass and a vivid inner life. He shares the narration with Hildy, who is decidedly less sympathetic at times, at least in
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was only going to give this book 3 stars- it's good, but I'm definitely not crazy about it, and it took me a ridiculously long time to get properly attached to any of the characters. But that ending. It's awesome, and it gets this book an extra star. ...more
katayoun Masoodi
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
and i started not really liking this and definitely not liking Mitt, and then they got together, they talked, they changed, but still not totally and still they carried alot of themselves and i loved it.
Melissa McShane
I discovered this book at the same time The Crown of Dalemark came out. Not only had I never heard of it, I didn't realize that the other two books in the series were even part of a series. Drowned Ammet is by far my favorite of the Dalemark stories. Mitt is exactly the kind of person I feel drawn to in fiction, concealing his pain even from himself, acting prickly to push people away but still hoping that someone will be his friend. There are few truly noble characters in this book, and I love ...more
Shawn Thrasher
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of DWJ's beautifully descriptive prose in all of her many books happens in Drowned Ammet when she writes of her fictional Holy Islands; she certainly made me want to not only visit but dwell in these fantasy islands. Her descriptions of sailing, ships and the ocean gave my personal favorite writer about oceans, Richard Henry Dana Jr. a run for his money as well. But what really struck me was her perfect capturing of the mind of a young terrorist. I can only guess that when DWJ was writing t ...more
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Diana Wynne Jones has a way of writing that just speaks to me perfectly. She gets inside her characters and explains them from the inside out and puts everything just the way you feel it yourself, if you could get it into words.

Her early books, such as the Dalemark Quartet, are clearly tentative ventures into the territory she would boldly explore later on, with many of her themes noticeable here: children growing themselves up with no help (and often active hindrance) from parents, people not
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
All in all, not Diana's best. ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
A rollicking adventure tale with an unlikely set of heroes, this book began with a hook that it then took a while to wend its way back around to, so the pacing felt a little weird at times. I really liked the setting, which felt like it had a fair bit of depth, despite the story skimming along over the top for most of the book.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't really understand this series. ...more
Another fantasy, this one about a boy raised to be a terrorist bomber who fails in his attempt to assassinate the tyrannical earl and ends up on the run with the earl's grandchildren.

The first 80% of this was really good for me. It was playing with the role of children in political drama. Our protagonists are all tools of adult agendas, either as a murder weapon or a bargaining chip in an arranged marriage. This is the second book in this series in which a protagonist's parents turn out to be se
Unfortunately after raving about the complexity of Diana Wynne Jones's writing, I found an example of what happens when she doesn't quite get it right. Drowned Ammet has some of the same themes that made Cart and Cwidder so much fun, but it lacks the irresistible appeal. The main problem is that DWJ is usually good at POV – and that's where most of the complexity comes from, because she has the ability to make you see through a character's eyes. But she fails to do this for some reason with ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mitt's story - what he realizes he reveals, and what he doesn't - is so well done, and so satisfying.

Something I recognized on my recent Dalemark reread (minus The Spellcoats because I don't own that one; I've never appreciated it) is that I appreciate Mitt's story much more in the context of his final arc in The Crown of Dalemark. It's such a rewarding journey, from his choices to his lack of choices to his wonderful limited point of view.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You don’t understand – can’t you think how it feels when everyone you know is scared sick all the time? You couldn’t trust people. They’d turn round and tell on you, anytime, even if it weren’t you done it, because they didn’t want to get marched off in the night themselves. That’s not how people should be.” [p. 179]

My paper copy of this novel came to me via a friend who noticed a heap of withdrawn library books in a skip and thought I might like it. Coincidentally, I had just read The Spellcoa
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this three stars because it's Diana Wynne Jones and I can't bear to give her anything less. But this book and I are not great friends. We're like those kind of friends who keep in touch only online. Occasionally.

It's kind of an interesting world, I guess? We have the typical tyrannical government, a few scattered rebellions, and an annual festival where the citizens throw dummies of a god and goddess into the ocean for luck. (The most interesting part.)

It's that old type of fantasy wh
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a lot of fun reading this one and I thought it was impressive of DWJ to trust her young readers to understand the intricacies of the characters’ flaws in relation to the politics in their world—Mitt is a freedom fighter, doing the right thing in a corrupt system for all the wrong reasons, and Hildy and Ynen are the spoiled results of their rich upbringing and toxic family dynamics. I particularly enjoyed the little custom involving Old Ammet and Libby Beer coming forward as such a central ...more
Robin Stevens
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second in the Dalemark quartet and the introduction to the very wonderful Mitt, one of my favourite characters ever (8+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Paola (A Novel Idea)
Originally posted at A Novel Idea Reviews

Rating: 4/5

Dalemark has been divided into the liberal, freed0m-loving North and the tyrannized South for time immemorial. Mitt is just another young boy caught up in the oppressive regime of the Southern Earls, who live in luxury while the people starve. His father was a member of the Free Holanders, an underground resistance force in the city of Holand, but was captured and killed when his own brothers in the resistance turned him in. Mitt feels that his
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
Ouch. For Diana Wynne Jones to rate a 3 from me, that's rare. I liked some of it, I disliked much of it, she's a wonderful writer, but the plot and the pacing frustrated me. I'm also much more of a "let's have tea with the vicar" kind of person, and less of a "let's throw a bomb at the despot" kind of person. Rebels plotting to overthrow the ruler? Boring. And so, so much of the book was about this, and I wanted to shake the main character, and (as far as I can tell from later events) Ms. Jones ...more
Julie Davis
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in the Dalemark series, this doesn't follow up Cart and Cwidder's story. Mitt was the happy son of a happy farming family. He grows up unhappy because the evil Earl Hadd's high taxes drove his family from the farm into a city tenement. His dreams of assassinating the Earl are what drive his actions. Meanwhile, two of the Earl's grandchildren, Ynen and Hildy, are also quite unhappy, albeit for different reasons. We know they will all meet up. It is just unsure how that will happen.

This boo
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastic
Just as blown away by the second of the Dalemark books as the first! This one more directly tackles issues of classism by having an impoverished protagonist and two artistocratic protagonists, and all of them are well rendered! I find myself really thinking about Mitt's character arc and how it is excellently more complicated than "rich people are people too."
My only qualm with this book is the possible application of the "magical brown people save the day" and (view spoiler)
Page turner. Couldn’t stop reading til the very end. It was written at the most perfect pace and it felt like it was Mad Max on seas. I had my own little adventure with this one. Probably by far the bigger favorite of the first two!
Sometimes, it's really tempting to drop a mountain on your father. ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-ya
I read this a couple months ago, before I read the first in the series, and at bedtime, not a good idea for a DWJ book. Intend to try again with more focus.
Ryan Laferney
Drowned Ammet is a challenging, interesting, disturbing, and very subversive children's book (which I heartily approve of). As the second book in The Dalemark Quartet, its story is jarring - especially if you didn't realize that each book focuses on a different character - and especially if you thought you were gonna read a cute children's story. DWJ isn't afraid to craft a dark tale about revenge, self-imposed exile, and the sins of our fore-bearers.

For Drowned Ammet, we are focused on Mitt. B
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This only made it to two stars because of the first and last of the quartet. I am sad to say it, but this is a Diana Wynne Jones book I don't like. You heard me. (More like read me, but that's what I mean)

I liked the part when **SPOILERS AHEAD**
they were on the Wind's Road pretty well, but before that I had just a pricking interest ... honestly, I was just reading it to find the "good part" because the sequel to Cart and Cwidder just couldn't be bad, could it?
It could. After a short time on th
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
Things I liked:
-The ending!! Mostly because it ended in a completely different spot than I expected, and then the third book jumps straight into the past, so I wonder if I'll ever see the resolution I expected. If not, all the more credit to it. I like going on unexpected journeys.
-Man, remember when reading half of the fantasy genre just began with the baseline assumption that you, a child of 9 or so, totally knew how boats worked. Say what you will about pirates of the carribean, it was one of
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thu Nguyen
It's amazing for being such a short book. The 2nd installment of the Dalemark quartet comes back in the form of DWJ's signature story about very little children. There are many familiar elements that I've read in other books of hers, such as children left to fend for themselves, betrayed by adults they love, sissy older sister and meek younger brother. But this book, through the utter confusion of little minds that are utterly naive and single-minded, explores the difficulties in dealing with gr ...more
Pomme de Terre
3.5 stars

- How is this considered people's least favourite of the books?? The first part is a lot of tense character and world build-up, yes, but the second half is so good!

- Mitt has a very satisfying character arc from impoverished child to cocky, angry revolutionary to a ... still very angry, but more thoughtful, mature adolescent.

- Reluctant friendships developing across class and political lines! Angry young children caught in a crossfire of larger political forces! That storm scene was suc
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more

Other books in the series

The Dalemark Quartet (4 books)
  • Cart and Cwidder (The Dalemark Quartet, #1)
  • The Spellcoats (The Dalemark Quartet, #3)
  • The Crown of Dalemark (The Dalemark Quartet, #4)

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