The Dalemark Quartet is a series of novels by British author Diana Wynne Jones. The first novel in the series was Cart and Swidder, which was released in 1975, and went on to become a fan favorite. Set in a medieval, preindustrial, and rustic parallel universe, the series of books are in the fantasy genre.
Order of The Dalemark Quartet Series
|1||Cart and Cwidder||1975|
|4||The Crown of Dalemark||1993|
The nation state of Dalemark is divided into North and South Dalemark, both bounded by the sea to one side. The two kingdoms consist of 15 earldoms referred to as marks in the novels. The North and the South are in a constant state of tension mainly because of their different ideologies. The earls in the North have a greater respect for human rights and are more liberal as compared to the cruel and tyrannical Southern earls.
The novels follow four young people who set out to unify and protect the warring kingdoms of Dalemark from inside and outside forces. The first novel introduces the land of Dalemark that has been torn apart for centuries, by the feud between the South and the North. The mysterious gods of Dalemark finally grow tired of the infighting and take action. They commission four young men from the future, the present and the past to work together to reunify the country.
Moril, the son of Clennenson a traveling musician killed by the Southern earls, leads the group of four music maestros. Using the magical powers of the Cwidder inherited from his father, he has to learn how to harness its power to prevent the evil South from annihilating the North. What follows is a tale of magical splendor as Moril and his friends use the magical Cwidder to make mountains walk and close passes, killing the soldiers of the Southern army.
THE DALEMARK QUARTET AWARDS
The Dalemark quartet series of novels is one of Diana Wynne Jones most popular series of novels. The fourth novel in the series, The Crown of Denmark, published in 1933 won the prestigious Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for children’s fantasy.
BEST DALEMARK QUARTET BOOKS
The Crown of Dalemark: The fourth award-winning fourth novel in the series is one of the most popular in the series. Echoing the first novel in the series, the novel is set in the time of Moril of Cart and Cwidder, and the present day Dalemark, in which the novel’s protagonist Mitt lives in. Wynne Jones combines the themes and even brings back some of the characters from the first novel in the writing of this novel. Mitt, Morril, Maewen and Haddson are looking for the heir to the throne of Dalemark, which has been vacant for over 200 years. Despite their magical powers that help them find the heir fast, they cannot prevent evil forces from killing the crown princess. They are now on a quest to find a killer who wants nothing more than to ensure the kingdom never gets an heir. To make matters worse, the evil Kankredin has an agent among their group.
The Spellcoats: This is the third novel in the Dalemark Quartet series of novels, is another highly regarded novel. The novel is the story of four young siblings whose village is invaded by foreigners forcing them to flee. Fleeing down the river, they meet an evil magician, who wants to take over their souls, which he believes, will give him power over the river. They escape the magician but are soon captured by their king, who now believes that the gods that the siblings worship would help him take back the kingdom he has lost. Combining the powers they stole from the evil magician and that of the gods, they now have to make a last stand to save their country from magic and the invading forces with no guarantee of success.
Drowned Ammet: Another excellent novel in the Dalemark Quartet series of novels is the second novel, Drowned Ammet. When Mitt and his family cannot afford the high rents charged by their earl, he evicts them forcing them to move to the city. The evictees form a resistance movement, but when Mitt’s father goes missing one day while at work, Mitt believes that someone in the group sold him out. What follows is the rollercoaster ride of his quest to avenge his father’s betrayers and killers.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Many Dalemark Quartet fans also liked the “Lyra” series of novels by Patricia C. Wrede. The novels are magical fantasy novels that feature evil shadowy men seeking to destroy good magic, and girls who discover their magic powers. Many Dalemark Quartet fans also love the “Secret Country” series of novels by Pamela Dean. These novels feature five cousins whose fantasy games suddenly turn real and deadly, when they find themselves transported to the dangerous fantasy world that is all too real.