Book Review – Cart and Cwidder

First off I googled “cwidder” just to see what the definition is but the only reference that pops up is in relation to this book. Basically a cwidder is like a lute. That’s something I wanted to point out before I review this book because I had no clue when I started reading it. I googled it because I wanted to know if it was a word I’ve just never come across before and actually existed. As far as I can tell, it does not.

I was going to review this book first but I decided, instead, to review a book that surprised me, An Ember In the Ashes. As for Cart and Cwidder, I liked it but it wasn’t anything special. Cart and Cwidder was written by the late British author Diana Wynne Jones. I love Jones’ books so much I really want to try to collect them all. Jones primarily a kids author with well over 100 books. Her most popular is probably Howl’s Moving Castle which was turn into an okay movie but Studio Ghibli. Howl’s Moving Castle might just be my favorite book. Anyways, Cart and Cwidder. Cart and Cwidder is the first in a series of books first released in 1975 called The Dalemark Quartet. This book follows the journey of a young man who inherits a magical instrument that can move mountains and control people. At first he doesn’t believe that this cwidder is the same one from legends and just tries to complete his father’s final mission. But he has to understand this instrument and it’s powers if he wants to save what’s left of his family.

I rated Cart and Cwidder 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and I think that’s a fair rating. The book was good, it just wasn’t anything extraordinary. Reading it you could tell it was definitely British and definitely older and definitely a children’s book. I, however, didn’t like how it was written in 3rd person but from the POV of the youngest son and yet the narration refers to everyone, even his parents, by their names. It gets confusing, especially with the weird names like Osfameron and Barangarold and Dastgandlen Handagner and then all those long named characters have shorter nicknames. I found it confusing at times with the way it was written and the plot itself was nothing extraordinary. I love Jones, but in my opinion this was a mediocre book. It was good for what it was but it wasn’t anything special.


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