Witch Week is a children's fantasy novel and school story by the British writer Diana Wynne Jones, published by Macmillan Children's Books in 1982. It was the third published of seven Chrestomanci books. Witch Week is set during the last four days of October 1981 at Larwood House, a boarding school in southern England, in a world parallel and close to ours. Many people have magical powers but their use is a capital crime and convicted witches are burnt to death; the story begins with a teacher's discovery of an ambiguous note and dilemma whether to take it as a joke. "The note said: SOMEONE IN THIS CLASS IS A WITCH." The Chrestomanci books are collectively named after a powerful enchanter and British government official in a world parallel to ours, who supervises the use of magic —or the Chrestomanci, a British government office that requires a powerful enchanter and is responsible for supervising. Witch Week is set in the late 20th century during the tenure of Christopher Chant, the Chrestomanci in five of the seven books and is called Chrestomanci as a personal name.
The Chrestomanci is unique to what it calls "World 12A", the primary setting for the series and entire setting for some stories. There are other worlds with British governments all of series 12 or more. Our world is 12B, a next-door neighbour in some sense, Witch Week is set in one, closer to ours; the Chrestomanci does not know this one. Witch Week is set in an alternative modern-day Great Britain, identical to our world except for the presence of witchcraft. Despite witches being common, witchcraft is illegal and punishable by death by burning, policed by a modern-day Inquisition. At Larwood House, a boarding school where many of the children of executed witches are sent, a note claiming "Someone in this class is a witch" is found by a teacher; this launches an internal investigation of the more unpopular students at the school, who are coming to terms with the fact that they are witches. Mayhem ensues as magic is used to make birds appear in the classroom, to rain shoes, to curse a classmate into having his words always be true, other pranks.
When the magic gets out of control, one of the students runs away, leaving notes that blame the witch for controlling him. The headmistress of the school calls in an Inquisitor to find the missing student and locate the source of the trouble. Four more of the students flee the school and two seek help from an "underground railroad" system, known to save witches by sending them to a world where they are not persecuted. Instead they are given a spell to summon unknown help and all five students converge where they are able to use it, summoning the enchanter Chrestomanci, he and the children conclude. They work to merge their history, thus their world, with ours, it turns out that most of the schoolchildren are witches and all must lose any such powers by revising history in that way. One of the major themes in the story is overcoming prejudice. Like many other books by Jones, Witch Week encourages readers to think for themselves and seek to make a positive change in the world. Larwood House may be a reference to Lowood School from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, although in Witch Week the miserable conditions of the school are used for comic effect.
In every version of the book published, the class the story focuses on has a different name, according to the age group the publishers were aiming the book at the time. For instance: The current UK edition calls the class 3Y, which suggests they are in the third year of secondary school and therefore around thirteen. Another British edition, published by Collins in 2000, calls it 2Y, which suggests that they are in the second year of secondary school and therefore around twelve; the current US edition calls it 6B, which implies the children are in the sixth grade and therefore about eleven. Early in 1992 the science fiction writer Orson Scott Card reviewed reissues of several Diana Wynne Jones novels, he wrote concerning Witch Week: Thus it is that underneath what seems to be rather low comedy—brooms that demand to be taken riding by witches. Children need powerful adult intervention to help them get control of their powers and keep their powers from taking control of them. Instead of using them for immediate self-gratification, the children instead have to create and respect certain limits to avoid destroying themselves and others.
Not that anyone says such a thing outright. Rather the stories are that lesson, learned over and over again, yet with such humor and extravagant imagination and devastating satire that few readers will imagine that they are being civilised as they read. Witch Week was named a School Library Journal Book of the Year. Boarding schools in fiction Harry Potter influences and analogues Citations Diana Wynne Jones at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
The Spellcoats is the third published novel in Diana Wynne Jones's series Dalemark Quartet, but chronologically the first. The story takes place several thousand years before Drowned Ammet; the time period is referred to as "prehistoric Dalemark" because by the time of the other books, only legends remain from this time. The people of prehistoric Dalemark do not have a written language, but some know how to write by weaving in a language of runes using yarn of many colours and textures. Tanaqui, the narrator, is a young woman living in a small town called Shelling, which lies beside the Great River, she and her four siblings look different from the rest of the townsfolk, instead of worshiping the River, their family has three idols—the so-called Undying. When the country is invaded by the Heathens who look like them and her siblings flee to avoid being killed by the people of their own village. Tanaqui's narration in The Spellcoats is not her diary, nor is it being "told" as many stories are.
Rather, Tanaqui is weaving the story into a pair of "spellcoats". The first spellcoat tells of. First, they encounter the mysterious magician Tanamil the Heathen king Kars Adon, at the sea, the evil mage Kankredin, whose aim is to take over the power of the river by taking over the five children's souls. In the middle of this Gull was bound like the One and the Lady; the second spellcoat tells how, after their escape from Kankredin, the five siblings are captured by their own King, "the king of the natives" who has lost his kingdom and is drifting with the remains of his army trying to avoid the Heathens. The King keeps the children in his company because he needs one of the children's idols—the powerful One—to assist him in his pursuits; as Tanaqui continues to weave during her travel upriver with the King, she realises that the spellcoats that Kankredin and his mages wore gave them the powers that were woven into their spellcoats. She becomes convinced that the words woven into her spellcoats will have the power to defeat Kankredin.
Realizing that Tanaqui is the only one able to stop Kankredin and his mages with her weaving, her elder brother Hern convinces the combined forces of their own people and the Heathens to make a stand at the headwaters of the Great River, hold off Kankredin while Tanaqui completes her second spellcoat. Tanaqui weaves frantically to catch up to her "present," and she completes her spellcoat with a waking vision she experiences. In this vision, their eldest family idol called The One rises up, crushes Kankredin, shakes the land into a new shape. We do not find out from Tanaqui's narration if she succeeds or fails, because she must finish the spellcoat and put it on the idol before the spellcoat's woven spell can take effect. In an epilogue written by Elthorar Ansdaughter, Keeper of Antiquities, we learn that the spellcoats were discovered hundreds of years during the approximate time period of Drowned Ammet and Cart and Cwidder, in the mountains of North Dalemark near Hannart. Elthorar notes the close correspondence between various figures in the stories and their apparent counterparts in the legends and folktales of the people of Dalemark.
She tries and fails to determine the places described, leading the reader to conclude that Tanaqui's vision came to pass, Kankredin was defeated, The One reshaped the land. Like the other three novels of the Dalemark Quartet, The Spellcoats is a story about a physical journey, during which revelations occur; as in the other three books, the presence of magic is not apparent at its beginning, but creeps into the story. The five sons and daughters of Closti the Clam and raised in the village of Shelling across the River. Although their father never left Shelling, his children look like the heathens with their blond hair. Gull – The second eldest of Closti the Clam's five children, he is the only one to return. When he comes home from war, his mind has deteriorated and his siblings must look after him. In actuality, he isn't crazy, but caught in a spell by the mage Kankredin, who wants to use Gull's soul to reach the One. Robin – Tanaqui's sister, eldest of the five, she is married against her will to the King.
This puts her younger brother Hern in a straight line of succession to the King. Hern – Tanaqui's older brother, Hern is "reasonable" and resists admitting that magic exists, he becomes great friends with Kars Adon, who names Hern his heir, he inherits the crowns of both the heathens and the native people when their two kings are killed in an act of treachery. He thus becomes King Hern, the first recorded king of Dalemark, mentioned in other volumes of the Dalemark Quartet. Tanaqui – The narrator, whose name means "rushes" if woven as one word and "younger sister" if woven as two, she is the weaver and one of the Undying, the witch Cennoreth who appears in The Crown of Dalemark. Mallard -- Called by the youngest of the five siblings. Coached by Tanamil, he becomes a mage. Like Tanaqui, he appears in The Crown of Dalemark. Blonde, bushy-haired, dark-skinned foreigners invading Dalemark. Kars Adon – The crippled young king of the heathens, he and Hern strike up a friendship built upon mutual respect.
Upon his death, Kars Adon bequeaths his kingdom to Tanaqui's elder broth
Drowned Ammet is a fantasy novel for young adults by British author Diana Wynne Jones. It is the second book in the series Dalemark Quartet; the book begins with the birth of Alhammit Alhammitson, or Mitt, in South Dalemark, near a seaport called Holand. When Mitt is a young child, his family are evicted from their farm when the rent is doubled by Earl Hadd, the cruel and tyrannical ruler of South Dalemark; the entire family is forced to move to an unpleasant tenement in the city of Holand, where Mitt's father joins the Free Holanders, a resistance against Earl Hadd. However, after a raid on a warehouse which goes fatally wrong, Mitt's father disappears, most killed by the soldiers. Mitt and his mother Milda are convinced that three of the elder Free Holanders, Siriol and Ham, betrayed the younger members to the Earls soldiers because they were scared of the consequences of raiding the warehouse. Mitt is determined to take revenge on them for causing his father's death, to do this, he joins the Free Holanders, hoping to bring them down from within.
He ends up working on a fishing boat with Siriol out of Holand harbor. Milda, marries Hobin, a well-off gunsmith. Mitt plans to take revenge on the Free Holanders by assassinating Earl Hadd with a homemade bomb during the annual Sea Festival letting himself be caught and, in turn, betraying the Free Holanders. Mitt's attempt fails miserably, when the Earl's youngest son, kicks away the bomb that Mitt planted at the Earl's feet, but the Earl is killed anyway by a sniper with a long-range gun, shooting from one of the many boats in the harbor. Watching the festival are Navis's children and Hildrida. Hildy is furious with her father, since he had allowed her to be betrothed to Lithar, Lord of the Holy Islands, whom she has never met. After the assassination, she asks the new Earl, Harl, to break off her engagement. To get back at them and Ynen decide to make it look as if they'd run away and gone for a sail on her new boat, the Wind's Road. Having been seen and recognized during the Earl's assassination, Mitt is forced to flee for his life.
He hides on a magnificent boat—the same one that Ynen and Hildy are running away on. They take the ship out of Holand harbor, with Mitt stowing away beneath deck, when they are sufficiently far out to sea, Mitt shows himself, demands that they take him to the North, where he can hide from the Earl's soldiers. Although the two are uncooperative, Mitt does his best to convince them that he is a rough, tough freedom fighter who will shoot them if he gets the chance. On the way North the three find, floating in the sea, the wheat figure of Poor Old Ammet, thrown in the sea during the Festival; this is considered good luck, so they take him on board, lashing him to the prow as a figurehead. As well as this, Mitt has a small wax figure of Poor Old Ammet's consort, Libby Beer, which they attach to the stern; that night they weather a dreadful autumn storm with the help the two demigods, Poor Old Ammet and Libby Beer. After the storm has passed, they come with one sailor aboard. After a few hours in the man's company, Mitt realizes that not only is the sailor the man who shot Earl Hadd from the harbor, he is Mitt's own long-lost father, Al.
Mitt's father, who turns out to be the actual betrayer of the Freedom Fighters and a bad person, forces them to take him to the Holy Islands. He plans to deliver Hildy to her would-be fiance, the Lord of the Holy Islands, the man she ran away from home to avoid marrying. Hildy is determined to stop this. Upon being told the name of the Wind's Road, the Holy Islanders say that a great one "will come on the wind's road with a great one before him and behind." Hildy and Ynen are taken prisoner, but Al forces Lithar, a childish imbecile, to have Mitt killed. The Holy Islanders refuse to harm him, so they maroon him on the uninhabited Holy Island. Hildy, meets with Libby Beer herself. Libby tells her. Hildy reluctantly agrees. On Holy Island, Mitt learns their secret names; when invoked in dire danger, the secret names produce cataclysmic effects that explain the folk names by which the two demigods are called on Holy Islands: the Earth Shaker for Poor Old Ammet and She Who Raised the Islands for Libby Beer.
Meanwhile and Ynen are re-united with Navis, who tells them that they were lucky to escape Holand alive, as Harl had been planning to kill them. Al is taking Navis back to Holand to be killed by Harl when Mitt arrives, he invokes the greater name of Libby Beer. Al is killed; the Holy Islanders send them off again on Wind's Road to go North. Before leaving, Mitt promises Poor Old Ammet that he will return to Holy Islands as a friend, not as a conqueror. Mitt Alhamittsson: A young boy who styles himself a Freedom Fighter, a murderer, a fugitive from the law. Hildrida Navissdaughter: Granddaughter of Earl Hadd, betrothed at the age of nine to the Lord of Holy Islands as a political alliance, her temper tantrums are a force of nature. Ynen Navisson: Grandson of Earl Hadd, an ardent boat lover and sailor. Ynen is the only one of Hadd's grandchildren, genuinely nice. Navis Haddsson: The third and youngest son of Earl Hadd and the father of Ynen and Hildrida. Unlike his brothers, he isn't cruel. Earl Hadd: The cruel and tyrannical earl of Holand, Hadd is wealthy and grows wealthier still from hi
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, graphic novels and video games. Fantasy is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes though these genres overlap. In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form. In its broadest sense, fantasy consists of works by many writers, artists and musicians from ancient myths and legends to many recent and popular works. Most fantasy uses other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these worlds. An identifying trait of fantasy is the author's reliance on imagination to create narrative elements that do not have to rely on history or nature to be coherent; this differs from realistic fiction in that realistic fiction has to attend to the history and natural laws of reality, where fantasy does not.
An author applies his or her imagination to come up with characters and settings that are impossible in reality. Many fantasy authors use real-world mythology as inspiration. For instance, a narrative that takes place in an imagined town in the northeastern United States could be considered realistic fiction as long as the plot and characters are consistent with the history of a region and the natural characteristics that someone, to the northeastern United States expects. Fantasy has been compared to science fiction and horror because they are the major categories of speculative fiction. Fantasy is distinguished from science fiction by the plausibility of the narrative elements. A science fiction narrative is unlikely, though possible through logical scientific or technological extrapolation, where fantasy narratives do not need to be scientifically possible. Authors have to rely on the readers' suspension of disbelief, an acceptance of the unbelievable or impossible for the sake of enjoyment, in order to write effective fantasies.
Despite both genres' heavy reliance on the supernatural and horror are distinguishable. Horror evokes fear through the protagonists' weaknesses or inability to deal with the antagonists. Elements of the supernatural and the fantastic were a part of literature from its beginning. Fantasy elements occur throughout the ancient Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh; the ancient Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Eliš, in which the god Marduk slays the goddess Tiamat, contains the theme of a cosmic battle between good and evil, characteristic of the modern fantasy genre. Genres of romantic and fantasy literature existed in ancient Egypt; the Tales of the Court of King Khufu, preserved in the Westcar Papyrus and was written in the middle of the second half of the eighteenth century BC, preserves a mixture of stories with elements of historical fiction and satire. Egyptian funerary texts preserve mythological tales, the most significant of which are the myths of Osiris and his son Horus. Folk tales with fantastic elements intended for adults were a major genre of ancient Greek literature.
The comedies of Aristophanes are filled with fantastic elements his play The Birds, in which an Athenian man builds a city in the clouds with the birds and challenges Zeus's authority. Ovid's Metamorphoses and Apuleius's The Golden Ass are both works that influenced the development of the fantasy genre by taking mythic elements and weaving them into personal accounts. Both works involve complex narratives in which humans beings are transformed into animals or inanimate objects. Platonic teachings and early Christian theology are major influences on the modern fantasy genre. Plato used allegories to convey many of his teachings, early Christian writers interpreted both the Old and New Testaments as employing parables to relay spiritual truths; this ability to find meaning in a story, not true became the foundation that allowed the modern fantasy genre to develop. The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, a compilation of many ancient and medieval folk tales.
Various characters from this epic have become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin and Ali Baba. Hindu mythology was an evolution of the earlier Vedic mythology and had many more fantastical stories and characters in the Indian epics; the Panchatantra, for example, used various animal fables and magical tales to illustrate the central Indian principles of political science. Chinese traditions have been influential in the vein of fantasy known as Chinoiserie, including such writers as Ernest Bramah and Barry Hughart. Beowulf is among the best known of the Nordic tales in the English speaking world, has had deep influence on the fantasy genre. Norse mythology, as found in the Elder Edda and the Younger Edda, includes such figures as Odin and his fellow Aesir, dwarves, elves and giants; these elements have been directly imported into various fantasy works. The separate folklore of Ireland and Scotland has sometimes been us
Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader. Children's literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed; the development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. After printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were created for adults and adapted for a younger audience. Since the fifteenth century much literature has been aimed at children with a moral or religious message; the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature", because many classic children's books were published then. There is no single or used definition of children's literature, it can be broadly defined as anything that children read or more defined as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or drama intended for and used by children and young people.
One writer on children's literature defines it as "all books written for children, excluding works such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, non-fiction works that are not intended to be read from front to back, such as dictionaries and other reference materials". However, others would argue that comics should be included: "Children's Literature studies has traditionally treated comics fitfully and superficially despite the importance of comics as a global phenomenon associated with children"; the International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature notes that "the boundaries of genre... are not fixed but blurred". Sometimes, no agreement can be reached about whether a given work is best categorized as literature for adults or children; some works defy easy categorization. J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series was written and marketed for young adults, but it is popular among adults; the series' extreme popularity led The New York Times to create a separate best-seller list for children's books.
Despite the widespread association of children's literature with picture books, spoken narratives existed before printing, the root of many children's tales go back to ancient storytellers. Seth Lerer, in the opening of Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter, says, "This book presents a history of what children have heard and read... The history I write of is a history of reception." Early children's literature consisted of spoken stories and poems that were used to educate and entertain children. It was only in the eighteenth century, with the development of the concept of childhood, that a separate genre of children's literature began to emerge, with its own divisions and canon; the earliest of these books were educational books, books on conduct, simple ABCs—often decorated with animals and anthropomorphic letters. In 1962, French historian Philippe Ariès argues in his book Centuries of Childhood that the modern concept of childhood only emerged in recent times.
He explains that children were in the past not considered as different from adults and were not given different treatment. As evidence for this position, he notes that, apart from instructional and didactic texts for children written by clerics like the Venerable Bede and Ælfric of Eynsham, there was a lack of any genuine literature aimed at children before the 18th century. Other scholars have qualified this viewpoint by noting that there was a literature designed to convey the values and information necessary for children within their cultures, such as the Play of Daniel from the 12th century. Pre-modern children's literature, tended to be of a didactic and moralistic nature, with the purpose of conveying conduct-related and religious lessons. During the 17th century, the concept of childhood began to emerge in Europe. Adults saw children as separate beings, innocent and in need of protection and training by the adults around them; the English philosopher John Locke developed his theory of the tabula rasa in his 1690 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
In Locke's philosophy, tabula rasa was the theory that the mind is at birth a "blank slate" without rules for processing data, that data is added and rules for processing are formed by one's sensory experiences. A corollary of this doctrine was that the mind of the child was born blank and that it was the duty of the parents to imbue the child with correct notions. Locke himself emphasized the importance of providing children with "easy pleasant books" to develop their minds rather than using force to compel them, he suggested that picture books be created for children. In the nineteenth century, a few children's titles became famous as classroom reading texts. Among these were the fables of Aesop and Jean de la Fontaine and Charles Perraults's 1697 Tales of Mother Goose; the popularity of these texts led to the creation of a number of nineteenth-century fantasy and fairy tales for children which featured magic objects and talking animals. Another influence on this shift in attitudes came from Puritanism, which stressed the importance of individual salvation.
Puritans were concerned with the spiritual welfare of their children, there was a large growth in the publication of "good godly books" aimed squarely at children. Some of the most popular works were by James Janeway, but the most enduring book from this movement, still read toda
Power of Three (novel)
Power of Three is a 1976 fantasy children's novel by Diana Wynne Jones. The novel, a bildungsroman for the adolescent character Gair, discusses the relationship among three different races in a manner that can be read as a parable of race relations in humans; the story begins when two Lyman siblings and Adara, accidentally revert a shapeshifted bird on an English moor back into a small Dorig. The Dorig is holding an exquisitely moulded collar, which in Lyman and Dorig culture are used to store protective magic; when Orban tries to take the collar, the Dorig says he is the son of the Dorig king, will curse the collar before giving it up. Orban kills the Dorig and takes the collar anyway, as the Dorig dies he binds a curse to the collar by the three Powers – the Old Power, the Middle Power and the New Power. Orban grows up to be chief of the Otmound mound. Adara marries Gest, chief of the Garholt mound, has three children: Ayna and Ceri. At a young age and Ceri discover they have powerful magical talents called "Gifts" – Ayna has precognition, Ceri can find anything when asked.
Gair, the middle child, becomes gloomy when he fails to develop a Gift. When Gair is twelve, the Dorig – at war with the Lyman since Orban killed the prince – flood the Otmound mound; the Otmounders move into the Garholt mound, bringing with them bad luck which gets worse. Ayna and Gair are exploring the moors one day when they come across two young Giants, whom the siblings follow back to their house; when they are discovered, a cultural exchange takes place. The Giants inform them; the siblings, the Giants, two Dorigs must work together to stop the Moor from being destroyed. The bad luck is found to be emanating from the collar Orban had stolen from the Dorig prince, still cursed; the three races can deactivate it not at all. It turns out, his fame grew throughout the Moor and was known for his magnificent collar, of the finest Dorig work. He was known to have the rarest Gift of all, and, the Gift of Sight Unasked. Three different species live on the Moor: Lymen live in villages inside huge, hollow mounds.
They are at war with the Dorig. They operate their magic/technology with Words, they are warlike and like hunting, but they will not kill unless they have to. A few have special attributes called Gifts, their clothes are the colour of the Moor, so they can camouflage with the long grasses and trees. They look like humans, but are a little smaller and have almond-shaped eyes which are the same colour as a human's, their Power comes from the Middle Power. Dorig live in halls under water, they have working pumps. They, fear the Giants and they are at war with the Lymen; the Dorig have only the barest minimum of knowledge about Words and do not seem to have Gifts, but can shapeshift. They are not reluctant to kill, their real clothes are soft, made of fish-skins that are prepared to shift shape along with the Dorig, wearing them. When Dorig come to the surface, they don a hard, scaly armour that covers them head to foot and shifts shape along with them, they are as tall as Lymen pale with a greenish tinge to their skin, have large, yellow eyes.
Their accent has a lilting sound, they trail their s's. Their Power comes from the Old Power. Giants are humans, they have machines that work by themselves, great big pieces of metal that smell bad and take them where they want, great strength, loud voices, boxes that release sound, objects which they use to fire stone-like round things that can hurt or kill. The Lymen and the Dorig fear them, they wear many-coloured clothes with much decoration that fasten in "mysterious ways". Their Power comes from the New Power; the main characters of this book are three Lymen siblings: Ayna and Gair. Both Ayna and Ceri are blessed with "Gifts". Ayna can tell the future, Ceri can find anything, lost and can put thoughts on people. Putting thoughts on people is like controlling someone or something's actions by putting a hex on it. Gair is without a Gift but on is revealed to have one. Other characters include: Adara – Mother of Ayna and Gair, she is said to be wise and beautiful. Gest – Father of Ayna and Gair, he is chief of Garholt, the biggest mound.
He is called a Hero, is known for being charismatic and unique. He mysteriously completed three tasks to win Adara's hand in marriage. Orban – Adara's brother, he is chief of the Otmound mound. Ondo – Orban's son and cousin to Ayna and Gair; the three kids hate him for being an obnoxious bully. His distinguishing feature are ears. Kasta – Orban's wife, the spoiling mother of Ondo. Known for having a voice like a duck's. Gerald – A giant that tries to help the threesome, he and Gair are good friends, because they can relate to one another. They melancholy. Brenda – Another fat, giant, she and Gerald are fighting. Hafny – A Dorig that Ayna and Gair befriend, he is much more open-minded than most Dorigs, occupies the same place in Dorig society as Gair does in Lymen society. Halla – Hafny's sister, she has a tendency to be stereotypically minded. Diana Wynne Jones at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
Eight Days of Luke
Eight Days of Luke is a children's fantasy novel written by Diana Wynne Jones published in 1975. It tells the tale of a neglected English boy who encounters what prove to be figures from Norse mythology. David Allard, an orphan, returns to his hometown of Ashbury from boarding school to discover that his relatives-cum-guardians have nothing arranged for his summer and he will have to endure their mistreatment for his entire holiday. While walking in the garden, in a fit of frustration he makes up words to use as a curse. David's words seem to cause the garden wall to crumble, to release a boy a year or so older than himself with flame-red hair, who identifies himself as Luke. Happy to have made a new friend, David notices Luke's odd references to being released from his "chains" and "bowls of venom"; the two hastily repair the wall, David notices that Luke's touch seems to burn the bushes growing beside the wall. Luke says ruefully that he "can't bring the dead back to life." Luke tells David that kindling a flame will summon him.
When David and his young cousin-by-marriage, Astrid are on a shopping expedition the next day, Luke duly appears when David lights a match. Luke ingratiates himself with Astrid, when a bored David suggests it would be great if the building across from them caught on fire, the building does. People are trapped, it is only when David tells Luke that he wants the fire out, reminds Luke that he cannot bring the dead back to life, that the fire dies down. That evening, David escapes punishment because his uncle is upset that his gardener has found another job over at Thunderly Hill. David notices more odd things about Luke; when Luke is asleep, he seems ageless, heals uncommonly quickly. In the morning, the new gardener Mr. Chew arrives, he is interested in David, in the place where Luke's release took place. Luke, who has slept over, seems afraid of Chew, castigating himself for his carelessness in scorching the plants. David helps Luke escape the house without Chew noticing, they play cricket down the street, where they meet a new friend, Alan.
David is unable to escape the house in the afternoon, due to Chew's vigilance. David is sent again to his room without supper; the next morning, a well-dressed man named Mr. Wedding arrives and persuades David's relations to let him take David out for lunch in a car chauffeured by a beautiful lady, he gains David's trust, David gladly tells him all the things about school he could not tell his relatives. They arrive at a green island, linked to the mainland by a long arching bridge with a rainbow-like effect. While David is served a wonderful lunch, Mr. Wedding begins interrogating David about Luke, David admits only to releasing Luke while trying to curse. David notices for the first time. Wedding tells David, he tries frightening David, threatening to keep him captive, promising him a bribe shaming him. None of this is successful – David will not betray Luke – and Mr. Wedding returns David home, seeming to admire David for his stubbornness, but first he makes a deal with David: if David can keep Luke free until Sunday Luke is safe for good.
Mr. Wedding sets a talking raven to watch David, he tells Luke about the deal, confident that they will win against Mr. Wedding; the next day, David is blocked from leaving the house by two ravens – until he distracts them with a joint of meat while he drives off with Astrid. Luke appears when David strikes a match for Astrid's cigarette, is caught by a fair, strong ginger-haired individual. However, after Luke is questioned by the fellow, he is released, it seems the individual, who seems nice, has lost something. Luke denies any knowledge. David and Luke agree that the best course is for Luke to vanish until Monday, but the next day, the Frys from down the street show up, followed shortly by Mr. Chew and Mr Wedding; when a confused Astrid needs a cigarette lit, the inevitable happens – Luke appears and is caught by the group. They begin shouting demands at Luke. Luke admits; the crowd is grudgingly convinced that this is true, Mr. Wedding strikes a new deal with David: since David has no idea what he is looking for, it is possible for him to find it.
If David restores what the ginger-haired fellow lost by Sunday, Luke will remain free, otherwise he will be sent back to prison. Astrid has figured out the puzzle. David convinces one of the ravens to lead them to a house on Wednesday Hill, where David should find "three Knowing Ones under the tree." It is Alan's house, through a secret door and Alan find a huge tree, with three blind crones, sharing an eye among them, washing and cutting wool at a well. They refuse to talk until David captures their eye – they tell David to go to the place where Mr. Wedding took him and ask the man with the dragon where to look; the next day, Astrid drives David and her husband, Cousin Ronald, to Wallsey, which appears different from when David saw it with Mr. Wedding. David searches the hall, filled with strong young men cheating pinball machines, until he finds what he was told to look for—a man with a dragon tattoo. By the rules, the three must run a gauntlet before having t