Fire and Hemlock


by Diana Wynne Jones

Published: 1985

This book was addictive.  I could not put it down, and I can’t really explain why.  The writing was excellent and the pacing perfect.  The dialogue was believable and the characters personable.  The plot was intriguing and the language was beautiful.


The story was also a bit confusing and convoluted.  And the end–the end was a disappointment to me.  It came abruptly, almost discordantly, and just felt like a cop-out.  As though the whole book had been building, and then the last chapter she was just like, “Oh, wow, I’ve really been rambling on!  Better wrap this up!”  It was very dissatisfying, as I felt there was very little resolution, and that all the little mysteries that had been occurring were very, very poorly resolved.

So, the book would be a 5 if the ending had satisfied me, and it’s still a 4/5 as is.  I’ve checked out another of her books to give it a go.  She was a prolific writer, so I think there be some potential for future reading.