[reread] CART AND CWIDDER by Diana Wynne Jones, 222/222
It’s been a million years since I read the Dalemark Quartet and I always remember most of all this sort of uneasy, pale, muffled feeling about them. A sort of being uncomfortable a long way off. It still feels that way. Plotwise, Cart and Cwidder is, the children of a traveling singer get embroiled in violent politics and try to make their way to the “free” north with a fugitive. It’s also about a magical string instrument that can knock down mountains and make people fall in love and things like that.
The perturbing parts, though, are about loss. Loss because people keep dying, and because ways of life keep ending, and because people who are alive aren’t as much yours as you thought. And it’s all in too much focus and not enough, because they have to keep going and because Moril, who is the mainest main character, sees everything and feels everything through this quiet distand place deep in his head. Reading it feels like dissociation. All the intensity crashes around you and you stand there, perfectly still.