HEXWOOD by Diana Wynne Jones
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 12 & up
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In Jones's latest multilayered fantasy, Earth -- unbeknownst to its inhabitants -- is a minor planet manipulated from distant Homeworld by an oligarchy of five Reigners, who exploit the entire galaxy for economic gain. Earth's precious flint is vital to their technology; when a British hacker creates a disturbance by using "one of those old machines" to create a football team of real historical personages, the Reigners are drawn, one by one, to the scene. There, greengrocer's daughter Ann Stavely has become involved with the extraordinary characters appearing in the wood: Mordion, with skull-like features but a beatific smile, has emerged from a long entrapment; Hume -- who springs from the earth where Mordion's blood mingles with Ann's after a minor injury -- is a different age each time she meets him. Entering the present-day wood, the Reigners are absorbed into Arthurian Britain, where each persona (including dragons and a number of robots and machines) has several intricately linked identities -- past, present, extraterrestrial, mythological. For those who enjoy the intellectual exercise of sorting them out, and of pondering whether God is in the machine or Christ is an ironic parallel to the Reigners' Servant (who bears the guilt of crimes he's forced to commit), the game offered here is unsurpassed; meanwhile, the grappling of the heroes-in-disguise with the avaricious (and chillingly human) Reigners and the emergence of their kindlier potential successors makes an elaborate, fascinating, and suberbly crafted adventure. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 006029888X
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994


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