Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! ♥

Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne JonesEight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones
Published: Greenwillow Books (1973), eBook, 240pg
Source: Scribd
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction

There seemed nothing strange about Luke to begin with, except perhaps the snakes. If they were snakes - David wasn't sure. He was just grateful for a companion as agreeable as Luke, who seemed able to twist anyone round his finger, even David's odious relatives. "Just kindle a flame and I'll be with you," Luke said, and he always was - which turned out to be more awkward than useful in the end. For who we're the people who seemed to be looking for Luke: the man with one eye; the massive, malevolent gardener, Mr.Chew; the offensively sprightly Frys; the man with ginger hair? Why were there ravens watching, one in front and one at the back gate? And then of course there was the fire...

There are lots of DWJ books on Scribd that I haven’t read, which is both wonderful and terrible. New DWJ to read! Yay! Less new-to-me DWJ to read once I’ve read these ones. Boo. I’m running out of unread DWJ books and it is VERY UPSETTING.

Anyway, I really liked this one. It reminded me of The Game— ancient gods causing trouble in modern times– but since I’ve read so many other books with Norse gods that I could actually figure out who’s who before the big reveal. I also vaguely knew what the quest was, though not enough to actually remember anything that’d spoil the plot. Just enough to make things exciting!

As a child I was more interested in children characters– because I could identify with them more, I suppose. Now, as an adult, I like seeing how DWJ depicts people my age (or older). Usually she has three types:
1. kind and friendly (like Milly)
2. kind and aloof (Chrestomanci) or
3. terrible and usually murderous (Conrad’s uncle) or at least hideously neglectful (the parents in Time of the Ghost).

Sometimes she’ll throw in a fourth kind, though: the misunderstood, seems-terrible-but-is-actually-nice adult (the Ogre). These are the trickiest sorts of characters because you start out hating them, but by the end you like them. It’s the most confusing sort of emotional manipulation, but I love it.

Eight Days of Luke has ALL these kinds of adults, to varying degrees of kind/dreadful, and they’re all important to the plot. It makes a nice change from other children’s fantasies where the adults play no part at all except to get in the way. DWJ’s adults help, not hinder,1 and I really really like that.

Eight Days of Luke = a huge success! Yay!

Read: October 31, 2014

  1. unless they’re villains, and then it’s the opposite

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