Fire and Hemlock


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Very much as her opponent, the deathless Laurel intended. Then, having reasoned herself into this impasse, she, and the whole book, suddenly take a sidestep into a bog of imaginative wordplay, and that is what, to me, rings false. But I still think she is mistaken. But there is no longer any real guarantee that Polly is correct about their situation, as it stands, now.

This last statement needs further definition. Of knowing what is real, of knowing what is needed. And why does Hero have this gift?

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Why, because Thomas Lynn has declared it to be so! Before witnesses, in Bristol. Or, rather, it becomes true and comes back to bite him. In this case, what Thomas proclaimed became true and went on to bite Laurel. Obviously, because it appeared, to him, to be nothing less than the case. In this he is misled. Polly was able to recognize and pick out the other heroes of his band from a photograph, after all. But Thomas has very actively entered into this game, and without his willing participation, it would have remained no more than a game.

Mind you, I am not speaking of the ancient cycle in which Thomas is already trapped when Polly meets him. This is the cycle to which Laurel and the King are bound. Polly and Thomas have no control over it.

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Not even Laurel and the King have much in the way of control over that cycle. And over those creations their influence is every bit as great, if rather inexpert, as that which Laurel and Morton Leroy have over Thomas and Polly in turn. As a side note; Does it occur to anyone other than me that the deathless Laurel is operating under considerable limitations?

Fire and Hemlock

Within her range, true, she is supremely powerful. She is also pitilessly resourceful whenever her power, or the cycle is threatened. But her range is extremely narrow. And has it occurred to anyone else out there, just how small the area is that she hunts in? The characters in this story are only those persons unlucky enough to actually live near Hunsdon House, or to stumble directly into her path.

And, even most importantly, she is not at all imaginative, herself. Indeed, this disapproval may have some bearing upon her preference for preying primarily upon musicians. Leslie, who seems very much in the fine, traditional, feckless mode, although witty, can hardly be accused of any overabundance of ideas. His father, at least, had just enough smarts and a wife and a child, of whom he was fond to eventually realize what was what and haggle his way out. Thomas was a good deal too young and — probably — hormone-ridden to have any idea of what he was being pulled into when Laurel got her hands on him in exchange for his brother.

He was all of, what? After all, once they have come into her possession, they do not ever escape, unless she agrees to it, and she makes the laws that they live by from the point at which they come under her rule. Polly — thanks to her secondhand gift — instinctively figures things out just in time. But she never is granted the luxury of enough time to stop and ponder the implications of what she has only just realized. She only grasps that, where Janet could save Tam Lin merely by holding on to him, if Thomas is to be saved, she, Polly, must cut him loose to save himself.

The moment that Morton Leroy spins off into the abyss, all bets are off.


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The rules to which we have all been constrained throughout the story, no longer apply. Or, at least, they no longer apply to Tom and Polly. Laurel has withdrawn her gifts. Laurel, of course, is perfectly capable of letting Polly continue to believe that she does, thereby leading Polly to cheat herself all over again. Or, at any rate, he is now safe from anything Laurel might have thrown at him, because she no longer will.

He no longer exists to her. Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory n. Items related to Fire and Hemlock.

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Fire and Hemlock. Diana Wynne Jones. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title At nineteen, Polly has two sets of sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting memories, the real-life ones of school days and her parents' divorce, and the heroic adventure ones that began the day she accidentally gate-crashed a funeral and met the cellist Thomas Lynn. Preparing to return to college, Polly is distracted by a photograph, a supernatural story, and memories that seem unrelated to her life and enters a world of intrigue, magic, mystery, and love "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New Learn more about this copy. About AbeBooks. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. It was published in by Greenwillow. One is normal: school, home, friends. And then she did something terrible, and everything changed. But what did she do?


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Polly must uncover the secret, or her true love—and perhaps Polly herself—will be lost. Lynn said, startled. I come with you whenever you go out on a job. He was among the violins too, over to the right, behind Tan Thare.

The gloomy face had a mop of a dark hair above it, more than Polly had imagined, but it was definitely poor, shape-changing Tan Hanivar. Polly pointed. And Tan Thare is usually known as Edward Davies. Any luck with Tan Audel? Lynn asked rather tensely. But Polly still did not know what Tan Audel looked like.

She searched and searched the mass of faces. As soon as he said it, Polly knew he was right. She even knew, dimly, some of the things Tan Audel was famous for.


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  6. She went back to the photograph, scanning the ladies in dark dresses she had been ignoring up to then, very much ashamed of herself.

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