Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones

Title: Hexwood

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Date read: April 6, 2017

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi/Contemporary/Time/Arthurian

Age: Toeing the line between YA and Adult? New Adult? Anyways, slightly darker.

Year pub: 1992

Pages: 449 (paperback)

Fave character: MORDION. Mordion Mordion Mordion

Source: Birthday present, preciousss

Find: On Goodreads here

Favorite quote:

“Can’t you treat yourself with a bit more consideration?”

“Why should I?” Mordion said, hugging the duvet round himself.

“Because you’re a person, of course!” Ann snapped at him. “One person ought to treat another person properly even if the person’s himself!”

“What a strange idea!” Mordion said.

An ordinary modern-day British girl (kind of), named Ann, stumbles into an epic fantasy world (…sort of), and meets a pigeon-hole-defying, spoiler-drenched man named Mordion, and a boy named Hume (maybe).

There are also robots. And dragons.

There’s also an inter-galactic sci-fi mess going on, some Arthurian legends sprinkled around the edges in totally unexpected ways, and oh, yeah, the entire thing is out of order in a time-bending confusing labyrinth of plot-twists.

Nobody is who they seem (or rather, they may be somebody else… or several somebody elses. I literally kept a list/diagram while I was reading).


  • Dragons
  • Robots
  • King Arthur and Merlin (sort of)
  • Time which is… fluid, shall we say, and more complicated than Doctor Who
  • A tragic brainwashed assassin to rival Bucky Barnes (he’s got nothing on this guy)
  • A complex plot-within-plot that makes my head hurt and kind of makes Inception’s layers look like a children’s cartoon
  • Several hundred plot twists
  • An unexpected romance
  • One of my new favorite characters of ever (not sure how I feel about this)
  • Weirdest book I’ve ever read
  • Has more genres mashed in it than I’ve ever seen in a single book (Contemporary/Fantasy/Sci-fi/Time/Arthurian/Romance/YA/Adult/DWJ)
  • Darker than most DWJ books (except Deep Secret)
  • One of my top five-or-ten DWJ books (despite the darkness/weirdness… don’t hold it against me; I’m surprised at me too)
  • First new-to-me DWJ book since my How to Read Diana Wynne Jones blog posts (part 1) (part 2); it lined up with pretty much everything, x100000
  • I need to reread it now, please and thank you

Don’t read this as your first DWJ, and if you do read it, know you’re getting into an insanely complex, inter-genre, rather dark story, for which reason I only recommend it to older teens/adults. If I recommend it at all. I loved it to bits but have a feeling that it’s far too weird to recommend to anyone at all. I literally can’t predict who would/wouldn’t like this. You’ll either a) love it a ridiculous amount (*raises hand*), b) hate it, or c) not understand it at all. I have a feeling there’s no middle ground.

Anyone who has read it: TALK TO ME! I need somebody who understands my confused feels about this book.

If you need me, I’ll be in a corner with my mind blown, contemplating re-reading this book so that I can understand it, and generally having a massive book hangover. Because how am I going to find anything to read, after this mindbending confusing thing, that will not feel like bland cardboard? HELP. *collapses* (I’m hoping Stephen Lawhead’s The Fatal Tree might help me with this… *reaches for bookshelf*)

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer


19 thoughts on “Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones

  1. Oh yay! I was hoping you’d do a review after you told me about it in our email! I wanted to hear more about this crazy book. o.o Because like…IT SOUNDS SO INTERESTING. I mean, it’s basically ALL the genres at once??? I KIND OF LOVE THAT IDEA.

    I’m rather desperate to read it because I am SOOO curious if I’ll be in the love or hate spectrum (because it does sound like the type of book where you’re one or the other, no middle ground). I’M JUST SO CURIOUS. But it also sounds EPIC. Like…convoluted time travel and Arthurian legend and a guy more tragic than Bucky Barnes (?????) and DRAGONS and awesome characters and and and I NEED ALL THESE THIIIINGS!!!!!!

    I’m just so happy you found a book you absolutely LOVE. I know that feeling of reading a ton of meh books and then FINALLY reading a super spectacular one. It’s the BEST! Buuut…then there’s the side effect of feeling empty when it’s over and nothing else being able to fill in the gap… Problems of a bookworm. I do hope The Fatal Tree will help your book hangover!

    ANYWAYS. I WANT TO READ THIS. It’s so intriguing! o.O

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked the review and are intrigued! 😀 Yeah, it’s weird, but I honestly have no idea if you’d like it or not. o.o It may ENTIRELY depend on how weird you find it, what mood you’re in, and what expectations you have going in… which means it might be totally random. XD But as long as you can get over the weirdness/darkness, you might enjoy the overall WOWNESS of all the different epic things thrown together and all the plot twists. 😀 It’s especially hard to say, since you’ve only read the Howl books and The Ogre Downstairs, so… you really don’t have experience with some of the books that might be more like this one? Buuut at the same time, there’s none like this, so. XD I DON’T KNOWWW.

      But yes, time and Arthur and dragons and such (and I find him to be more tragic than Bucky, yesh, though I have no idea if other people would agree with me or even like him. XD). All the things!

      I kind of want you to read it someday and talk to me about the thiiiings! Because sometimes a book just needs to be discussed, yes? 😀 And… nobody’s read this one. *sadpuppyface* But at the same time I don’t know if others would LIKE it! So. You see my dilemma. XD

      And aww, thank you! ^_^ I think both of us have had a rather slumpish reading year so far… :-/ So yes, it’s nice to have read a couple books this year that were AWESOME. 😀 But yes, side-effects. I’m really really hoping on The Fatal Tree. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be amazing. ^_^

      Thanks for your comment! ❤ If you ever read it, I look forward to discussing it! 🙂


  2. This one looks like a good one!! But I might take your advice and not dive into it quite yet. It might be a bit too…much, for a beginner. XD

    BUUUUUTT. You will be very glad to hear that I’ve requested my FIRST DWJ BOOK from the library!! AAGGHH I CAN’T WAIT. (I thought I’d start with a stand alone, so I chose Archer’s Goon. You seemed to love it IMMENSELY, so I cannot WAIT. 😀 )

    But anywho, lovely review!! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Believe me, they’re ALL good. 😉 But yes, don’t try it for your first DWJ. XD (Then again, you liked Six of Crows and that might have been darker than this, soo…)

      OH YAY! I’m so excited to hear that! I so hope you enjoy Archer’s Goon (it’s also very weird, but very cool and mind-blowing) and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!! 😀

      Thank you so much, darling! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Discovered this about ten years ago and it’s stayed with me ever since. I’ve just read it again as it was a Christmas present and think it’s my favourite DWJ. The confusing storytelling is absolutely brilliantly done and the reveal about Ann/Verrian is one of the most surprising twists I’ve ever read. I love the way you get to work it all out a you go, and the way the Bannus takes everyone into the game and it’s absolute ruthlessness in wanting to get rid of the evil Reigners. The horror of what is done to Mordion is chilling and I love how he and Verrian get to understand each other and he is able to overocme his past. And Hume! He’s just marvellous too. It’s really really wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s fabulous! I’m so glad it stuck with you and hurray for reading it again! Yesss, I love that surprising twist! And working it out along the way is great, yes. MORDIONNN. MY HEART. And Hume too! Yes to all of this! Your comment made my day. I love connecting with other fans! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂


  10. I loved this book! It totally blew my mind. I had to immediately go back to the start after reading it because I just to reread it knowing what I finally did of the characters. Same as Archer’s Goon and even Dogsbody—so many clues to look out for on a reread. It think older children can read and understand and like this too. They’ll just bleep over the horrible parts without taking it in too much. So I guess Mordion is your new favorite character? I go for Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Diana Wynne Jones books have such great reread potential! It always takes me more than one read to catch everything. Agreed on Archer’s Goon and Dogsbody too, but yes, especially this one. And that’s a good point! Yes, I really like Mordion, but Ann is a good choice too! Thank you for your comments! “Meeting” other Diana Wynne Jones fans always makes me happy. ^_^



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