The Diamond of Darkhold (The City of Ember Book 3)

by Jeanne DuPrau

Paperback, 2010




Yearling (2010), Edition: Reissue, 304 pages


When a roamer trades them an ancient book with only a few pages remaining, Lina and Doon return to Ember to seek the machine the book seems to describe in hopes that it will get their new community, Sparks, through the winter.


½ (411 ratings; 3.6)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ljhliesl
With spoilers, which should be gimmes for any adult reader.

Solar power is all well and good but what you need to start a society is information. Next time, print the damn book on sturdier, nonflammable, nonorganic material.
LibraryThing member aelizabethj
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this series. Post-apocalyptic, very realistic, the ending was happy enough but didn't feel contrived.
LibraryThing member bookwormygirl
This may just be one of my favoritest kids book series - aside from Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events and a few others. It definitely holds its place right up there with the great ones.

In The Diamond of Darkhold - we are brought back to present day to where Lina and Doon have escaped
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Ember and have been living in Sparks for months now. Emberites are not used to extreme weather conditions - and this first harsh winter above ground is really leaving its mark. Especially when it comes to their health and food rations. When a roamer makes her way to their town they come across a book that they immediately realize references Ember. But the book is all torn up and only has a handful of pages in it. Lina and Doon make it their mission to decipher the book and uncover the mysterious device it mentions within its pages... even if it means making their way back down to the abandoned (and now completely dark) City of Ember.

Lina and Doon are back on an adventure. The story is fast-paced and full of the quirky characters we have all come to love through the earlier books in the series. We also meet a number of new characters - some you love and some you love to hate.

This series has had its ups and downs for me. I loved The City of Ember and The People of Sparks was okay. Then there was The Prophet of Yonwood which I liked the least. But this book captured the part of Ember that made it such a fantastic book for me. It had all of the adventurous elements that I loved from the start as well as brought us back on track with the original story line. I especially liked the ending. I truly enjoyed how everything wrapped up - how every character and every book made sense... had a purpose. The final outcome, to me, was perfect.

The Diamond of Darkhold is the fourth and final book in the Ember series. I recommend they be read in order for it to make sense. These books are geared for younger kids (3rd grade and up) - and you can tell by the simple writing and the not fully fleshed-out characters, but if you're like me, that won't stop you from picking this one up. Nonetheless, this series is pretty addictive. I mean who doesn't want to read about kids saving the world, right?
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LibraryThing member amandabock
Will someone please remind me, when the next Ember book comes out, that they just get worse and worse and I should just go back and read the first one again?

And the title is entirely too similar to [book: The Dark Lord of Derkholm], which is excellent.
LibraryThing member Karin7
This is probably my least favourite book of the series.

In the fourth book of this post-apocalyptic series, 13 year old Doon Harrow buys an old book with 8 pages left from a peddlar that contains a mysterious reference to something left for the people who leave the underground city of Ember when the
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world should be habitable again. He convinces his friend, Lina Mayfleet, to sneak off with him in order to find out what it is. The trip is fraught with danger, Doon is captured by a family who has found and moved into this old city, and Lina is forced to seek help, and they are still not sure what the mystery of the jewel (spelled joule, but they don't know that that's not the same thing as jewel and assume it's just an older spelling of jewel) is. The jouel has been found by the same group holding Doon, and much of the book is devoted to Doon's attempts to escape, Lina trying to go for help and several other young people seeking out to help them. To say more is to give too much away.

The main thing that irks me about this series is how foolishly DuPrau handles the preparations. In the Phrophet of Yonwood, for example, babies are taken into the city at the beginning by couples in their 60s. Really? So that it won't be long until it's run by adults in their 20s? Canned goods last for a long time, but are bulky and aren't going to last for several hundred years. There are many other things, but I'll spare you the details. The story telling is fine, and the characters likable. My kids enjoyed this series.
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LibraryThing member ajpohren
The Diamond of Darkhold is the fourth and final book in the Book of Ember series. I have to be completely honest in saying that I have not read the previous three: The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, and The Prophet of Yonwood. However, with that being said, I greatly enjoyed The Diamond of
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Darkhold. I had no trouble at all following along with what was going on and why. I think that if I had read the previous three, I would have had a deeper sense of the characters and the incidents that occurred in there past, leading up to this present and final installment, but there was no lacking in the story at all, for me. I am very interested in going back and starting with the first book and reading through the complete series, The Diamond of Darkhold piqued my interest greatly.

This story picks up several months after friends Lina and Doon have left their dying underground city of Ember. They, as well as hundreds of their people, are suffering their first harsh winter above ground. This is a struggle of little food, supplies and great sickness. One day, however, they discover a mysterious book, containing only 8 remaining pages, the rest having been torn out and missing. This book indicates it holds a message for those people from the city of Ember.

With so little to go on, Lina and Doon set off on a dangerous adventure to solve the mystery of the book and bring back any supplies and food that they can find, that had to be left behind in the sudden departure from Ember. What they find, will forever change the way they and everyone around them lives.

The Diamond of Darkhold is a wonderful story of adventure, friendship, hope and never giving up. I loved the characters of Doon and Lina and found the story to be wonderfully plotted out and highly engrossing. It is a story geared toward the 9 - 12 age range, but anyone who enjoys YA novels will love this one, as well as the entire series, I am sure. As well as a great story, The Diamond of Darkhold brings to light some very real possible hurtles that society may have to face as our economic structure is in peril, I feel. This is an excellent book and one that I recommend to anyone looking for a great story.
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LibraryThing member katitefft
This book is the fourth and final book in the City of Ember series. It falls most appropraitely into the science fiction genre because it addresses the issue of renewable energy sources, and how that is really the way to sustain a community. While this entire series is somewhat political, most of
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what children will get out of it is the importance of people working together and building friendships. This book resolves a lot of the issues that are raised in previous books and ends with a sense of both hope and justice. While the people and places in this book are completely fictional, one will find the same scenarios and issues present in our world today, making this a very important and applicable book for students to read.
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LibraryThing member 8H.corianndera
This was a very great book. In the book, Doon and Linda goes on another adventure. When an unusual roamer comes into the village, Doon bought a torn out book. Because the book was used to start fires, only 8 pages was left of it. However, the cover of the book said," For the People of Em". Due to
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this unusual discovery, Doon and Lina are persuaded that something was left behind by the builders that was meant for them. So off they go, on another interesting adventure as they go back to the City of Ember. They both had unforgetable events such as kidnapping, sprained ankles, and even hungry wolves.
All in all, this is a book that some one should definetly read.
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LibraryThing member mdtwilighter
This book continues the story of the people of Ember, unlike the third book in the series, The Prophet of Yonwood. Doon and Lina are back together as a team and go to Ember to see if there are any supplies left to help Sparks get through the winter. They wind up making an invaluable discovery that
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saves Sparks and potentially human civilization.
Good addition to the series, felt like it went with it well, unlike the third book. It finished the story and gave a happy ending.
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LibraryThing member Runa
I think this book must have come to be as a result of the criticisms of books 2 & 3 (no return to Ember, lack of Lina and Doon, etc.). While the return to Ember was much anticipated and a welcome plot element, parts of this book were, as a result, overwhelmingly repetitive of the first book. This
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worked in some instances, but in others, it felt like a desperate return to the successful elements seen in the first book, in order to gain back disappointed fans. I did enjoy seeing Lina and Doon again, and the teamwork seen in this book was reminiscent of the first one in a good way. Plotwise, there was a clear single goal, but it wasn't as interesting, nor as desperate, as the goal in the first book, making for a story that was, in turn, less interesting. Other than Lina and Doon, I felt that many of the secondary characters lacked strong characterization, which made their roles seem slightly flat. I enjoyed the fact that everything came full circle, although I do wish DuPrau had rearranged things a little bit. I felt like the ending of this book should have been extended and essentially served as the second book, eliminating the need for books 2 & 3. I just think a lot was done wrong in the creation of this series, and maybe The City of Ember would have been best served as a stand-alone.

Rating: 3.5/5
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LibraryThing member CWestover
This fourth book ties it all together for me and, in the end, it redeemed Yonwood.
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This is a return to the story-line started in 'The City of Ember'. It was enjoyable to see what has become of Doon and Lina. Their interest in exploration and their courage allows them to bring new benefits not only to Sparks, but also to the growing network of small towns and villages that are
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beginning to interact with each other. I liked the imagery of small sparks being scattered among them. One minor criticism - the characters are somewhat flat - I noticed it particularly with Lizzie and Torren.
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LibraryThing member mchristman
This is a good example of science fiction because it takes place in the future and incorporates advanced technology. Lina and Doon live in a time after when the world is recovering from several great disasters. They return to their old underground home and find diamonds that can be used as a power
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Age Appropriateness: Intermediate/ Middle School
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LibraryThing member busyreadin
The final story in the City of Ember series was fairly good. Unfortunately, it's impossible to recover the sense of wonder I have when I find a new author/series, and I think that is what was missing in this one. It was an interesting story and it was nice to see all the characters included.
LibraryThing member lareinak
In this book Doon and Lina go back to the city and discover something that changes all of their lives. People had been dying from sickness and hunger, but now they have a chance. This is my second favorite Ember book after the first. It reads similarly and there is a lot of action in it. Lina and
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Doon are back to puzzling things out and working together. If you liked the first book, but were disappointed with the second and third one, then be sure to check this 4th book out.
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LibraryThing member Diwanna
A really nice ending to the 4 book series. Happy ending, what was once lost is now found, read the series folks. It's a good easy read.
LibraryThing member Elentarien
Actually quite enjoyed this one. Not only did the characters get to return to the city of Ember, but they got to recover a lot of their stuff, and tie up loose ends. This book answered a lot of questions, and wrapped the series up well enough that I get the impression no more stories will be
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written for this series. But there is no need. It was wrapped up satisfactorily and people resumed their lives. All in all a good fun read of a future that will never be. Thank God! :)
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This book was as satisfying in some ways as the first two (I didn't really connect with "The Prophet of Yonwood"). There was adventure and mystery, but moreover there was the problem of being short on supplies for the winter. Lina and Doon come up with a plan that can solve this problem, and
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stumble across something that can change life on earth as they know it.
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LibraryThing member middlemedia2
I actually had a hard time finishing this book. It could be that it has been a couple of years since I have read the other three books. Perhaps I should have read it sooner.
LibraryThing member mikitchenlady
Okay -- glad to have finished the series and find out how things turn out for Lina, Doon, and the citizens of Ember and Sparks.
LibraryThing member timothyl33
Have you ever been in a situation where you were given a ten page report to write but you only had about two pages of material? If you were like everyone, you'd try to make the material 'stretch' in various ways. Have a thesis paragraph that went on for 3 pages, duplicate that for the conclusion,
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change the font size to something that would take another page or two, and then you would pad the paper with immaterial exposition till the 'document' reached a respectable length. Oh. And with that, the nice cover sheet, can't forget that.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to reach is that, The Diamond of Darkhold is that paper. As far as I can tell, it's about 20% plot, with the rest being either a slight of hand font sizing, immaterial side stories, and a 'antagonist' (and I say that loosely) to give this story a sense of crisis. Without it, the 20% would have been a simple story of Doon and Lina going back to the dead city of Ember and finding one additional surprise from the Builders to help the city of Sparks start its way unto the beginnings of a civilization.

At most, this felt like an afterthought from the author to the fans to give a sense of closure to Lina and Doon that would have been a pleasant short story. But when forced to stretch this to a 300 page story, the lack of a true sense of crisis (whether it's solving the mystery of the City of Ember or helping the People of Sparks survive), made this The Diamond of Darkhold ring somewhat hollow.

And for those of you who're curious, I got a C- for that paper.
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LibraryThing member nEtVolution
Not too much different from the first book, but better than the second & third. My daughter and I had some good discussion about it.
LibraryThing member KarenBall
The people of Ember have been in the town of Sparks for most of a year, and the entire group is struggling to get through the end of the winter. Food is in short supply, and it is difficult to complete work in the dark, shortened days. Lina and Doon discover a mostly-shredded book in the hands of a
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traveling peddler, and they buy it to study -- the cover has the name "Ember" on it. Though they don't understand it, it gives them the idea to try to return to Ember to see if there is anything salvageable there that would help the combined groups now in Sparks to survive. Ember isn't completely dead, and there are those who are already looting it for their own gain. It is a dangerous journey, but what is needed in Sparks gives Lina and Doon the courage to go for it. The ending wraps up a little too neatly for me (and the wrap-up takes a while) but I think it was generally a satisfying ending to this series. Definitely read at least the first two before this one as the third in the series is actually the prequel to the first. 6th grade and up.
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LibraryThing member andreablythe
I loved The City of Ember, which presented a unique spin on a post-apocalyptic world. That love got me through the next two books in the series, both of which didn't captivate me nearly to the degree of the first. So, it's taken me a while to come around to reading The Diamond of Darkhold, the
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fourth and final book of the series.

Life is a challenge in the city of Sparks, and though everyone is mostly getting a long, dangers abound, from natural disasters to everyday accidents. A chance discovery of a book from a roam inspires Doon and Lina to take a chance in returning to Ember in the hopes they can make the lives of the people in their village easier.

These are short book, geared for younger audiences, which make them easy reads. I enjoyed The Diamond of Darkhold quite a bit, still not as much as book one, but the return to Ember was much more to my taste. This was a fun adventure and a satisfying conclusion to the series.
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LibraryThing member atreic
This is a satisfying and optimistic ending to the story of the people of Ember.

It's not as interesting as the first two books, where there are struggles with the people in power and some quite deep moral questions. In this one, Doon and Lina want to go on a Quest to make things better, they go on
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a Quest, things are made Better. There is some Mild Peril and some Slightly Bad People, but the Slightly Bad People are too incompetent to be very interesting, and are all redeemed at the end.

They are books written for kids, and I found I needed even more suspension of disbelief for this one than for any of the others. 400 intelligent adults have fled from an underground city and are starving in the winter, and not one of them thinks 'hey, we could go back there and see if there's anything left?' Lina and Doon's continued desire to just sneak off and do things rather than talking to people is a bit annoying. And I really do think the people who designed Ember knew they could rely on narrativium, because their plans are a bit unlikely otherwise...

I was surprised by how much Doon gets the sense of 'we are the chosen people, these are our solar panels. OK, they were put there for the people of Ember, but that was 200 years ago. And one of the key themes of The People of Sparks was that it wasn't just their food, even though they'd grown it all themselves, sharing with humanity was better. I mean, they're in a precarious society, and they have found a huge pile of valuable things, gently trading and sharing them and trying to understand them doesn't feel Wrong, exactly... it's just a bit different from some of the themes of the earlier books.

I love the creepy feeling of going back to somewhere you have left and finding it dusty and decaying, and the bit where Doon finally breaks the generator was really powerful (although was it in character?)

Also, definitely read this one last! The ending is clearly the ending. It relies on you knowing some things that happened in the Prophet of Yonwood, and is a much warmer, nicer, place to end than 'bombs fall, most people die.'
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Physical description

304 p.; 7.63 inches


0375855726 / 9780375855726
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