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The Diamond of Darkhold (Books of Ember Series #4)

The Diamond of Darkhold (Books of Ember Series #4)

4.4 323
by Jeanne DuPrau

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It’s been several months since Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and, along with the rest of their people, joined the town of Sparks. Now, struggling through the harsh winter aboveground, they find an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device from before the Disaster, which they believe is still in Ember.


It’s been several months since Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and, along with the rest of their people, joined the town of Sparks. Now, struggling through the harsh winter aboveground, they find an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device from before the Disaster, which they believe is still in Ember. Together, Lina and Doon must go back underground to retrieve what was lost and bring light to a dark world.

In the fourth Book of Ember, bestselling author Jeanne DuPrau juxtaposes yet another action-packed adventure with powerful themes about hope, learning, and the search for truth.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Months have passed since young Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow were forced to escape the dying subterranean city of Ember and flee to the town of Sparks, where they must struggle through a harsh aboveground winter. The situation seems hopeless until they chance upon a battered, fragmentary book that contains references to a device that could save them and their doomed city. To find that wondrous machine, the pair must descend to a realm where every hope seems but an echo….
Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
Nine months have passed since Lina, Doon, and their fellow Emberites left their underground home and joined the people of Sparks. Although the initial hostilities and arguments are over, life is still filled with hardships, and "Doon could see no way to make things better." Then one day a roamer appears and Doon trades for a mysterious book with only eight pages remaining; a book clearly marked for the people of Ember! Convinced that help of some kind can be found back in Ember, Doon and Lina sneak away and make the perilous journey together. Once there, Doon is captured and held prisoner by a family living off the supplies left behind. The father shows Doon a breathtaking blue diamond, which Doon takes with him when he escapes, certain that it holds the key to everyone's survival. This fourth and final title in the deservedly popular "Book of Ember" series is an exciting and satisfying conclusion. DuPrau has also given enough exposition so that a newcomer could enjoy it as a stand-alone. Lina and Doon are wonderful heroes. As the author points out, they "used the ordinary powers of courage... kindness... curiosity and knowledge." Because they use these powers, rather than supernatural ones, they are characters we can all identify with and root for. This story is ultimately one of hope—and every one of us needs that. Reviewer: Naomi Milliner
School Library Journal

Gr 4-9

A solid and satisfying conclusion to the "Ember Saga," set in a post-disaster future. Hostilities have died down between the citizens of Sparks and the refugees from the underground city of Ember, and all are working together to survive the brutal winter. A roamer brings forth the barest remains of a book that intrigues Doon and Lina because it alludes to a mysterious device that may still be in Ember. They decide to go back to see if they can find any answers or, if nothing else, food. What they find is the Trogg Family, travelers who have taken over the remains of the city, scavenging supplies and making grand plans. Doon is caught and shackled, leaving Lina to try and make her way back to Sparks to get help. Once again, the teens, both remarkably self-sufficient and imaginative, are able to save themselves and figure out at least a small part of the mystery left behind by the Builders. In doing so, they help their community and ultimately the entire planet. And the epilogue gives the answer to a question raised in the series' prequel, The Prophet of Yonwood (Random, 2006), namely, what Hoyt McCoy was up to with that telescope of his. All the loose ends are tied up neatly and everything ends on a positive, hopeful note. Satisfying, indeed.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Chronologically third, but listed as fourth in the Book of Ember series, the latest entry begins with an enticing vision of pre-Disaster events, in which the Builders of the underground city make provisions to assist the emerging Emberites. Things are not going well in Sparks, as the stress of the Ember newcomers is bringing back a frightening scarcity of food, warmth and hope. This hard life pushes Doon and Lina into adventure as they discover an artifact that inspires them to return to their abandoned city to relieve their troubles. In so doing, the pair meets odd characters who add spice to events by managing to be humanely kind and selfishly scary in almost equal measure. Doon and Lina's knowledge of Ember helps them find solutions in dire straits, but it also takes work and grit to discover the true meaning of the jewel-like object central to the plot. Readers will find this fast-paced and clever final installment closer to the original than either of the other sequels and will enjoy the logical future detailed at the end. (Science fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher
"An electric debut. Lina and Doon’ search parallels the universal adolescent quest for answers.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Books of Ember Series , #4
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

In the village of Sparks, the day was ending. The pale winter sun had begun to sink behind a bank of clouds in the west, and shadows darkened the construction field behind the Pioneer Hotel, where workers labored in the gloom. Winter rains had turned the ground to a soup of mud. Stacks of lumber and piles of bricks and stones stood everywhere, along with buckets of nails, tools, old windows and doors, anything that might be useful for building houses. Though the daylight was almost gone, people worked on. They were trying to accomplish as much as possible, because they could see that a storm was coming.

But at last someone called, "Time to quit!" and the workers sighed with relief and began to pack up their tools.

One of the workers was a boy named Doon Harrow, thirteen years old, who had spent the day hauling loads of boards from one place to another and trying to measure and cut them to necessary lengths. When he heard the call, he set down the rusty old saw he'd been using and looked around for his father. The workers stumbling across the field were no more than shadowy figures now; it was hard to tell one from another. Ahead of them loomed the hotel, a few of its windows shining dimly with the light of candles lit by those too young or old or ill to be outside working. "Father!" Doon called. "Where are you?"

His father's voice answered from some distance behind him. "Right here, son. Coming! Wait for--" And then came a sound that made Doon whirl around: first a shattering crash, and then a shriek of a kind he'd never before heard from his mild-mannered father.

Doon ran, squelching through the mud. He found his father sprawled on the ground beside a broken windowpane that had been leaning against a pile of bricks. "What happened?" Doon cried. "Are you hurt?"

His father struggled to his knees. In a hoarse, strangled voice, he said, "Tripped. Fell on the glass. My hand."

Others had gathered now, and they helped him up. Doon took his father's arm. Enough light remained in the sky for him to see what had happened: the palm of his father's hand was sliced open, gushing blood.

One of the men standing nearby tore off his shirt and wrapped it around the wound. "Make a tight fist," the man said.

Doon's father curled his fingers, wincing. Blood stained the shirt.

"We have to get to the doctor," Doon said.

"Yes, that cut needs stitching up," said the man who'd given his shirt. "Go quick, and maybe you can make it to the village before it rains."

"Can you walk, Father?" Doon asked.

"Oh, yes," said his father in a weak voice. "Might need another . . ." He trailed off, holding out his hand, and Doon saw that the shirt wrapped around it was already soaked with blood.

"Ice would slow the bleeding," someone said. "But we don't have any."
A woman took off her scarf and passed it to Doon, and another man ripped strips of cloth from his shirt. Once the injured hand was wrapped in these, Doon and his father started across the field.

"You'll need a lantern!" cried a boy--one of Doon's friends, Chet Noam. "Go on ahead. I'll get one and catch up with you."

They walked as quickly as they could, but it seemed unlikely they'd avoid getting wet. A few raindrops were already drifting down. Doon felt their light, cold touch on his face. Rain had become familiar to him by now. Since he and his people had arrived here in Sparks from the city of Ember, where sun and rain alike were unknown, four rainstorms had swept over the land. The first had terrified the people of Ember, who thought something dreadful had gone wrong with the sky.
A voice called to them from behind, and Chet came running up. "Here," he said, handing Doon a lantern made of a can punched with holes and containing a burning candle. "And listen," he added. "A roamer has arrived, wanting shelter at the hotel. Tell people that if the rain stops, there'll be trading in the plaza tomorrow morning."

"All right," said Doon. He and his father turned again toward the town and hurried on. "Is the pain very bad?" Doon asked.

"Not too bad," said his father, whose face was unnaturally white. "It is bleeding a lot."

"Doctor Hester will know how to stop it," Doon said, though he wasn't sure of that. The doctor did the best she could, but there was a great deal she couldn't cure.

They passed a grove of trees thrashing in the wind. Behind the trees, a little distance off the road, a tall building loomed. A patch of blackness showed where a section of its roof had fallen in.

"They still haven't fixed it," said Doon as they went past, but his father didn't even look up.
The damaged building was called the Ark, the place where the people of Sparks stored their food supplies. The first rainstorm of the winter had been too much for one of the many rotten spots in its roof. Beams and chunks of tile fell inward. Shelves toppled. Jars and crocks broke and spilled, sacks of grain tore open, and rats got to the food before the cave-in was discovered. Even to begin with, there had been barely enough food stored in the Ark to get everyone through the winter. After that storm, a great part of the food was ruined.

"Father," Doon said. "Press your hurt hand tight with your other hand. That might keep it from bleeding so much." His father nodded and did as Doon said.

The rain came harder. In the last rays of evening light, Doon saw the lines of water like silver pins in the air. He put up the hood of his jacket, shivering. When he was faced with troubles, Doon usually looked for solutions and took action. But tonight he was feeling disheartened. So much about the winter in Sparks had been hard. People were ill with coughs and fevers, and some of them had died; they were hungry nearly all the time; and there had been one accident after another. A candle flame caught a curtain and set a house on fire; a toddler wandered outside at night, fell into the river, and drowned; there was the hole in the Ark's roof; and now this gash in his father's hand. Misfortunes came from every direction, it seemed, and Doon could see no way to make things better.

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

JEANNE DuPRAU is the New York Times bestselling author of the City of Ember books, which have been translated into multiple languages and are a time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms. She also wrote Escape the Vortex, part of the multiplatform sci-fi adventure series Voyagers. Visit her website at jeanneduprau.com.

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The Diamond of Darkhold 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 323 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great ending book for the Ember series. Answers many questions and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Makes you wonder about the future and what will happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Diamond of Darkhold is a thrill-shocking book that makes it feel like you are there! Doon and Lina get into big troubles and have to try to take their city back, Ember. Doon saw a book and a roamer sold to him. The book contained all different information about Ember. Doon and Lina love to go on adventures but this time they get into BIG trouble. If you are a fan of Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember then you would love her new book The Diamond of Darkhold. It looked like a lot of people did not like The Prophet of Yonwood, once you read The Diamond of Darkhold you would want her to write another book. Doon and his best friend Lina want to go back down to Ember to see what is so important. Doon finds himself in a lot of trouble down in The City Of Ember. This is the best book that DuPrau has written so far because she only wrote a small amount of books so far and Ember was good and cool how it took place in an underground city. The People of Sparks was good because they found the way out. The Prophet of Yonwood took place before Ember was built (which would be a prequel). And The Diamond of Darkhold mixes in with all the other books and is very cool. DuPrau wrote The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, The Prophet of Yonwood, the latest book The Diamond of Darkhold. The Diamond of Darkhold is good for kids of all ages. Everyone would love this thrill-shocking book. Jeanne DuPrau has not won any awards yet but soon she will. After you read The Diamond of Darkhold you will learn how important teamwork is, and how to trust friends to help you with all different things in life.
Inocencio_Aniceto More than 1 year ago
Many people don’t think about disastrous world event that kills or affects millions of people. In the 4th book of the City of Ember series, a disastrous world event occurs. The last book in the series is called The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne Duprau. The Diamond of Darkhold is a great ending to the City of Ember series and you should read it if you liked the first two books in the City of Ember series. These two kids, Doon and Lina, are from the city called Ember. They had to leave Ember because it was running out of electricity. When they left, they joined a little city named Sparks. Doon and Lina later found a book from a roamer. A roamer is a person that travels to many places to find interesting objects to either sell or trade to people in different cities. When Lina and Doon got the book, they noticed it was in bad condition and there were many pages torn out, but when they looked at the cover it said,” For the people from Em.” Even though the rest of the “Em” was cut off, Doon and Lina both knew what it was supposed to say. So Doon and Lina tried many things and went to many places, including Ember, which is very far from the city of Sparks just to find out what this mysterious book is about. This 3rd person omniscient fiction book was really hard to put down because of the continuation of suspense throughout the book. As the story goes on, the author reveals a good amount of the plot that also increases more and more suspense that makes it hard to stop reading, or put down the book. This book is one of my favorite books I have ever read. The characters in this book all fit nicely with the events that happen. The main characters in this book are Doon and Lina. Doon is a boy that is curious and loves to create and repair things. Lina is a girl that is adventurous and determined until the end. Both characters would do anything to find the truth about the mysterious book that may have something to do with the city they abandoned, the city of Ember. If you have not read the books before The Diamond of Darkhold in the City of Ember series by Jeanne Duprau, try to read those first .I recommend this book to all ages.
GirlwiththeBraids More than 1 year ago
Lina Mayfleet, Doon Harrow, and the other Emberites that escaped their dying city only months ago, are still living in Sparks, but in harmony with the villagers. One day, a roamer came to town with some unusual things, including a eight-page book. Trading for it with a match, Lina and Doon buy it, in hope that they can read and understand it. They discover that it is yet another set of guidelines for the people of Ember, which states about a special ¿jewel¿ and ¿diamond¿. Lina and Doon decide to go back to Ember to find what the book describes. When they arrive to their dead city, they discover one thing more: someone is living there.

This book was even more delightful than the previous two in the Book of Ember series. It was full of action and emotion, which kept my fingers crossed for the characters. Whenever something new came out of the blue, my nose was practically glued to the book. I am still amazed that this was one of Jeanne DuPrau¿s first works as an author. The ending wrapped everything up perfectly: what happened to the characters, how they changed the future¿ but the last two pages baffled me. It did not go along with the story and completely threw me off course, but I still highly recommend the book to everyone. 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good. But I recomend reading the first two before this one.
ElvesAteMyRamen More than 1 year ago
I think that this is a very good book. I have several friends that have borrowed the book from me and they have loved it as well. It is a great end to a great series. Personally, as with most books, I think the first book is the best, but the fourth is definately a good succeder.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perfect ending to the series, everything resolved but still left much to your imagination
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book love it. I love the city of ember series and the movies too. I can not wait to read more of her books. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did a book report on this story. I think that if my report was good than the book is very good. The ending is the conclusion to the first book mostly, the second... not really. But it was REALLY good. Read the first two books so it would make more sense. ***** that means the book is 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one is the best in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books i have ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great boo with a surprising twist at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was reading chapter 7, I was wondering how can there be light when nobody is in the city? (P.S only in the beginning.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the 4th best book I have ever read!!!!!! It was amazing!!! If you have read the books of ember, then you should agree that this one is the best. I am telling you to read this, you will NOT be dissapointed!!!!! Doon and Lina are both cool, but personally, I like Doon better. Read this book!!!! It is amazing!!! If you haven't read this, READ IT!!!!! It's the best one in the whole series!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I first started this series, I was amazed. Duprau had invented a future world that had fallen. It was interesting. The second book was all of these things as well. But as the series went on, it became less action-packed and lost the captivation of attention that readers had first recieved from this series. In the last book, the ending was overly simplified, and very predictable. All of the characters lived happliy ever after, and there was no depth to the story. Overall, I was very dissapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing i wish i could just jump into the adventure whith Lina And Doon and all the charectors also it seems if lina gets maried but dint mind that i think that the way the book ends could be a bit better but i still think this is awesome
Gladys Vargas More than 1 year ago
I havent read the book yet, in fact, I just finished the second. Which was awesome! So I am very excited, I just love this series so much! So far I think that they should make the second book into a movie, is it? If so I am totally watching it!
Charlotte Murphy More than 1 year ago
I love the way Jeanne gets me reading it cover to cover! I really reccomend it! I love the whole series! It really ties up the ending, and pulls it all together in an excellent way! It's just an amazing series! I really like that author!
AnnaCatherine More than 1 year ago
a shocking conclusion to the Ember Series. Although the Emberites an People of the sparks are at peace more mysteries rise. Two flamiliar 12 year old heros discover that a device was left in there completly dead,214 year old underground city that was built afrer the 2012 distaster they had recently escaped from. And they need to find the back and and retrive it before it is to late. Although one will not make it out...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He just finished it for his summer reading list. He loves action adventure and thrilling stories and now is reading a book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures. He really likes that book too! Good summer reading material.
-_Jordan_- More than 1 year ago
I thought it was pretty good. Not my favorite, but cool. (My faves are The Prophet of Yonwood & The People of Sparks.) I love the book. I don't like the way it kept switching characters' points of views (Doon & Lina) right when you adjusted to it, but then again, what other way would it be? Lol. Love it, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.
Millie_Hennessy More than 1 year ago
The fourth (and last, I hope) book in the City of Ember series. What started off as a strong series has petered out to a happy ending in a most unsatisfying summary. This book was the "peak" of the action in the series (except maybe their exodus from Ember in the first book), but it left something to be desired. I am a huge fan of young adult and children's fiction, but I think this last book was overly simplified. Lina and Doon have grown up some and gone through many hardships, but they don't seem to have aged emotionally. There were some good action scenes and some great new characters, but after the boring intermission of the Prophet of Yonwood, I was expecting a little more from DuPrau. The very end of the book was very Harry Potter-esque with all the loose ends being tied up and everyone living happily ever after in this post-apocalyptic world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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ncpower More than 1 year ago
Another good addition to the Ember series. I am reading The Profit of Yonwood now which actually is a prequel to them all.
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
What an interesting end to the story.  I like how it teaches the younger readers to continue to use their brains and trust their instincts.  I like how it foreshadows a future for the main characters so we aren't left wondering what might become of them.  And I like how everything wasn't automatically saved and wonderful, but that we can see that perhaps in the future a better world could be possible with hard work and patience.  This is a very good dystopian series for fans of the genre.