The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau

The townspeople of Sparks and the refugees from Ember have settled in together.  The winter is brutal, resources are limited and times are difficult: everyone is hungry.  When the next roamer comes to town, there is very little to offer in trade.  Books always capture Doon’s interest though and the roamer has one—even though it is missing many pages, Lina offers one of their precious matches in trade.

The book seems to indicate that there is a mysterious Builders’ device that may still be in Ember.  Doon and Lina decide to go back, see if they can find it AND, while they’re at it, gather as much food and medicine as they can from Ember’s homes.  Afraid the adults won’t approve of this risky plan, they sneak away in the early morning hours.

After a long, difficult cross-country trek and a nerve-wracking descent into the cave’s darkness, Doon and Lina arrive in Ember—but they are not alone.  Someone has found Ember and wants to make sure that it remains a secret.

Excellent conclusion to the Ember series!  Doon and Lina are wonderful characters: curious, resourceful, compassionate, genuine.  All loose ends are wrapped up AND the epilogue even answers the question of what Hoyt McCoy did with his telescope in The Prophet of Yonwood.

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