Cart and Cwidder starts off with Clennan the Singer and his family as they travel in their cart through the South Dales on their way to the North. The South Dales are under the rigid and heavy hands of their respective earls while the North is freer. The story focuses on Moril, Clennan’s younger son. As the story progresses he has to come to terms with what his parents didn’t tell him, as well as his own unexpected talents.
It’s a lovely story, nuanced and balanced. It’s a story about growing up and beginning to see your parents as people rather than Your Parents, with all the different things that implies. Moril is a likable and sympathetic character and if he’s a little slow to realize a few things, that’s all right. Diana Wynne Jones tends to get siblings right in her books and the interactions between Brid, Moril, and Dagner seemed spot on to me.