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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wide range of reactions
I just finished this book last night (stayed up past my bedtime again), and I had to look and see what other people thought about it. I was surprised by the different reactions. If you like Diana Wynne Jones, you'll probably enjoy this one (my husband, while reading it, said, "She's brilliant!") but if you don't like involved, complicated (at times confusing)...
Published on October 16, 2000 by Helena Jole

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good world but set to a hectic pace...
Dark Lord of Derkholm is a good book.

The main characters, including all of Derk's magically intelligent creatures, were all well fleshed out and unique. All of the Griffins have distinct personalities, which makes it easy to believe that they are actual teenage children of the wizard Derk.

Even the world concept was intriguing: A powerful...
Published on August 1, 2006 by Ghanima


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a Tour of Fantasyland!, April 17, 2002
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Paperback)
Have you ever wanted to explore a fantasy world? Well, you can by joining a tour that takes people from our world to a totally different world where fantasy is reality. Or is it? A struggling fantasy world supplements its income by offering tours to offworlders, but they have to follow strict guidelines--evil (the Dark Lord) must wear black and live in a ruined town, he must ride a dark steed, enchantresses must be sexy and wear revealing gowns, etc, etc. When Derk is chosen to be this year's Dark Lord, he turns the world upside down as he and his family struggle to meet the standards of the tour without ruining their home, and the results are amusing and chaotic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blade and his family save the world, December 28, 1998
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Hardcover)
Diana Wynne Jones has created another wonderful story of a magic-filled world. Unlike "A Sudden Wild Magic," where Earth was being depleted by a magic-filled world, in "Dark Lord of Derkholm" the world in which the Wizard Derk and his children (human and griffin) live, is being sucked dry by the Pilgrim Parties, organized by Mr. Chesney, and ruled by the demon he has is his pocket. On certain levels and allegorical tale of the depredations that connivers like Mr. Chesney perfidiously perform on our own world, the plot revolves around families, how they function, and what the members mean to each other. Ms. Wynne Jones has developed ever more rich, complicated plots with successive books. Fans will be delighted, and those new to her writing will appreciate the complex plot with flashes of levity. A very rapid ending leaves the reader whirling, but on the whole a satisfying, one-sitting read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT GREAT GREAT, July 19, 1999
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Hardcover)
I was only looking for one more book as a "filler" as I had to buy a certain amount to qualify for a discount/coupon. Surprise surprise! Of the 5 books I bought, this is the one I truly enjoyed the MOST! Excellent writing, plenty of humor and my interest was kept well up throughout the book, start to finish. I was sad when I neared the last few pages, I wanted to read more about Derk and his family's adventures. The other book I bought, a $17.95 hardcover copy of The Last DragonLord was SOOOO DULL and boring, ridden with cliches every corner you turn. Ironically, the other book I bought was also Jones' - TOUGHT GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND - which pokes fun at fantasy book cliches. Wish I had bought more of Jones' books instead.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Lord of Derkholm, December 26, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Hardcover)
As a long and loyal fan of Diana Wynne Jones I admit that I'm slightly biased - I'll eagerly devour anything that she writes! But regardless of that I still have to say that this was a fantastic book! It was incredibly funny (I actually laughed out loud several times) as well as brilliantly written. I've worked as a tour guide many summers in a row and the satirical aspect of this book as it played out all the different aspects of tourism was great. To anyone who has not read Diana Wynn Jones' other masterpieces, I encourage you to. I've never read another author who compares in this genre!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apporved By THIS Teen, December 1, 2000
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This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Hardcover)
As a rather picky reader who goes through an average of 66 books a month, I am particularly choosy with my fantasy and sci-fi books. Only a precious few authors ever write a book that is to my liking.
For instance, I have never liked any of Philip Pullman's books. I always try and read them when a new one comes out, but they don't keep my intrest.
However, with this book, Jones was able to keep me glued to the page throught the whole story. Upon finishing, I immediatly returned to the libraey to get the sequel, Year of the Griffon.
All in all, the whole thing is thrilling, fun, and rather charming, with the griffon children and Blade screaming in people's faces and canivourus sheep.
I love the sheep.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great fantasy, May 8, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Hardcover)
This was by far one of the best books I have ever read. It's a little confusing at first, but once you get into it you can't set it down. It is well thought out, and like many of Jones's novels, it's much better the second time around. I would recomend this book to any fantasy lover!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of Diana Wynne Jones' books, July 14, 2005
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Paperback)
I am surprised by the tone of the collection of reviews of Dark Lord Of Derkholm on this site. It is my favorite of Jones' books, although I have read only about half of her long list of fantasy novels. Maybe it is because there is a sequel, Year of the Griffin, and so you do not entirely lose track of the engaging characters in Dark Lord. What I love is the totally believeable and yet endlessly inventive portrait of family life when the family consists of two human wizards and their seven adolescent offspring, two humans and five griffins. The oldest daughter falls in love, and Wizard Derk must cope with his feelings as the young man who is to be his son-in-law takes his role as her protector and advocate - not that Shona the Bard is anything but strong and competent. Everyone looks after the youngest daughter, yet no one is surprised by the ways 10 year old Elda finds to look after them. The "minor" characters are so fully developed, it puts me in mind of Tolstoy's War and Peace; some of them get further development in Year of the Griffin. Yes, the plot is involved, but perfectly clear in all its unpredictable yet self-consistent twists. The Dark Lord of Derkholm is also graced by a deep morality. I have enjoyed several rereadings; I highly recommend that you give it a try.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, interesting, creative, good/great, May 11, 2005
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Paperback)
Sure, its not Shakespeare, but if you like fantasy, not reading this book is a crime. Its not necessarily a most own and treasure forever, show to your grand kids when your older book, but hey, that doesn't matter. Read this book. Here's why.

It is incredibly good, reads fast...though sometimes too fast, it seems. The characters are well developed, but though it is a reletively easy read, it may be hard to understand if you are younger, simply because of all the plot twists and turns: good ones. Hold, on, its a long, wild ride, but one thats well worth the price.

So, here's the lay down. Pluses: written pretty well, humorous, creative, and imaginative. Characters are well enough developed that you care about them.
Minuses: Beware, if you cry in movies occasionally, you might in this book, but hey, sometimes that's a plus. Beginning is foggy, (but clears to bright and sunny skies, perfect for light, quick reading.) The ending isn't all that heroic.

Get this book, and invest in all Jones others too, especially the sequel and the Chronicles of Crestomanci.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good world but set to a hectic pace..., August 1, 2006
This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Paperback)
Dark Lord of Derkholm is a good book.

The main characters, including all of Derk's magically intelligent creatures, were all well fleshed out and unique. All of the Griffins have distinct personalities, which makes it easy to believe that they are actual teenage children of the wizard Derk.

Even the world concept was intriguing: A powerful businessman from a technologically advanced world forces everyone on Derk's magic-filled, medieval-esc home world to act out enormous D&D tourist trips. This is fun to imagine, and I almost wish the theme parks of Earth could create such a thing.

However, I gave this book a low rating because of how hectic the story line felt. Reading about how much Derk had to organize for the "Forces of the Dark Lord" was simply depressing. I read books for a holiday, but reading and sharing in the anxiety of Derk's planning was not fun. Diana did a wonderful job of crafting her world, but she put too many obstacles in front of her characters, and the plot dragged.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a hysterical book! Very well written, great action!, January 28, 2005
By 
WannaBeABetty (The Sunshine State) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Lord of Derkholm (Paperback)
I just finished this book and it's wonderful! I love Diana Wynne Jones novels, I started with the Chronicles of Chrestomanci long ago and just got around to this series. The Dark Lord of Derkholm is a fantastic story, it's really funny, too. It starts off with our two heroes, Derk and his son Blade, being introduced; arguing with each other as they will from time to time throughout the book. This is a fun story about a world of people who have been made to turn their country into a theme park for the tourists from another world. These "Pilgrim Parties" come through once a year to be guided through on tours through this magical world. The Pilgrims come from a world not too much unlike our own. But the Pilgrim Parties destroy much of the world on their way through each year. So this year, the rulers of this world decide that they have to put a stop to it... thus Derk is made the "Dark Lord" this year, and the chaos ensues...

Overall this is a story about a very interesting and loving family and the trials that they must endure to save their own world... all the while, not really having any idea what they're doing. It's incredibly funny and it's a very touching family story underneath. I loved it!
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Dark Lord of Derkholm
Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones (Hardcover - October 29, 1998)
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