Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Year of the Griffin (Derkholm) Paperback – August 7, 2001
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Wavy-blond-haired Professor Corkoran has plenty of schemes for extracting money from his students' families. But he always has plenty of ideas, and none of them work. Besides, he is too busy researching how to be the first man to walk on the moon to do much of anything else. As his new crop of students shows up, Corkoran is in for a surprise. Not only do none of them have any money, but one is a huge griffin, "brightly golden in fur and crest and feathers, so sharply curved of beak, and so fiercely alert in her round orange eyes that at first sight she seemed to fill a room." (Meet Elda, softhearted yet gigantic daughter of Wizard Derk.)
The hilarious goings-on begin when Corkoran's moneymaking schemes backfire horribly, and the motley crew of would-be wizards begin their studies. Comical tableaux involving spells that create deep pits and smelly winged monkeys alternate with suspenseful (yet always amusing) scenes involving tiny assassins who mean business. Jones's satirical pokes at academia, racial intolerance (the greenish and jinxed Claudia has mixed blood), and hierarchical societies (Ruskin is bucking the tyranny of the forgemasters to become the first dwarf wizard) keep the story lively, as do the realistic portrayals of her very odd and endearing cast of characters. You definitely don't have to have read Dark Lord to enjoy this wonderful sequel, but you may not be able to resist going back to it. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Born just outside London in 1934, Diana Wynne Jones had a childhood that was "very vivid and often very distressing"--one that became the fertile ground where her tremendous imagination took root. When the raids of World War II reached London in 1939, the five-year-old girl and her two younger sisters were torn from their suburban life and sent to Wales to live with their grandparents. This was to be the first of many migrations, one of which brought her family to Lane Head, a large manor in the author-populated Lake District and former residence of John Ruskin's secretary, W.G. Collingwood. This time marked an important moment in Diana Wynne Jones's life, where her writing ambitions were magnified by, in her own words, "early marginal contacts with the Great." She confesses to having "offending Arthur Ransome by making a noise on the shore beside his houseboat," erasing a stack of drawings by the late Ruskin himself in order to reuse the paper, and causing Beatrix Potter (who also lived nearby) to complain about her and her sister's behavior. "It struck me," Jones said, "that the Great were remarkably touchy and unpleasant, and I thought I would like to be the same, without the unpleasantness." Prompted by her penny-pinching father's refusal to buy the children any books, Diana Wynne Jones wrote her first novel at age twelve and entertained her sisters with readings of her stories. Those early stories--and much of her future work--were inspired by a limited but crucial foundation of classics: Malory's Morte D'Arthur, The Arabian Nights, and Epics and Romances of the Middle Ages. Fantasy was Jones's passion from the start, despite receiving little support from her often neglectful parents. This passion was fueled further during her tenure at St. Anne's College in Oxford, where lectures by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis increased her fascination with myth and legend. She married Medievalist John Burrow in 1956; the couple have three sons and six grandchildren.
After a decade of rejections, Diana Wynne Jones's first novel, Changeover, was published in 1970. In 1973, she joined forces with her lifelong literary agent, Laura Cecil, and in the four decades to follow, Diana Wynne Jones wrote prodigiously, sometimes completing three titles in a single year. Along the way she gained a fiercely loyal following; many of her admirers became successful authors themselves, including Newbery Award winners Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman, and Newbery Honor Book author Megan Whalen Turner. A conference dedicated solely to her work was held at the University of West England, Bristol, in 2009. Diana Wynne Jones continued to write during her battle with lung cancer, which ultimately took her life in March 2011. Her last book, Earwig and the Witch, will be published by Greenwillow Books in 2012.
Top Customer Reviews
Anyways, this is the sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm (which you really should read first), and although different in quality is equally as entertaining. I loved seeing the familiar characters pop in and out, and getting updates on them. Although I would have liked to see more of them, I hardly noticed as we were busy getting to know a whole new cast of intriguing character... Elda's new classmates.
I took this book up in the evening just before bedtime. Always a bad idea. I was reading all night! I thought I would have enough self control to stop after a chapter or so but Diana Wynne Jones had me hooked. Right from our first meeting with Elda's new classmates, I was already laughing out loud.
Instead of the questing and defeating the enemies tone of the first book, this book focused more on renewal and growth, of both Elda and her classmate friends, as well as of the University. And as I mentioned before, it was great to hear of all the familiar faces.
I long for a third book from this world! Her fan website says she has promised her sister that she will write one. Can't wait!
Because the offworld tours have stopped, money has become scarce. Wizard Corkoran, the new head of Wizard University (who is obsessed with reaching the moon), hopes to soak the parents of the new first years. They consist of a mysterious young foreigner, a pirate girl, an impoverished prince, a half-Marsh girl with a jinx, a runaway dwarf, and the griffin daughter of Wizard Derk. None of them have any money, and quite a few aren't even supposed to be there. To top it off, their magic is anything but normal.
When Corkoran stupidly sends out money-seeking letters to their parents and relatives, the students start trying to magically protect themselves from the Emir, a pirate, the dwarf overseers, and the Romanesque Empire. Add some primitive griffins, a vindictive teacher, and some magic gone horribly awry, and it's a year to never forget... especially when they take an unexpected trip to Mars.
Those expecting a retread of "Dark Lord" will be disappointed; "Year" is more along the lines of "students at a wizard school battle evil," albeit far more imaginatively than most books with that theme. Jones happily mashes together Roman empires, pirates, fantasy dwarves (complete with armor and underground cities), and ties it together with her previous book. Don't worry, reading "Dark Lord" is not necessary, though it is recommended.Read more ›
Year of the Griffin is a fun little romp, but doesn't reach the heights of intensity and resonance found in so many other of Jones' novels. Perhaps because the primary cast is so big, the resolutions of their problems aren't felt so intensely. It also seems like a novel is missing from in between "Griffin" and "Dark Lord", as most of Elda's family are off cleaning up a war on another continent and a number of characters involved in the close of "Griffin" seem to have originated in this "missing period" between "Dark Lord" and "Griffin".
Definitely buy "Griffin" - it's a thoroughly enjoyable romp. But at times it feels like the surface of several novels whose depths we never quite reach.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the sequel even more than the Dark Lord of Derkhelm. Diana Wynne Jones creates delightful, rich characters and detailed, creative stories that are thoroughly enjoyable.Published 3 months ago by Inkweaver
This book is a companion to “Dark Lord of Derkholm,” yet another Diana Wynne Jones novel about communications between worlds (there sure are a lot of them, aren’t there?). Read morePublished 8 months ago by E.J. Jones
Another brilliant story by Diana Wynne Jones. The family of wizard Derk continues to charm me.Published 10 months ago by Ryan
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon.com. Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule. Read morePublished 11 months ago by The Cosy Dragon (Rose Herbert)
I love this author so much! This book (and the rest in this series) were just fantastic! Yes, I'm an adult, but there is something about how she writes that draws me in! Read morePublished 13 months ago by K.L.
This book is a sort of midsummer nights dream romp - lots of couples and an attempt at a young adult fantasy which works in many ways and falls short in others. Read morePublished 18 months ago by azebra