TeenFiction Teton County Library's Reviews > Dark Lord of Derkholm

Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
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's review
Aug 21, 2014

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bookshelves: family, fantasy, freedom, humor
Read in January, 2014

TLC Call #: YA JONES

Chris's Rating: 3 Stars
The setting: a magical world semi-ruled by a wealthy, almost characterless businessman from Earth who holds a demon in his pocket. The problem: If the world doesn’t put on a number of yearly “fantasy shows-trips” for the inhabitants of earth (some of whom are “expendable”) the businessman lets out the said demon to destroy the magical world. The plan: sabotage the “Pilgrim Parties” to make them so unpleasant and unprofitable that the evil Mr. Chesnesy will leave and never come back…at least that is the plan for some.
Each year a new wizard is asked to play the Dark Lord for the “Pilgrim Parties” where visitors from earth come to watch and battle their way through an extravagant fantasy adventure…for a cost of course, which lines the pockets of Mr. Cheseney, not those doing any of the work. A certain set of circumstances set up the unconventional Derk (who has both human and griffin children) as the next Dark Lord. Even as he is being sabotaged, Dirk bumbles his way through the parties until events happen which lead him to simply not care.
This book didn’t really live up to my expectations…perhaps because it wasn’t the kind of humor I was expecting. The setting is complex enough and there were parts where I really got into it, but there were parts where I was equally turned off. By the end I also found it odd that a foreigner could control a world with a single demon, when at least one of the dragons seemed more than a match for any demon. Lots of characters and an unusual fantasy world that isn’t nearly as exciting in an action sort of way as the ones in “books,” except for when the “Pilgrim Parties” roll around.
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07/08/2014 marked as: read

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