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Year of the Griffin (Derkholm, #2)
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Year of the Griffin

(Derkholm #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  8,301 ratings  ·  254 reviews
It is eight years after the tours from offworld have stopped. High Chancellor Querida has retired, leaving Wizard Corkoran in charge of the Wizards' University. Although Wizard Corkoran's obsession is to be the first man on the moon, and most of his time is devoted to this project, he decides he will teach the new first years himself in hopes of currying the favor of the n ...more
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published September 19th 2000 by Greenwillow Books (first published August 19th 2000)
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Sara Baggins Technically, there is NOT a next book in the series, but Dianna Wynne Jones wrote another book called 'The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land' which,…moreTechnically, there is NOT a next book in the series, but Dianna Wynne Jones wrote another book called 'The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land' which, although it is not listed as, is basically a guide to Derkholm for the tourists.(less)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,301 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jones fans, fans of magical boarding schools

Every now and then I have the urge for a comforting re-read, a diverting read that will be unlike real life enough to hold back the flood for a couple of hours. Year of the Griffin is one of those books for me, a lovely, reliable read about a group of young adults (both human and otherwise) at a school for wizards. Predating Harry Potter by three years, Diana Wynne Jones made her own foray into the traditional field of English magical schools and succeeds in marvelous, whimsical fashion.

Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A perfect book.
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love this book. It's funny, sweet, and really ties up the story well. Maybe Jones did a little bit too much pairing off, but it's so cute that I don't mind. I also love the moon shot more than I can say, as well as the anti-assassin spells, food spells, and pretty much every other episode in the story.
Blodeuedd Finland
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
Oh she is so funny! Why did it take me ages to try her books! So far they have all been great fun.

This one takes on the whole wizard boarding school trope and it is hilarious. The University is run down and out of money. After Chesney they have barely any wizards who know real magic. Instead they teach basics that give you nothing.

To this glorious institution comes Elda, Derk's griffin daughter (yes you should read book 1 before, and no you do not have to read it before c
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dry British humor fantasy fans
Shelves: youngadult, fantasy
Funny! I really loved this one. A griffin named Elda is starting her first year at the struggling Wizard's University. She makes friends with an assortment of misfits who, for various reasons, want to keep their presence at the University secret. Unfortunately for them, the University sends out letters to all their families in a fund-raising attempt that blows their cover.
This results in ninja attacks, armed forces arriving at the gates to demand the return of certain students, angry roya
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dwj, fantasy
Year of the Griffin (not 'The' Year of the Griffin, by the way) is set in the same universe as The Dark Lord of Derkholm and their common source The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, but, bar a few cross references, works equally well as a standalone. Set eight years after Dark Lord, the story is centred on the young griffin Elda who is in her first year of University. Yes, a student griffin. At a university for wizards. You just know that things aren't going to be straightforward. And so it proves: one cohort of student freshers find that their expectatio ...more
Olga Godim
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This spoof of fantasy tropes defies every genre convention and turns the familiar story of a magic school (Harry Potter, anyone?) upside down. Laughter is a gift of this tale, where every dangerous situation has its farcical silver lining.
The action takes place in a magic university, where six first year students study magic and have adventures and help each other deal with their deadly families. Most of them are deadly anyhow.
There are assassins shrunk to the size of rats, pirates t
Dec 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awww - this follow up (some eight years later) to The Dark Lord of Derkholm is a wonderful fantasy novel. Elda, Derk's griffin daughter, attends the University, and becomes mixed up in assasination plots, and a trip to the moon. Elda is a terribly sweet character, and all the friends she makes at University (with their variety of dark pasts they're hiding from) are wonderful as well. This is typical Diana Wynne Jones - funny and very, very engaging.
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
A positively delightful sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm, this time focused on a magical academy. At times, it's a rather pointed look at academia, but that never gets in the way of telling interesting stories about a beautifully developed group of friends. There's a touch of romance, but it's only a touch, and it's rather light.
The sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm: Elda the Griffin goes to magic school. In that way it's every so slightly like Harry Potter meets Diana Wynne Jones, but it's much more DWJ-y, with a whole lot of really diverse characters all maneuvering toward one big climax. Also very romance-focused for a DWJ book; there's more pairing off than in most of her other books put together.

Honestly, I'm still a little weirded out by the part-animals and humans being genetically related. (The griffin
Goodness I enjoyed this! I think I like it even better than Dark Lord of Derkholm, and that's saying quite a lot! The griffins are such great characters--actually, most of the characters are great--and I love all the magical university politics!
Robin Stevens
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books EVER about life at university, set in one of my very favourite fantasy worlds. (12+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing as always (with the exception of the last few pages, ugh). Possibly my very favorite DWJ.
Freya Marske
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PURE CHAOS but in a very DWJ-ian and delightful way.
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elda, because of her name LOL
Shelves: fantasy
This is the sequel of The Dark Lord of Derkholm, one of the wittiest, funniest book I'd ever read. And as a sequel, this book does not disappoint.

This time Elda, one of Wizard Derk's griffin-child, decided to go the University, although her father did not like the place at all. Since Mr Chesney's tours, the University has stooped down into an institute which only taught the spells needed for the wrenched tours, with incompetent tutors that couldn't even hammer the basics correctly, just like
Kaethe Douglas
Jones had a great time going to college, if this book is anything to judge by. (Of course, she got to hear lectures by C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, so I can't help thinking it must have been heaven). So, this is a book about a group of undergraduates who meet and form friendships and romance right off the bat. And although things at college aren't ideal, and most of them have very challenging problems with their families, they do work together and learn and make decisions and affect their f ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This book reminds me forcefully of Harry Potter, and I suspect it will appeal to the same people: although it is in some sense a sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm (set in the same world eight years later, with some of the same characters), it is quite different in its focus on a group of students attending a wizarding school. Like Rowling, Jones shows a flair for humor (this book is laugh-out-loud funny), quirky characters and magical mishaps, and seems uncomfortable writing any sort of romance. O ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Cute and sweet. Sort of “Harry Potterish,” only with lots more “main” characters and with the Danger to be Met replaced by Individual Challenges Which Really Only Affect Our Protagonists. By which I mean that there were too many characters for me to really care about any of them, and too many little story arcs to maintain any sort of narrative tension. For me. Plus, the villains all felt like caricatures and the romantic pairings off were rather predictable.

Not that I didn't enjoy th
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy the Dark Lord of Derkholm, but I slogged through it because it is so well-reviewed with many people stating that it's their favorite book. But I was pleasantly surprised by this sequel. It follows a typical boarding-school novel format: a plucky group of first-years band together to solve problems and become friends. Elda, the griffin daughter of Derkholm, is the main character. A few characters from the Dark Lord of Derkholm make an appearance: Querida the most powerful wizard, D ...more
Julie Davis
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lent to me by the same kind friend who has supplied all my other Diana Wynne Jones reading, this is the sequel to a book I liked very much, The Dark Lord of Derkholm. I have just begun it so will say more later.

Many of the youngsters we met in The Dark Lord of Derkholm are here for there first year of wizarding school. They discover that the many long years of serfdom giving tourist tours have given the existing wizards an extremely narrow view of magic use. They see it
Chelsey Adams
Rather liked the Dark Lord of Derkholm book, but really struggled to get through this one. The first book had a good over-arcing objective: to end the tours and somehow get out of the hold of Mr. Chesney. This book...I'm still not sure of the objective. To save the University? To help each of these students to find their spouses? To overcome the various things sent against them? Who was the main character? Who was this book really about? It just was trying to do too many things and be too many t ...more
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another sweet delivery from Diana Wynne Jones, undisputed master of all worlds strange, skewed, and just plain weird. Year of the Griffin is a hilarious romp following the adventures of a haphazard group of friends, each one odder than the last, as they attempt to survive what seems to be a simple year of magical education at the University... of course, nothing in Jones's world is ever straightforward. I think that Dark Lord of Derkholm had left a greater emotional dent in me, so more praise goes to that book ...more
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist, favourites
The fantastic follow-up to The Dark Lord of Derkholm (which isn't required reading in order to follow this one, but is highly recommended because it's funny, wonderful and inventive). I loved how DWJ shifts focus from a world in ruins to a school in ruins, and managed to capture the essence of both with plenty of humour. It's impossible to pigeon-hole this book, but think Harry Potter with more weirdness, far more laughter, and more intellectually hungry students, who rely entirely on their wits ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josie B.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-chapter
In a fit of escapism, I am re-reading as many of Diana Wynne Jones' books as I can find. I found all the screwball romances and comedy in this one immensely satisfying. Is Querida the witch of the Marshes from Howl's Moving Castle or just an alternate world version?
Tweedledum and Tweedledee agreed to have a battle.

So did we; and while no rattles are involved, several delayed reviews are.
Lissa Notreallywolf
I found this quite amusing, although a child might read it and find it quite entertaining. We have students in a fraught magical university trying desparately to conceal their origins as they remain, for the most part, starry eyed about the institution that will set them free of their various curses. Some of them are royalty in flight (literally in one case) from their places of origin, or are cast outs from families who cannot countenance their gifts. And there are griffins galore, Elda especia ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This book takes place eight years after the events in Dark Lord of Derkholm, when the various realms are still recovering from the impact of Mr. Chesney's tours.

Elda, one of the griffin daughters of Wizard Derk, is in her first year at the University. Among the other first year students are Ruskin, a dwarf from the Fastnesses, who wants to overthrow the Forgemasters; Felim, from the Emirates, who is pursued by seven assassins; Claudia, the Emperor's half-sister, whose magic is jinxed; Lukin, prince of L
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
while it was great to see these characters again (and how they've progressed) as well as see the world there from another viewpoint, I didn't feel this novel was as well developed as the first.

It was, quite frankly, bizarre how almost every character fell in love (and in about half the cases, IMMEDIATELY got married after just... seeing the other person???)... the first couple times it was cute, by the 5th or 6th time it was just this feeling of, was the author going through something in her pe
As one of my friends pointed out, I accidentally did a "compare and contrast" English Lit assignment by reading this straight after The Magicians. Both have magical universities that seem to be beyond their peak, both have characters attempting to get to the moon, but The Magicians is a nihilist story of how nothing matters when you can have anything you want (until the ending kind of ruins it in it's rush for a sequel setup) and this is an upbeat story about how learning should be imaginative a ...more
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Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers. When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London. In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an ed ...more

Other books in the series

Derkholm (2 books)
  • Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm, #1)