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Year of the Griffin (2000)

by Diana Wynne Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Derkholm (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5492810,130 (4.04)86
When Elda, the griffin daughter of the great Wizard Derk, arrives for schooling at the Wizards' University, she encounters new friends, pirates, assassins, worry, sabotage, bloodshed, and magic misused.

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» See also 86 mentions

English (26)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I enjoyed Book 2 about the Derkholm clan as much as the Book 1. Here Elda, the youngest (I think?) of the griffin children gets her heart's desire and goes to the Wizard college, only . . . while Elda immediately makes friends with the others in her class (which include heirs to various empires and kingdoms and exotic fortunes) things are not going at all well there as far as pedagogy goes. The present wizard teachers were all trained during the period of "The Tours" and were taught ONLY what they needed to help the visitors and themselves survive. Any sort of invention or theory or unconventional ideas and attempts were thoroughly discouraged. Of course, mayhem ensues! I love Elda. I'll miss them all. ***** ( )
  sibylline | Mar 30, 2022 |
Basically you and your misfit friends in college but with magic and your academic advisor is a space travel obsessed Gildoroy Lockhart. I love how the story progresses and the shifts between funny and serious and I love the griffins so. Wasn't a fan of how almost everyone got paired off by the end. Romance not needed.

2022 edit to say I enjoyed the critique of academia ( )
1 vote mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
Nine years have passed since the Pilgrim Parties have ended and the world is still finding its feet. High Chancellor Querida has not resigned, but moved herself to the Wastes to restore the world and has left the University with a governing board. Most senior faculty retired as well, leaving the University in younger hands. Instead of embracing the opportunity of having a Boomer-free educational playground, the wizards are struggling. All these wizards have known is the tour and they only teach the methods that worked to keep a wizard and their party alive during a tour. Despite raising fees, there's not enough money coming in to fix the roofs and the food in the cafeteria must continue to go downhill.

The Wizard Corcoran, University Chairman, is concerned about this lack of money because it prevents him from focusing on his moon rocket research. He's skimmed from the top of the newest crop of students in the hope of gaining some valuable doners. Unfortunately, though his six students have blood ties to powerful and rich political states and the youngest child of Wizard Derk, no extra money appears to be forthcoming. In fact, the University's letter requesting donations causes some interesting consequences.

When I first read this I was disappointed that 'Year of the Griffin' wasn't the perfection that 'Dark Lord of Derkholm' was. This time I can finally appreciate this for what it is: another weird gem of a book from Diana Wynne Jones. The book is absurd and there are too many characters and assassins, but it actually works quite well. When are you ever going to get another chance to go to Mars with a griffin?


Previous: 'Dark Lord of Derkholm' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 27, 2021 |
I much preferred this follow-on to Dark Lord of Derkholm. I never bought the "tour groups overrunning the world" plot of Dark Lord. It always seemed to me to be a joke for a flimsy short story that made it difficult to understand or empathize with any of the leading characters. The focus primarily on adult characters also made it an odd tale for the young adult market. Year of the Griffen has neither of those flaws, plenty of invention, some wry digs at universities, and a plot that initially seems episodic but eventually leads into a grand knot at the end, if a little too pat with too many happy endings.

Recommended. ( )
  ChrisRiesbeck | Jan 23, 2021 |
Sequel to Dark lord of Derkholm ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Broadbent, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dawson, GemmaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, DuncanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Joseph A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sullivan, JonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Susan Hirschman
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Nothing was going right with the Wizards' University.
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When Elda, the griffin daughter of the great Wizard Derk, arrives for schooling at the Wizards' University, she encounters new friends, pirates, assassins, worry, sabotage, bloodshed, and magic misused.

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(whichever universe you
live in) challenging.

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