Year of the Griffin, by Diana Wynne Jones

I still love Diana Wynne Jones. She’s one of the grandes dames of British children’s fantasy, rx and I’ve reviewed several of her books previously. One of those, check The Dark Lord of Derkholm, order was one of my favorite books EVER. It was, quite simply, in my mind, the perfect blend of humor and character and plot and action. It had griffins and dragons and wizards and bards and a lot of amusement; overall, that’s probably one of my top 10 recommended novels of all time. Today’s novel is actually the sequel to that story. One might guess that I went into this book with a large amount of expectation.

Elda, who is one of Derk’s griffin children, has started at the University. The economy of the world has been a little screwed up since the events of The Dark Lord of Derkholm, and the University is running out of money. There are six students in the first-year class, and it seems that most of them are there without their parents’ consent. (Including Elda. Derk isn’t a fan of the university.) So when the current head of the University sends home letters to ask for donations to the first-year students’ parents, all heck breaks loose. All sorts of crazy politics start, including bizarre food, dwarves, griffins from another continent, a professor obsessed with getting to the moon, and mandatory grade deflation . . . Continue reading Year of the Griffin, by Diana Wynne Jones