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The trials and tribulations of the Wizards University,
This review is from: The Year Of The Griffin (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
Eight years after the events of "Dark Lord of Derkholm" Derk and Maras children are off to see - and put right - the world Mr. Chesneys Tours so nearly destroyed - at least, most of them are. Elda just wants to go to University and learn magic properly. But upon arrival, it turns out that Dad might have had a point when he said she'd be wasting her time. The University is, not to put too fine a point on it, stony broke and most of the teachers utterly incompetent. And Chairman Corcoran isn't helping: he'd rather spend what little money he can dredge up on building his moonship than repairing roofs, or buying food. Still, when his new students arrive, and he realises that they all come from rich and important families, he manages to stay on the ground long enough to do the only sensible thing: send their parents pleading letters begging for money. Meanwhile Elda has made friends with them all, and quickly discovers that each and every one of them has, to use the common phrase, done a bunk. Just how their respective families feel about that becomes clear when assassins, pirates and various enraged monarchs begin to show up at the University!
Plot? What plot? "Year of the Griffin" is pure fun, with no pretensions to any kind of world-shaking storyline. It's about friendship, family, and, of course, university. It's about new life and fresh ideas and crawling out from under the debris of the past. It's about jinxes and angry parents, greedy senators and griffins (obviously). But most of all, as always with Jones, it's about magic. And once again, one of the best things about her book is way you can almost feel her joy in writing jumping off the pages. It shines through every single sentence, and it's extremly contagious.