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Year of the Griffin Hardcover – 1 Aug 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060291583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060291587
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,006,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I found "Year of the Griffin" filled with splendors and delights, sparkling plays of wit, and high flights of fancy -- in short, Diana Wynne Jones at her best."-- Lloyd Alexander"Diana Wynne Jones chooses the most outlandish subjects and treats them with such aplomb that the reader never blinks. She always gives you characters you believe in from top to bottom and a world whose details you recognize inside and out. Her prose is transparent without ever being ordinary. Her humor is deft. All the worlds that Jones creates have her trademark integrity."-- Megan Whalen Turner"I "love" Diana Wynne Jones. Read this book. Read all the other ones, too."-- Robin McKinley"Readers who want more substance in character and plot of fantasy novels are advised to turn to the underrated novelist Diana Wynne Jones."-- Andrew Ogus, Letter to the Editor, "New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Diana Wynne Jones does for universities what J K Rowling does for boarding schools --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
I had initially held off reading this book as I had not liked the first book 'The Dark Lord of Derkholm'. However this was much better(though not typical) Wynne Jones fare. It was reminiscent in style of Terry Pratchett, though maybe this was due to the fact it was based in a university for wizards and a lot of magical shenanigans went on. It picked up where the first book left off, though it focuses on the griffin Elda and the friends she makes at the university. The plot concerns how they shake the university out of its staid ways caused by the aftermath of the Mr Chesney tours, with only bit parts for the main protagonists of the original. It is quite similar to Hexwood in style but if you are wanting another 'Sudden Wild Magic' or a more adult Chrestomanci book this isn't it. It is, however, very good.
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Format: Hardcover
Year of the Griffin answers the question 'what next' from the end of Dark Lord of Derkholm. We meet the same family, eight years on, and many new faces. This book is more lighthearted than Dark Lord, and whilst no one would accuse Diana of having an evil streak, some of those jokes are a bit on the dark side! The assassins would probably vouch for that.
The family is all grown up and off on adventures, leaving Elda to fend for herself at University (easy to do when you're a cross between an eagle, a lion, a cat, and 2 powerful wizards with your own brand of magic thrown in to offset any problems!). Here she finds that everyone has their own unique problem, and groups up with a team of fellow oddbods in a bid to understand the incompetent and seriously outclassed teachers. The teachers, of course, are quite happy with the way things are run and don't want smart students asking difficult questions, especially not when you're a bar stool!
The story is a non-stop rollercoaster of good fun, with the usual mayhem and unexpected twists to keep you begging for more. I was disappointed at the end, because it didn't leave an obvious opening for another follow-on! Or did it!
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Format: Hardcover
I have enjoyed many of Diana Wynne Jones' books. They are extremely imaginative and entertaining. She has a wonderful sense of humour and her portrayal of characters is excellent. I read this when I was much younger, perhaps 10. Having bought it from Amazon recently, I read it again almost ten years later. It was still engaging and I did not want to put the book down. Indeed I didn't, I sat down with it and didn't move until I had finished it.

It is within a set of books, I don't know how many. Though I have not read any of the ones relating to this book it was not a hindrance to my following the plot.

I would recommend this book to any child or adult who has enjoyed fantasy books, perhaps having read the 'Harry Potter' books and enjoyed them. Again it is set in a school style environment but it is a far more sophisticated plot line and far more imaginative. If you are interested in that kind of amazing story with fantastical creatures, still written in an way that is easy to read, you would most likely really enjoy this book, as well as many of Diana Wynne Jones' other books.
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Format: Paperback
To compare Dianna Wynne Jones with JK Rowling is incredibly unfair, as Jones is superior in every way. That being said, I was disappointed with 'The Year of the Griffin', as I could see the parallels with Harry Potter, and did feel that Jones had let herself down with this one. Although still well above average for the sci-fi/fantasy genre, this is not her best work.
It is also worth mentioning that this is the second book in the 'Wizard Derk' series, and although it can (just about) be read independantly, it makes far more sense if you precede it with 'The Dark Lord of Derkholm.'
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Format: 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.
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