Saturday, March 29

The Dark Lord of Derkholm - Diana Wynne Jones

For the past forty years Mr Chesney has dominated everything - the annual tours he brings through from the mundane world have been bigger, more numerous and more demanding and now everything revolves around preparing, enacting or recovering from them. Querida, the most powerful wizard, has had enough. In desperation she consults the oracles and, following their predictions, appoints Wizard Derk the next Dark Lord. Derk's powerful enough, but he never saw eye to eye with the University, and she's seen with her own eyes the hybrids he's created - flying pigs and horses, for a start, and griffins to follow.
Most of the unsurpassable Jones's novels take place in a universe where there are nine worlds, each with varying amounds of magic and each with its own culture and traditions. She always manages to create an engaging, absorbing and unique universe - from the unusual elements in a mundane chemistry set in The Ogre Downstairs to the Norse inspired The Eight Days of Luke, she combined a multitude of influences with her own deft creativity to produce a compelling and highly enjoyable read. I can't do it justice, but I thoroughly enjoyed every word. - Alex

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