Year of the Griffin
By Diana Wynne Jones
(Greenwillow Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780064473354, 400pp.)
Publication Date: August 2001
It is eight years after the tours from offworld have stopped. High Chancellor Querida has retired, leaving Wizard Corkoran in charge of the Wizards' University. Although Wizard Corkoran's obsession is to be the first man on the moon, and most of his time is devoted to this project, he decides he will teach the new first years himself in hopes of currying the favor of the new students' familiesfor surely they must all come from wealth, important familiesand obtaining money for the University (which it so desperately needs). But Wizard Corkoran is dismayed to discover that one of those studentsindeed, one he had such high hopes for, Wizard Derk's own daughter Eldais a hugh golden griffin, and that none of the others has any money at all.
Wizard Corkoran's money-making scheme backfires, and when Elda and her new friends start working magic on their own, the schemes go wronger still. And when, at length, Elda ropes in her brothers Kit and Blade to send Corkoran to the moon . . . well . . . life at the Wizards' University spins magically and magnificently out of control.
This breathtakingly brilliant sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm is all one would expect from this master of genre.
In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizardsand a charismatic nine-lived enchanterher books were filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy. In addition to being translated into more than twenty languages, her books have earned a wide array of honorsincluding two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors and the Guardian Awardand appeared on countless best-of-the-year lists. Her best-selling Howl's Moving Castle was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and was nominated for an Academy Award. Diana Wynne Jones was also honored with many prestigious awards for the body of her work. She was given the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999 for having made a significant impact on fantasy, and she won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in 2007.