Year of the Griffin, Diana Wynne Jones

I didn’t exactly mean to read this.  I am still intending to read all of Shakespeare’s plays, which I had forgotten about until just now.  I am in the middle of rereading the entire Sandman.  I have a whole bunch of books out of the library about sexual ethics and other interesting things – art controversies, STDs, Bohemians – and instead of reading any of those things, I’ve been reading Diana Wynne Jones.  Once I read The Dark Lord of Derkholm I yearned and yearned for Year of the Griffin and couldn’t concentrate on anything else.

In Year of the Griffin, Derk’s youngest griffin daughter Elda goes to University to learn how to be a wizard.   The book is all about the troubles that she and (mostly) her University friends have.  All of her friends have troubles.  Lukin is an impoverished Prince, and his father doesn’t want him to come; Felim has crept away from the Emirates in secret and has assassins after him; Ruskin has been sent by a tribe of dwarf revolutionaries; Olga is the daughter of a totally wicked pirate; and Claudia is the half-sister of the Emperor of the South, and she is a half-breed so the Senators all don’t want her.

Completely good book.  The characters I liked from The Dark Lord of Derkholm are back in this, and the ones I don’t aren’t.  The students are taught by teachers who don’t want them thinking freely, and they all become very clever at thinking of the possibilities their magic has.  Hurrah for free thinking!  I love Diana Wynne Jones!