The DWJ Project: Year of the Griffin
This is the third book in the “Fantasyland” set, following on Dark Lord of Derkholm, about eight years after the end of that book. It is less closely linked to Tough Guide to Fantasyland, though; the tours are done, and the world is sorting itself back into some kind of order, when Derk’s youngest griffin daughter Elda goes off to wizard college.
As I said before, I’m a sucker for the younger generation finding out just what they’re capable of. As a result, I really like Year of the Griffin, just for watching the protagonists deal with each other’s problems — Claudia’s jinx, the assassins after Felim, the dwarven rebellion that sent Ruskin, and so on. It’s amazing what you can do with a card catalogue and a bit of intellectual curiosity . . . .
I kind of want to kick Corkoran in the head for being so obsessed with his moonshot, even if I totally believe in that dynamic, academically speaking — the professor who’s more concerned with his pet project than with teaching. Wehrmacht I want to kick even more, for sheer incompetence. But they aren’t generally malevolent (not like Mr. Chesney in Dark Lord), and I’m not expected to sympathize with them as protagonists, so I can deal with that impulse. I quite Elda and Lukin and Olga and Claudia and Felim and Ruskin, and that’s the part that matters.