Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Dark Lord of Derkholm

Dark Lord of DerkholmDark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars. Almost 4.0 (As I write this review, I'm actually rounding up to 4)

This was a fun read. I liked it better than Howl's Moving Castle, which I'd read earlier in 2014. There was a nice mixture of wit and magic, and some characters I could really get behind.

The concept was absurdly brilliant - a fantasy world used as a theme park by Pilgrim Parties that come to live the adventure. Derk is chosen to be this year's Darklord and must go out of his way to give the tourists the best possible epic thrillride.

Execution was nice too. Jones had a way of smooth prose and timing. This book was actually much darker than I'd expected (despite the title) and I'm not really sure I'd call it "YA", as the marketing has it. The light tone (though darker subject matter at times) and satirical approach might have played into that, but it certainly wasn't childish. Much.

There was a moment or two near the end that almost ruined the story somewhat, but things worked out fairly well by the end. The ending almost disappointed me too, but then I put into perspective the type of book I was reading. I'm actually giving extra props for Jones being able to make me take this story seriously enough to question that ending. Not to be vague, but I don't want to spoil any of it.

Anyway, this was an enjoyable read and I'm interested enough to consider the sequel.

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