Book Review – The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

Dark Lord of Derkholm

The Dark Lord of Derkholm is a 1998 young adult fantasy novel by author Diana Wynne Jones. Once a year, a magical fantasy land receives guests from another world. These guests, whom visit as Pilgrim Parties under the organization of a ruthless businessman named Mr. Chesney, embark upon this journey to experience a real-life fantasy adventure, complete with dragons, battles between the forces of good and evil, and even a Dark Lord to vanquish at the end of their hard-fought quest. However, after years of suffering the devastating consequences, the people of this fantasy land have had enough. Maybe, if they completely sabotage this year’s tours, nobody will ever want to visit again. To do so, they’ll have to appoint the worst wizard for the job of Dark Lord. Unfortunately for Derk and his family, that’s him.

Read More »

WWW Wednesday – September 21, 2022

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

A Carnival of SnackerySince last week I managed to get a modest start on A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris. So far I’ve read all the included entries for the year 2003, though that’s only about 25 pages. It really does make for some nice, easy reading, as each diary entry isn’t especially long and they can be fairly self-contained. There have been a few mentions of the Iraq War and references to tension between the U.S. and France related to it. I was 12 at the time, so I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to the fact that apparently France and the U.S. were sniping at each other at the time because they didn’t agree over the war or something? Was this the reason for that “freedom fries” thing?

Pet SemataryI’ve also started reading Pet Sematary by Stephen King, though I’m only about 25 pages into that novel as well. I’m enjoying the personal relationships the story is building so far; King has a way with highlighting personal, internal things that are honest but you would perhaps never say out loud. The narrative expressing that Jud is the man who should have been Louis’s father, for instance, communicating how close their friendship will become, is so resonant. It feels like something you might be embarrassed to actually say, but it is nevertheless a reflection of the truth. It has also occurred to me that I know the general idea of what this book is about, and I even saw the most recent film adaptation of it, but I really don’t know what the bulk of the actual novel entails. I look forward to learning how it all unfolds.


Recently Finished

Dark Lord of DerkholmAfter far too long in the midst of it, I have finally finished reading The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. Somewhat off-putting, I realized when I finished it that my copy has “the” at the front of the title, but on Goodreads it doesn’t. Why did this website gaslight be into thinking I had been writing the title wrong? Very bizarre. Even the cover image they use is identical, but no “the” above the D like my copy has. At any rate, I liked this novel overall, but it was a lot more lacking in plot than I was hoping. It had really strong characters, but it felt mostly like a lot of hectic stuff went down and then somehow everything wrapped up fairly neatly by the end. I couldn’t help feeling a little let down by the end. I will hopefully have a review up before next week.


Reading Next

I’ve finally been able to start some new things, so I don’t really have anything new planned to tell you about here. I do want to try and cram in a lot of spooky reads though, with October just around the corner. We

Until next time, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – July 6, 2022

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

The Dictionary of Obscure SorrowsPardon the unusually late post this week, I’ve had a bit of a day. I’ve only made a small amount of progress in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig, but considering this past week as a whole, I’m seeing this as a positive. I’ve actually recorded a new word from what I’ve recently read as well, so I’m not just pulling from a backlog. This week’s word is moledro, “a feeling of resonant connection with an author or artist you’ll never meet, who may have lived centuries ago and thousands of miles away but can still get inside your head and leave behind morsels of their experience, like the little piles of stones left by hikers that mark a hidden path through unfamiliar territory.”


Recently Finished

Son of a TricksterI’m happy to report that I used may available free time more wisely this past weekend and finished reading the last hundred or so pages of Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. I quite like this book, it has certainly gotten me interested in reading the whole trilogy, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I can’t help having mixed feelings about it. I guess I was expecting the magical elements to expand more meaningfully than they did, but the novel still does something interesting and different with the whole “teen discovers they have a connection to magic” type of story. The ending was actually rather bittersweet/poignant, I’m not sure which best describes how I feel, and it was tied mostly to very grounded, real-world problems. The magic is no longer a secret, but I do have to wonder what the future has in store for Jared, as he doesn’t suddenly have endless possibilities open to him.


Reading Next

Dark Lord of DerkholmRight off the bat, I want to read volume two of Animosity by Marguerite Bennett et al. soon so that I can figure out if I actually want to stick with this series or not. Hopefully I can read that by next week. I’ve also decided, right this moment, that I will read The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones next. This is the first book in a pair that I have had my eyes on reading for a while, and it has been too long since I’ve read any of Jones’s work. It actually feels criminal how little of her fiction I’ve actually finished. It’s time to change that.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.