Synopses & Reviews
For forty years, Wizard Derk's world has been devastated by Mr. Chesney's Pilgrim Parties packaged excursions for tourists from the next universe in search of adventure. When the mild-mannered Derk is chosen to play the role of this year's Dark Lord, he is forced by the sinister Mr. Chesney to turn his bucolic country estate into a labyrinthine castle lit by baleful fires, manifest himself as a nine-foot-tall shadow with flaming red eyes, and lead his minions to a climactic battle against the Forces of Good.
Can Derk find a way to put an end to the evil Mr. Chesney and his Pilgrim Parties once and for all?
"On a par with Jones's best, this expansive novel manages to be both an affectionate send-up of the sword-and-sorcery genre and a thrilling fantasy adventure in its own right....Thought-provoking and utterly engaging, this tour-de-force succeeds on numerous levels. The marvelously characterized griffins are a particularly noteworthy pleasure." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Mad about Harry? Try Diana." U.S. News & World Report
"[A] side-splitting, sometimes scary tale that will intrigue readers of the very fantasies being spoofed here. A true delight." Booklist
"[E]xciting, mysterious, and hilarious....Fans of Jones's previous books will not be disappointed, and Dark Lord could also be an excellent introduction to high fantasy for other readers." School Library Journal
"Several surprises in the convoluted plot lead to the triumphant ending of the author's best fantasy in some time." Horn Book
Mr. Chesney operates Pilgrim Parties, a tour group that takes paying participants into an outer realm where the inhabitants play frightening and foreboding roles. The time has come to end the staged madness . . . but can it really be stopped? Master storyteller Diana Wynne Jones serves up twists and turns, introduces Querida, Derk, Blade, and Shona and a remarkable cast of wizards, soldiers, kings, dragons, and griffins, and mixes in a lively dash of humor. With all the ingredients of high fantasy, this unforgettable novel will delight fans old and new.
About the Author
Diana Wynne Jones was raised in the village of Thaxted, in Essex, England. She has been a compulsive storyteller for as long as she can remember enjoying most ardently those tales dealing with witches, hobgoblins, and the like. Ms. Jones lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor of English at Bristol University. They have three sons and two granddaughters.