When Corkoran Can’t, Policant Can


Year of the Griffin, by Diana Wynne Jones – The sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm doesn’t cover as much territory as that book did, but in a way I think it’s better for that. While the earlier volume had to introduce a new world, develop the characters of Derk and his family, and resolve the plot with Mr. Chesney, this one is more focused. It features a university for wizards that’s now free of Chesney’s influence, but at the same time lacking in funds, and with a largely incompetent staff. We follow the experiences of a group of new students, including the griffin Elda, a dwarf, a prince of Luteria, the half-sister of an emperor, and the daughter of a pirate captain. The pacing was a bit odd, with some plot points and a trip to Mars being both introduced and resolved fairly late in the narrative, but it was a quite engaging tale. Although the title suggests Elda as the main character, we get a good amount of development for each other characters, as well as one of Jones’s typically happy yet incredibly complicated endings.

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9 Responses to When Corkoran Can’t, Policant Can

  1. vilajunkie says:

    I love/d this book! It has some of the same feel as a Harry Potter book, but with university-bound students of much more varied backgrounds–and of course Jones’ spin on the magical university theme. I remember reading online about some people comparing Corkoran to Gilderoy Lockhart, which in some ways I’d have to agree with; they’re both egotistical and don’t really have any of the accomplishments that they say they have. And the students, at least this particular group, seem to be more effective mages than the faculty. The students’ spells are pretty unorthodox, but that’s to be expected with a group of characters like these. I thought the idea of carrying around a jinx in the form of a hatstand was clever and funny. Same with there being different types of elementals in different environments.

    • vilajunkie says:

      Ha! Just realized I said some of the same things about this book in the Dark Lord of Derkholm post. Oops!

    • Nathan says:

      I didn’t really think of Corkoran being similar to Lockhart, but it makes some sense. They also both have a tendency to attract girls. Corkoran doesn’t come across as quite as much of a fake as Lockhart, though.

      • vilajunkie says:

        Well, he’s more of a flake than a fake, but since his students had more magical ability to travel to Mars than he did alone, he’s obviously not as skilled as he wants others to believe.

  2. Pingback: Pulling the Possibilities | VoVatia

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  4. money three says:

    I dont disagree with this blog..

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