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In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones ( ‒) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Mr. Chesney operates Pilgrim Parties, a tour group that takes paying participants into an outer realm where the inhabitants play frightening and foreboding r. A description of tropes appearing in Dark Lord of Derkholm. A Young Adult fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, set in the world described in her meta- .

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I’ve come to kill your enemies. There was something even wronger with this dragon than he had thought. Possibly it was insane. He threw his head back and looked into its filmy green eyes. Under the green and behind the film, red flickered.

Red in derkholmm eyes of a dragon, he remembered learning as a student, meant that it was angry. Its eyes became wholly a cloudy red. Derk backed away from the roar with his hands over his ears, surrounded in wet brown smoke. What are dragons coming to, letting humans make fools of them like this?


Dark Lord of Derkholm

The smoke was making his lungs sore. The force of the bellow sent Derk reeling away.

I knew you’d rescue me! Who would care about wet boots in the midst of platitudes and passionate kisses? Only the novelist apparently.

Try to imagine Hemingway writing such a sentence. Almost as bad as when Blade asks the Horselady, “How much do they pay you for the horses?

It sounds like something a burger flipper at McDonald’s might answer if you or them how much they paid him. We may even stop reading it at some point. When this happens to me, the novel never gets reviewed because I don’t finish reading it. I’m hating this battle quite as much as I’m enjoying it.

Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm, #1) by Diana Wynne Jones

I was hating the novel more than I was enjoying it, and having a low tolerance for things and people I hate, I whisked through the second half of this novel so that I might review in a way which may enlighten “Young Novelists” who may wish to emulate the author of this novel.

Perhaps they will lighten themselves of their wish to write and create more drek in a world that already has Drekholm or better yet inspire them to read literature and learn about themselves in the process of writing. I met a man from New Jersey who told me stories he got directly from his father who was Thomas Edison’s chauffeur.


Apparently Edison was constantly bumming cigars from his driver. A man who will bum cigars without returning the favor will also bum ideas of other people without recompense or acknowledgment.

Rerkholm was lousy at inspiration, but great at implementation and thus his famous dictum, which while pithy, turns out to be most meaningful for Edison himself and primary thieves everywhere those who steal derkhollm.

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