Monday, May 17, 2010

Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

An enterprising fellow by the name of Mr Chesney has managed (with the help of a powerful demon) to subjugate the entire population of the magical world in which this story takes place. Each year, parties of pilgrims and tourists from our own modern, magic-less world must be escorted through the land and have specific experiences with evil soldiers, dragons, magical beasts and, of course, must have the opportunity to encounter and defeat the evil Dark Lord himself. A contract enforces dire consequences for the locals if the pilgrims don't get everything they paid for.

For the residents of his unnamed magical land, the yearly obligation to entertain these intruders is becoming more and more burdensome. They decide to take matters into their own hands with chaotic and entertaining results. This was a very funny twist on the stereotypical high fantasy novel - lots of parody and absurdity keeps the story from ever getting too serious.

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