The Dark Lord of Derkholm (Derkholm #1)

Dark Lord of Derkholm


Everyone - wizards, soldiers, farmers, elves, dragons, kings and queens alike - is fed up with Mr. Chesney's Pilgrim Parties: groups of tourists from the world next door who descend en masse every year to take the Grand Tour. What they expect are all the trappings of a grand fantasy adventure, including the Evil Enchantress, Wizard Guides, the Dark Lord, Winged Minions, and all. And every year different people are chosen to play these parts. But now they've had enough: Mr. Chesney may be backed by a very powerful demon, but the Oracles have spoken. Now it's up to the Wizard Derk and his son Blade, this year's Dark Lord and Wizard Guide, not to mention Blade's griffin brothers and sisters, to save the world from Mr. Chesney's depredations.  (Summary and cover courtesy of


This was a book that I loved so much growing up that I was actually quite nervous to re-read it as an adult.  Could it really live up to expectations?  Not only did it live up to them, this book knocked it out of the park.  “The Dark Lord of Derkholm” has the kind of societal commentary that both young and old can understand and appreciate all while being set in an awe-inspiring fantasy world. 

I love Derk’s family as well.  It’s the kind of chaotic, somewhat-unorganized, close-knit family that I think everyone aspires to.  Having a griffin in the family wouldn’t be bad either - though the grocery bill would be atrocious.  Jones is a master of weaving in basic truths during absurd circumstances tempered with British practical responses that creates a hilarious and fantastic story.  I had to immediately re-read the sequel to the book and will soon move on to Jones’ other books.  I just wish there were more in the series!

Warning: Contains violence.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fantasy fans of all sorts – this is one of the classics that will last for many years to come!

Want to read the whole series?

  • Year of the Griffin (Derkholm #2)