Elda is the youngest griffin child of Wizard Derk, who was the protagonist of Dark Lord of Derkholm.  Elda was a minor character in that book, but in this one, she is the star. 

Elda's smaller than several of her griffin sisters & brothers.  She is gold all over, still growing, and just about 14 when this novel begins.  She has a warm heart, which is forcefully employed if she finds one of her friends is in trouble.

Delights of UniversityEdit

Elda is one of those people who dives wholeheartedly into things, and takes great joy in the people and things she loves.  Sometimes she's wrong about those people, but more often she seems to be very right.  She begins by deciding that the current head of the University, Wizard Corkoran, is "sweet" and explaining to her friends that she feels like picking him up and flying around with him, like she used to do with her teddy bear.

She discovers after not a long time that she no longer feels the same way about Corkoran.  However, by then she is simply delighted to have a group of friends, and likes all of them a lot.  They meet between classes around the statue of Wizard Policant in the courtyard.  After a visit from Elda's father, they have plenty of coffee and oranges to enjoy while doing so.


After Derk's visit, the group of friends begins exploring books in the University Library that begin to open their awareness of the possibilities of magic.  Their newfound knowledge leads them, with the help of Wizard Blade and Kit, on an adventure which is way beyond the kind of thing that a group of first-year students could be expected to manage.  In the end, things work out, as they often do in Diana Wynne Jones novels, with many unexpected twists and satisfying resolutions to complicated problems.

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