Like the first book, Year of the Griffin begins with High Chancellor Querida. The first chapter reprises what has happened to the world of Derkholm during the eight years since the Tours ended. Querida has retired to a quiet cottage near the Waste, where she is busy restoring the ruined wilderness to fertility again. She has become the classic Old Witch with Cats, and she likes it.
Appearance and CharacterEdit
Querida has not changed noticeably from her appearance in the first book. She is very tiny, with greenish skin and quick movements. Very intelligent and quite cranky, she doesn't suffer fools gladly. Most of the first part of the novel takes place in the University she has retired from, and she is only present in references to the way the university used to run when she was in charge of it.
However, when she retired, she left the place in charge of a group of senior wizards, all of whom were very tired from having had to cope with the pressures and uncertainty of the yearly Pilgrim Party tours run by the devious offworld plutocrat Mr. Chesney. As a result, the senior wizards lost little time themselves in retiring, and as a result, the university is now in charge of a group of younger wizards, who run it by committee.
By the end of the book, various problems mean that Querida once again has to return to the university to take a hand in the action. It's nice to see her again, to meet her cats, and to recognize that things are eventually left once again in good hands.