Return to Groosham Grange
|Cover artist||Phil Scramm|
|Genre||Adventure fiction, mystery|
|5 May 2003 |
|Preceded by||Groosham Grange|
Return to Groosham Grange (also known as The Unholy Grail) is the second Groosham Grange novel written by Anthony Horowitz. It was released on 5 May 2003 as the new edition under the name, Return to Groosham Grange. The first edition by Walker was released in 1999 with the name The Unholy Grail. It serves as a sequel to Groosham Grange (1988). This novel, published by Walker Books, mainly revolves around how a secret agent of the Bishop of Bletchley tries to destroy Groosham Grange which harbours evil magic. But in the end, the agent fails to complete it.
Groosham Grange is a school of evil magic. It's based on a remote island called Skrull Island off the Norfolk coast and even has secret underground passages. It acts as a GCSE school to fool the authorities and even the parents who put their children in Grange are not informed about the involvement of magic. The school consists of teachers who are all mythical creatures. Mr. Kilgraw is the Deputy Headmaster and is a vampire. Mrs. Windergast teaching the subject of "General Witchcraft" is an elderly witch. The school only enrolls the seventh son of a seventh son, or the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, because they can perform magic. After the son or daughter is found to have been competent enough to continue, they are given a black ring, signifying they can control magic. In fact, all the pupils are forced to sign the admission register with their blood.
The Unholy Grail
The Unholy Grail is a cup of immeasurable evil magical power given to the star pupil (i.e. the one who scores the most points and is at the top of the league table) every year at Groosham Grange. It contains red stones on the outer wall which are either rubies or carbuncles. It's kept hidden in a passageway below Skrull Island with a magical iron fence guarding it.
- David Eliot
- He is the protagonist of the story. He has been at Groosham Grange for almost a year and at first hated it upon discovering its dark secret about evil magic. He had fought with the school authorities and tried to escape but in vain. He also despised the teachers. Note that the teachers were all mythical creatures. Some of them were wizards, witches, werewolves and vampires. After a year at the school, he realizes that he was destined to come here as he was the seventh son of a seventh son and thus suitable to possess magic. He now accepts the school and tries to come first on the league table by getting the most points. The book involves him in a twist where he believes something fishy going on with another student, Vincent King who had arrived recently and was just below him on the points' table.
- Vincent King
- He is the suspected antagonist in the story but is actually not. He had joined the school during David's second year and in 3 months he had adapted to everything and was just below David on the points' table. However, Eliot still had a 30-points lead. Suddenly, everything changes when David's points starts to fall due to his errors. David thinks all the mistakes he made were nothing but intricate traps laid by Vincent. In the end, he realizes it was all a misunderstanding.
- Mr. Helliwell
- Mr. Helliwell is the voodoo teacher at Groosham Grange. He is the actual antagonist of the novel. Mr. Helliwell had joined the school at around the same time as Vincent King. He is the one who is the secret agent of the Bishop of Bletchley. He was actually an evil black magic wizard, however when he went to Haiti for a vacation, he met the Bishop who then drastically reformed him and turned him into a good person by asking him to destroy the school hosting evil magic, Groosham Grange. He had then laid traps and then designed them in such a way, that David always thought Vincent was responsible. He had actually pushed David out of the tower window. He was the one who sent those wax models to attack him. And he was the one who had actually opened the safe and kept the question papers of the test on the desk to frame David. He was also the one who removed one of David's answer sheet making him lose 35 marks. He had also managed to ship the Unholy Grail out of Skrull Island onto Canterbury but at the last moment David defeated him.
- Jill Green – She's David's best friend. She was very sad to find that David had cheated on Sports' Day. She also supported Vincent, righteously where he was actually not responsible but still David suspected him.
- Mr. Teagle and Mr. Fitch – They are the school headmasters. They possess the same body but have two distinct heads.
- Mrs. Kilgraw – The deputy headmaster. He's a vampire. Kilgraw had the idea of making the tie-breaker.
- Mrs. Windergast – She's an elderly witch. She came the matron after her husband died. She is the "General Witchcraft" teacher. She was burned at the stake two times, once during the reign of King John and another time in 1332.
- Miss Pedicure – Miss Pedicure is a mummy who existed since time began. It was her blue statuette which was to be recovered from the British Museum.
After initially hating Grange when David arrived almost a year ago, he has decided to accept it. David now realizes that he belongs to this school and has a new goal. He wants to win the school's top prize, The Unholy Grail.
Throughout the year, David had worked hard to earn the most points so he could walk away with the Grail. But three months ago, Vincent King - a new student, had joined the school. Vincent being adaptive, quickly earned points and then stood second in line behind David to win the prize. Seeing Vincent as a rival, David had an instantaneous dislike to the new boy, even though Vincent became very popular.
Finally, when the year was coming to an end and only one test was left (i.e. "Advanced Cursing"), David is relieved to hear that he still has a 30-point lead over Vincent. One day, David witnesses Vincent exiting a tall tower. When David tries to enter the tower, he is spotted by Gregor, the school porter and is thus forced to go back to his classes. Convinced that Vincent is up to something, David wants to know what is inside the tower. Being held up by Gregor causes David to be late in class and he loses three points, which gives him a 27-point lead over Vincent.
Afterwards, David starts a fight with Vincent and loses nine more points. But that night, David awakens and notices that Vincent's bed is empty. In the hallway, he thinks he sees Vincent sneak into Mr. Fitch and Mr. Teagle's office. When David enters the room, no one is there except Mr. Fitch and Mr. Teagle who are sleeping on the bed. David spies some paper and picks them up and sees that they are the questions for the "Advanced Cursing" test he is supposed to take the next day. Just as he is putting them down, the office door flies open and Mr. Helliwell caught him. David loses fifteen points, and now Vincent is right behind him in the race for the top prize, with just a lead of one point.
Finally, the "Advanced Cursing" test takes place and Vincent scores one mark higher than him and that settles the score and there's a tie. The correcting teacher, Mr. Kilgraw says that he didn't write one full answer and David is alarmed as he's sure he wrote it. Then, there's a tie-breaker where a blue statuette of Miss Pedicure (another teacher) needs to be recovered from the British Museum without any use of magic. In the end, he manages to solve the cryptic message given by Mr. Kilgraw and finds it. But at the end, wax models from Madame Tussauds attack him and he loses the statuette. Later, he discovers that Vincent got the statuette. Therefore, Vincent's declared the winner of the Unholy Grail. As usual, he suspects Vincent of treachery as he believed Vincent made those wax models to attack him. When David does finally get into the tower, he finds evidence which claims that someone is trying to destroy Groosham Grange. The agent's plan is to take the Unholy Grail off the island and then to Canterbury which will cause the school to destroy itself. He also sees homing bats in the tower - which he deduces must be sending secret messages to the Bishop of Bletchley. While he's reading, he's suddenly pushed from the window, however he survives as he gets tangled in some vines growing on the walls of the East Tower. David realizes that he must prevent the destruction from happening.
On the day of prize-giving, Vincent is finally awarded the Grail but as soon as the parents leave from the prize-giving ceremony, sudden destruction starts. And David thinks Vincent is responsible. So, he ventures into the tower to find out what's happening but then is captured by the agent. Then he finds himself face-to-face with Jill Green, his best friend and Vincent King, his rival. He's ashamed to find that Vincent had not been responsible for anything. The only reason he entered the tower that day was because he smoked. By that time, Eliot had guessed who did this.
He took off on Mrs. Windergast's broomstick and found the Unholy Grail with Mr. Helliwell near the Canterbury Church. The pieces of the puzzle start fitting in together. It was Mr. Helliwell who was collecting the test papers - so he just removed the sheet with the answer. He was the one who had made the wax models to attack him and he's of course the agent. He had met the Bishop of Bletchley at Haiti who had reformed him and under his instructions had tried to destroy Groosham Grange. Somehow, formulating a plan, David manages to get the Grail and returns it to the school. However, for personal purposes, he leaves the school.
- Anthony Horowitz - Return to Groosham Grange. ASIN 0744583454.
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- Public Library, Cobourg. "CPL: Return to Groosham Grange". Cobourg Public Library. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
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