When I read the synopsis for The Dark Griffin, I have to admit, I wasn’t all that excited. I’m a history nut, and so I’m also very interested in mythology, but most of the time mythology in fiction, for me anyway, ends up being a big mess. However, while I can’t say I love this book, it was very good and the griffins were pretty sweet.
Being chosen as a griffin’s companion has allowed Arren Cardockson to gain a place of status within the land of Cymria. But Arren can never escape the prejudice that comes with his Northerner slave origins. For chained within the Arena where rogue griffins battle to entertain the crowds, there lies another soul crying out to be freed-a kindred spirit that will allow Arren to fulfill his destiny and release the darkness in his heart.
K.J. Taylor’s ‘voice’ is quite different than what I typically like, so it was a bit hard for me to enjoy. The dialogue and interaction with the characters are quiet G-rated, in an old, old school romance sort of way, which is fine but things are supposed to be intense and that kind of naïve sound doesn’t mix with the ferocious nature of the griffins nor the danger the main character Arren is always in. At least for me, it makes things less intense. But the story itself was really good and I’m antsy to start the next one to see where Arren and his griffin go from here.
I loved the idea that the griffins each have its own power and their own language and only the griffiners can speak it. The griffin chooses its human, you can’t force it, and only a select few become griffiners. They are looked at like an elite group, almost god-like. So when Arren, being a free blackrobe or Northerner whose people are normally slaves, became a griffiner, it was a huge shock. Even though they respected him as was mandated by his rank, they despised his Northern roots and didn’t think twice about turning on him. It did tug at my heart to see how mistreated Arren was throughout The Dark Griffin, it wasn’t fair but racism never is. I absolutely loved the griffins, especially the black one, ooooh so exciting. Those were my favorite parts, when the griffins were on the scene.
I very much enjoyed watching the world of a griffiner unfold, seeing all of their rules and heritage, the beauty of Eagleholm all the way down to its entertainment, which was wild griffins killing criminals in the Arena. I thought the gladiator touch was really crafty. I’ve always been fascinated by that, not in the woohoo someone got killed for entertainment, but the lives of those poor men and having to survive those ridiculous events and then of course the moronic people who enjoyed them….How??? But I digress. Using the wild griffins as the beast to slay the criminals, just fabulous K.J. Taylor! It’s a sad affair, yes, but the excitement that these griffins create, it makes perfect sense.
So no, I didn’t like the sound of The Dark Griffin, it’s not my favorite, but the story was awesome. The intrigue, the mystery, the beauty, and the terror of running through the town while being chased by the people you thought were your friends along with their griffins…FABULOUS.
The Dark Griffin
The Griffin’s Flight
The Griffin’s War