Written by: K.J. Taylor
Publisher: Penguin...Ace Fantasy
This will be my second book for Quest The First.
Quest The First : Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.
And my quest continues...This story begins with the early life of the dark griffin and his struggles to survive after his mothers untimely death.
It then switches over to the life of Arren, a griffiner, and the youngest to obtain that title. Although born free, he's also a Northerner by blood. A people known for their black magic and warlike nature, most Northerners are now slaves. Arren, although born in the South, still carries the black hair and eyes of his race. Eluna, his partner, a white griffin, is the only thing that keeps the southern prejudices at bay, for the black robes as they're called, are truly loathed and feared by the southern people.
In order to repay a debt, Arren and Eluna are given the opportunity to capture a wild griffin. This is where our characters meet for the first time, and where both of their lives are turned completely upside down.
The way I see it: The dark Griffin is a character of voraciousness and also an abundant amount if innocents. Both ferocious and childlike, I thoroughly enjoyed him. His emotions were quite simple, very black and white. Arren on the other hand has a great deal of conflicting emotions about who he is and where he truly belonges. He does everything he can to deny that part of himself so hated by the people around him. I believe they balance each other very well. It's a love hate relationship, but one of mutual respect. The real kicker to this book is finding out who the mastermind is. I was surprised to find out who actually put the wheels in motion, and how devious the plot really was.
The bad, the bad, and the ugly: Hmmmmm, well, although I believe the background info on the characters was needed, I wish they would have gotten together a little earlier in the story. I found myself waiting with baited breath....and then waiting some more.
Love it or Leave it: Even though the "actual story" had a bit of a slow start, I'd have to give this one a love it. The later parts of the book made it well worth the read. I found myself up much later than I should have been trying to finish it :D I'm very much looking forward to the next in the series.