Book Review by Julianne

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The Black Gryphon,set 1,500 years before the Valdemar series, depicts the start of an epic war. The Mage of Silence, Urtho, commands an army consisting of human, intelligent magic created animals, mages, healers, empaths and soldiers. Set during the early stages of this war, The Black Gryphon follows the story of a small set of key characters. The first is the black gryphon, a warrior of the skies called Skandranon. Joining him is the human empath/healer Amberdrake, his Hestari servant Gesten, and other gryphons including Zhaneel and Aubri. Set in the war camp, most of the action takes place at the base of the Urtho’s tower, with assorted sorties into the enemy camp of the Mage Maar.
Friendship and loyalty, great feats and triumph over personal challenges are features of this book. Mage Maar is set up as a man who leads by fear, torture and deception to win his way through the war, a completely different approach to that of Mage Urtho.
The first of a historical trilogy from the Valdemar world, the influence of Larry Dixon on the writing can be clearly felt. This is an enjoyable book that holds no great surprises.


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