Arren raised his head, too, and screamed his own name at the heavens.
He thought he saw the black griffin pause in its circling. Then it screamed back. There were no discernable words there, just a long, harsh screech, like an eagle’s. Arren paused at this; he’d never heard a griffin’s cry that sounded like that. But as the black griffin began to descend and he began to run away out of the village, toward the fields, a thought flashed across his mind: this griffin had no name.
Despite being a Northener, the former slave race, Arren Cardockson has managed to become a griffiner. With his griffin, Eluna, he oversees trade in the city of Eagleholm, but knows his northern appearance means he will never be fully respected. When Arren and Eluna are sent to capture a rogue griffin, Arren sees a chance to earn some money and some respect, but his meeting with the mysterious black griffin begins a chain of events which sees his fortunes plummet.
For the black griffin, life has been hard and lonely. Living in the wild, he has little memory of his mother and has only met, briefly, one other griffin. His meeting with Arren will also change his life, from one of freedom to one of imprisonment and confusion.
Griffin and griffiner are in conflict, but as their lives spiral out of control it seems they may have something in common.
The Dark Griffin is the first title in a new fantasy series, The Fallen Moon. The land of Cymria is ruled by those humans who can communicate with, and work with, the griffins, with both rogue humans and wild griffins treated poorly. For Arren, who has risen to his position because a griffin chose him, his background means that he does not have access to justice. For the black griffin, his inability to communicate with humans means he does not understand the human world. Each of the pair must fight for survival, and for freedom.
This is a gripping fantasy offering suitable for both adult and older teen readers.
The Dark Griffin (Fallen Moon), by K.J. Taylor
Harper Voyager, 2009