Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of Griffin's Daughter (by Leslie Ann Moore)


Who you are, what you are…those are questions that can eat at a person. For Jelena that is certainly true. She knows very little about her mother and even less about her father. All she has is a griffin ring, and she has no idea what it means. For so long Jelena was willing to accept her place in life. She has always been a little odd, an outcast aside from her cousin Magnes’s friendship.

Jelena assumes she will spend the rest of the life as part of the castle staff until her uncle decides to put her to use. Faced with being forced into a marriage, Jelena decides to change her life’s path despite the danger of leaving her human family and escaping to the elves, who may not accept her either. Her journey begins by sneaking out through a forgotten door, and ends with a truth she never expected to find.

Griffin’s Daughter is a wonderfully crafted fantasy. There are familiar elements from traditional fantasy stories, but Moore does a great job of putting her own unique touch the world Jelena is a part of. I particularly enjoyed the deep and rich history she created. It added so much to the book when Jelena’s story really begins. There was already so much that had been built up by the time you meet Jelena that I already felt very entrenched in the world and the story.

As Jelena travels to the elves, Moore proves that she can write excitement and battle just a well and detailed descriptions. I enjoyed the fight scenes for their energy and conciseness. I really get bored with fight scenes that drag on for pages with in depth descriptions of each and every strike and parry. That wasn’t the case here. The dangerous trip away from human lands blends seamlessly into Jelena’s arrival in the elven kingdom.

One of my favorite parts of Jelena living with the elves were the differences Moore subtly pointed out between the two races. Many aspects of their society were different, but some were similar. The contrast Moore provided create a rich comparison that made me think about how these two races were going to progress through the story, and how their unique views and qualities might affect their decision making for good or bad.

Another aspect of Griffin’s Daughter I really enjoyed was Magnes’s story. He accompanies Jelena to the elven kingdom, but must eventually return to his family. When he does, I fell into his story even more. Magnes was a well-developed and very realistic character. He made mistakes, acted brashly, fell in love, was hurt and betrayed, and became a very fascinating part of the book.

No fantasy book is complete without a great romance. Ashinji is prompted by a dream to help Jelena when they first meet, and once he does he finds it impossible to stay away from her. Yet, like any good romance, there are road blocks standing in their way. From the fact that Ashinji is a prince expected to marry well, to Jelena’s own hesitations and the dangerous attentions of another, being together is no easy task. I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between these two characters. Moore used complications to keep them apart at just the right times, and sweet moments of desire and love to bring them together. It was agonizing at times, but in a good way.

Overall, I enjoyed Griffin’s Daughter quite a bit. It was well written, had a complicated yet engaging story line, and memorable characters. The main focus of this first book was mainly on Jelena’s story. I had hoped for a little more of the magic and the stolen power in this book, but I’m sure that will be more of a focus in the second and third books. Speaking of which, I plan to review both books over the summer, so stay tuned! If you’re looking for a fantasy novel you can get lost in, give Griffin’s Daughter a try. You’ll enjoy it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, it was a great additional to my fantasy library. If you love fantasy, give this author a try. She weaves a creative and engaging tale.

Who would I recommend this book to? Adult and young adult fantasy readers will enjoy this. Jelena’s young age appeals to teens, and the detailed story and depth of the characters and plot will also keep adults interested.

So get your copy today on you Kindle or in Paperback!