The Dark Griffin was provided to me for review by the publisher, Ace. I'd seen this book mentioned somewhere over the past couple of months and thought it sounded interesting and I was itching to read it, and now I have another series to follow!
We first meet the titular magical beast as it breaks free of its egg under the watchful eyes of it's mother and sister hatchlings. We watch him struggle to live, find food, learn to fly, and barely learn to speak. Then we're quickly taken away to meet Arren, a Griffiner, and a blackrobe. As a child, the Griffin Eluna picked him, and they bonded, the first blackrob - a Northener - to become a Griffin-rider, a position usually reserved for nobility. Arren quickly rises through the ranks of the Griffiners and is soon to be promoted to the council.
Arren and his griffin stop a gang of smugglers, but in the process on of them is killed, and Arren has to pay restitution. He can't afford it, so Lord Ragganor suggest he and his Griffin go hunt down a wild griffin that has been terrorizing a nearby village. Arren goes and thus begins his downslide that completely changes his life.
He goes from being a respected Griffin-rider to a criminal combatant in the Arena where he faces off against the Dark Griffin. In the end, he and the Dark Griffin team up and lead us into the next book.
This book was not a happy book. Arren's fall was depressing and frustrating. Not so much that I wanted to put the book down, mind you, quite the opposite - I wanted to keep reading to find out if he'd overcome all the adversity he was being buried in. And I have to say, it was obvious from the description of the book that Arren and the Dark Griffin would team up, but the way it happened suprised me and I have no idea where the story will go from here. That makes me want to read the next book to find out what happens!