Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

From Back Cover: Armed with the power to control the ancient elements of Earth and Fire, sixteen-year-old Griffin is determined to complete his apprenticeship and rise to the rank of Terrae Angeli. But first, he must overcome a brutal past if he is to survive in this world. Will the perseverance of his mentor and the love of a mortal girl give Griffin the courage he needs to face the monster still haunting him?

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut has its own unique take on the mythology surrounding angels, and introduces readers to the Terrae Angeli, a race of angels with free will that live on earth, control the elements and guard humans. Despite the fact that the story involves angels, the ability of the Terrae Angeli to have agency allows their actions to be similar to those of humans and thus, the novel becomes one of a boy learning to gain self-confidence, healing from an abusive past and falling in love.

What I particularly loved about Griffin Rising was the strong characterization and prominent presence of parental figures. Too often, YA novels lack parents or feature dysfunctional families, but that isn’t the case in Griffin Rising. Through flashbacks and journal entries, the reader can see how Basil helps Griffin transform from a boy terrified of his Mentor to one who is spunky and easily cracks jokes. Karchut does a great job developing the bond between Basil and Griffin from Mentor-Tiro to that resembling father-son, and it is this relationship that is the best part of the story. Karchut though also makes Mr. and Mrs. Heflin, the parents of Griffin’s girlfriend Katie, secondary characters, and so readers get to see them act like average parents and be protective of Katie, set a curfew for her and make her do chores.

A solid debut, I’m looking forward to learning more about Basil’s past and seeing what happens next to Griffin in Griffin’s Fire, the sequel to Griffin Rising.     

Griffin Rising will be released by Twilight Time Books on June 28, 2011.

Comments About the Cover: I like the simplicity and the use of the colours brown and orange in the cover because Griffin is an angel who controls the elements of earth and fire. Even though I think it looks interesting, I’m not sure what the symbol – I know the creature is a gryphon – is supposed to mean however.  

This ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. This sounds good. The summary didn't catch my attention but your review did. Can't wait to meet these characters. Strong characterization is something to look forward to. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. I loved Basil and Griffin so much! I absolutely agree, her characters were amazing in this one and I can't wait to find out more about them:)

  3. I'd heard about the relationship between Basil and Griffin, so I'm glad to hear you mention it as well. I love those kinds of familial relationships in books.

  4. Thank you so much for the terrific review and for helping Griffin to soar! I just wanted to let your followers know the e-book version was released earlier than expected (yippee!) and is now available on Kindle and Nook.

  5. Haven't heard of this one before but I always love a good fantasy.

  6. I think I'm gonna read this one just because of the strong parental presence. It is hard to find stories that feature parents, especially ones that care.

    Thanks for letting me know about this one.


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