How did I get it: The library.
How I would rate it: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Arren Cardockson is dead… but something won’t let him rest. Hated and hunted, Arren’s only ally is Skandar, the monstrous man-eating dark griffin. Together they must reach the cold North, where they may be able to hide from Erian, vengeful son of the murdered Lord Rannagon. Then Arren meets the ferocious and mysterious Skade, and he begins to believe that she might know the way to lift his curse and make his dead heart beat again. And all the while, the dark Night God is watching …
Review: The world-building as well as Arren’s quest continues directly from where The Dark Griffin left off, and I loved learning more about both humans and griffins. I found myself not only caring about Arren but also starting to like Erian, his enemy and the bastard son of a man he killed. I remain a big fan of Skandar but similarly found myself warming up to the very moody Senneck. I also cannot wait to see what happens to Kral or to his human, Elkin. I really hope she’ll get together with Erian in the next book… But I did have some slight issues with the book this time around that prevented me from just giving it 5 stars.
The first of my two complaints in regards to this book which is that there are far too many names beginning with A, S, or E and some of them were nearly identical. That in of itself is not a big deal by any stretch of the imagination, but my major problem was Skade, a female character who became Arren’s erst-while, irritating love interest. Initially, Skade served a purpose, but once that was over with, I honestly think she should have gone away and stayed there. And while she was greatly overshadowed by the awesome things going on elsewhere in the novel, she really rained on my parade as far as Arren was concerned. His interest in her seemed forced and –in of itself– her entire character arc was painfully predictable. I will be cryptic in order to avoid spoiling anything, but everything about her was just far too Last Unicorn-esque and –sadly– not in a good way. I also have never been a fan of female characters getting in the way of male friendships so Skade and I were sort of destined to rub one another the wrong way.
Ultimately though, I can honestly say that Skade was just a small distracting bit of dull in what was otherwise a colorful, imaginative book with a fairly refreshing spin on familiar epic fantasy themes. What I said in regards to book one was also true of book two. Taylor has a real gift for writing solid, engrossing, and entertaining fantasy that moves at a fast clip and gives a reader plenty of action. I cannot wait to read the third book, and I cannot wait to read whatever else she may end up writing in the future.
In conclusion, definitely a great sequel to The Dark Griffin and an awesome read despite one of its many characters being more of a hindrance than a help. I hope the next book allows for more solitary bonding between Arren and Skandar, but I have no doubt that the third and last book, The Griffin’s War, will be just as enjoyable as the first two book of the Fallen Moon series.