KJ Taylor

The Fallen Moon Book Two

HarperVoyager (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 7322 8853 2

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Arren Cardockson is a wanted man after he brought down the ruling class of Eagleholm, effectively (if unwittingly) destroying the city and its government of griffiners. On the run with the wild griffin Darkheart (now named Skandar by Arren), he heads towards the North, the only place he can think of where he might find peace. But peace is not in Arren’s destiny – first coming across the strange woman Skade and joining her on her own strange quest in the hopes of redeeming his own curse, then being captured and enslaved, Arren crashes from crisis to crisis, embroiling himself ever deeper in a spiral of rage, fear and hate that has no visible way out.

I was disappointed by this book – I enjoyed the first one of the series so much and had really been looking forward to this. Unfortunately, the writing, characterisation and plot simply didn’t live up to the promise of the first novel. I was particularly frustrated by major changes in the character of Arren himself – the enormous difference between how he was written in The Dark Griffin and how he is shown here is simply too overt, and not sufficiently supported by the underpinning plot. Another small annoyance that kept jolting me out of the story were the names the author applied – with Skade and Skandar both in close contact with Arren (also called Arrenadd, which gets tough when the character of Arddryn is introduced), and Arren’s grandfather called Skandar and father Skandarson, it becomes confusing at times – I understand the reason for the convention (except for Skade – that really irritated), but it still aggravated me.

Sadly, the writing in The Griffin’s Flight doesn’t live up to the ideas and at over 600 pages, it’s hard work at times. I still like the premise, and the book isn’t bad, exactly; it just doesn’t meet the high expectations I had based on the first book – I wanted it to be even better, not a step down. So this is a lukewarm review from me, based on my own anticipation of the book. I do think a stronger editorial hand would have immensely improved the book. However, I’m certain other readers will still enjoy it!