Book Review: The Griffin Mage Trilogy

I’m a sucker for a trilogy. Especially an awesome trilogy by a new writer who really knows her shit.

I saw this shiny cover in the B&N brick and mortar one fateful Thursday while waiting for my favorite sushi joint across the street to open for lunch. My interests were piqued. I read the back cover blurb… sounded good. Then I took the real browser’s test and opened the book. The first page left me salivating, and not just for fish.

From what I could tell, this trilogy was Ms. Neumeier’s first efforts in the fantasy realm, and I’m sold.

The Good

The world is beautifully drawn, imaginative, and unique. The characters are easy to root for, and even the “bad guys” get a good treatment and a lot of depth from this author. She managed to make my allegiance swing in unexpected ways throughout the course of this epic tale. The plot flows, and aside from a few places where I felt the descriptions got a little bulky, nothing dragged. The language is spot-on, tight when it needs to be, and just lyrical enough to feed the soul. Basically, everything was good about this book, except for the one thing that really didn’t work for me, and that was annoying, but minor.

The Not So Good – A Matter of Personal Taste

The names of the characters are… well, let’s just say that Tolstoy has nothing on Ms. Neumeier. I think I would need a mouth full of pebbles to attempt pronouncing several of them. Plus characters are often referred to differently throughout – sometimes by three word monster-sized monikers and other times by just one of the mammoth words – usually the longest. You try saying “Nehaistiane Estrerikiu Anahaikuuanse” smoothly without a stumble. Bet you can’t. And that is not the worst, just one among many that made me stumble repeatedly while reading. Even worse, I know that one’s a griffin, but I have no idea which griffin, which is a problem when trying to paint their personalities. (And the human names are just as bad about half the time.)

The Verdict

This book may not make my all-time-favorites shelf, but it’s very, very close. I really enjoyed reading it, despite having to take a break two-thirds of the way through the omnibus in order to save my eyeballs from the constant name-scorching.

Anyone who’s read one of my reviews knows I don’t pull my punches, but when I find something I like, I love to share. Go read this. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.


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