Friday, February 3, 2012

Silver Gryphon - Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

Silver Gryphon
Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon
Daw Books
Copyright: 1996

The back jacket description:
Unseen Peril
A dozen years of peace have passed in the city of White Gryphon - but the inhabitants of this hard-won haven have not forgotten their struggles, and have trained an elite guard force, the Silver Gryphons, to protect their city.

Skandrannon, the Black Gryphon, and Amberdrake the healer, have settled into quiet, comfortable lives. But things are not so tranquil for Silverblade. Drake's daughter, and Tadrith, Skan's son. Anxious to prove themselves, and despite their parents' very real concerns, they have enlisted in the Silvers.

After two years of rigorous training, Blade and Tad are finally given their first solo assignment - a remote guard post in wild, largely unexplored territory. Everything seems auspicious as Tad and Blade set off in the air, but three days out from White Gryphon disaster strikes - the two young guards plummet from the sky to the deep jungle below, struck down by an unseen enemy. Lost and badly injured, the desperate partners take stock of their situation: all their spell-fuelled equipment - including their only means of communication - is inoperable, drained of all magic. But their troubles are just beginning. For in the dark of the tropical rain forest which surrounds them waits a nameless terror which even their fathers could never have envisioned...
Silver Gryphon is the sequel to Black Gryphon and White Gryphon. and completes the Mage Wars Trilogy that Mercedes Lackey co-wrote with her husband, Larry Dixon about the prehistory of Valdemar.

I remember waiting for the one to come into the library back when the hardcover editions first came out, that's how long ago I started reading Lackey's books. That said, to be honest, the Mage Wars series isn't my favourite, but of the trilogy, Silver Gryphon is the best in my opinion. It's also a book that stands somewhat on it's own, so you can pick it up and start reading without worrying about starting at the beginning of the trilogy, like I did this time.

I just felt like reading something with the survival type storyline this time. I think it has something to do with my recent enthusiasm for the Bear Grylls books and the show Man Vs. Wild that I've been watching lately.

That said, Silver Gryphon is a fairly typical Mercedes Lackey book. You've got the younger characters that appeal to the YA audience as well as to the rest of us, and nothing that would shock that age-group either. Yes, it's a bit formulaic at times, but that's true of most of her books. I like that sometimes. But, this is also a book I've re-read several times.

The one thing about it that I've seen quite a few complaints in reviews about is that unlike most of Mercedes Lackey's trilogy sets, the main characters in Silver Gryphon are not the same as in Black Gryphon and White Gryphon. It seems like most people don't care for that approach - maybe because it's so different from the other Valdemar books? I have to say that I don't mind it at all. On the other hand, I don't remember my first reactions to the story years ago. Maybe it's just that I'm used to it now.

Definitely a good Mercedes Lackey read.

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