The Black Gryphon (Mage Wars Series #1)

( 80 )

Overview

It is an age when Valdemar is yet unfounded, its organization of Heralds yet unformed, and magic is still a wild and uncontrolled force.

Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight and sharp intelligence. Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be. He is the fulfillment of everything that the Mage of Silence, the human sorcerer called Urtho, intended to achieve when he ...

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The Black Gryphon (Mage Wars Series #1)

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Overview

It is an age when Valdemar is yet unfounded, its organization of Heralds yet unformed, and magic is still a wild and uncontrolled force.

Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight and sharp intelligence. Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be. He is the fulfillment of everything that the Mage of Silence, the human sorcerer called Urtho, intended to achieve when he created these magical beings to be his champions, the defenders of his realm—a verdant plain long coveted by the evil mage Maar.

Now Maar is once again advancing on Urtho's Keep, this time with a huge force spearheaded by magical constructs of his own—cruel birds of prey ready to perform any evil their creator may demand of them. And when one of Urtho's Seers wakes from a horrifying vision in which she sees a devastating magical weapon being placed in the hands of Maar's common soldiers, Skandrannon is sent to spy across enemy lines, cloaked in the protective of Urtho's powerful Spell of Silence.

An exciting prehistory offshoot of the bestselling Valdemar series. In the tradition of her previous novels, Lackey spins a tale of high action, sorcery, and adventure taking place a thousand years before Valdemar is established, with magic a wild and uncontrolled force.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Setting a story in prehistory suggests a enormous potential, a feeling that all is new and possible. Lackey's latest created world illustrated by husband Dixon predates the setting of her Valdemar series by a millennium but never quite lives up to its expanded possibilities. The gryphon of the title is the charismatic Skandranon, leader of the gryphons, a race of birds just evolving into awareness. After establishing this intriguing premise, however, the tale soon bogs down in fantasy cliches as the main characters fight a standard war against the forces of evil. Although some of the novel's elements, like Skandranon's human friend Amberdrake, suggest a possible complexity, the plot is predictable and the overwritten battle scenes are difficult to follow. In the end, the evil Mage of Black Fire is destroyed, nearly everyone else lives and the chaotic magic of prehistory is tamed. Jan.
Library Journal
As the tyrant-sorcerer Kiyamvir Ma'ar's forces sweep across the land in a relentless war of conquest, one man--Urtho, the Mage of Silence--arises as the leader of the opposition. Set a thousand years before the founding of Valdemar and the rise of the Herald Mages, the latest novel by Lackey and Dixon relates the story of the legendary black gryphon Skandranon Rashkae, his healer-companion Amberdrake, and the war that changed the face of a world forever. Featuring some of the authors' most endearing protagonists yet, this first in a projected dualogy is recommended for most fantasy collections.
Roland Green
The latest collaboration between Lackey and her husband is laid in the same world as her popular Valdemar books but a thousand years earlier. The focus is on Skandranon Rashke, the Black Gryphon of the title, and his only human friend, the healer Amberdrake. It is also the tale of Skandranon's secret missions in a war in which magic is used freely on both sides. Lackey has a complete command of the basics of storytelling, which she and Dixon display here and to which they add some nice satirical hits at psychiatrists. Although not the ideal introduction to Lackey, this is a well-told tale for the gifted and prolific fantasist's genuine devotees.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780886776435
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: Valdemar: Mage Wars Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 241,068
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 80 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(53)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 80 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable, but Not Among Lackey's Best

    I love Lackey's Valdemar novels, and this is set in the same world a thousand years before that country's founding, in the midst of a cataclysmic war referred to more than once in that series. One of Lackey's strengths is her world-building, and that's certainly on display here, with magical races like the gryphons developed in interesting ways, and I liked the title character, Skandranon. The novel kept my interest, was a fairly enjoyable read, and I did go on to read (and mostly enjoy) the next two books in this trilogy, which is why I felt it was fair to give it 3 stars. It doesn't get more than that, because unlike other Lackey books in this world, I can't imagine I'd ever reread it; I don't think it's among Lackey's best, and I wouldn't ever choose these books as an introduction to the author. So if you love Lackey and her Valdemar books already, I think you'll like, even if not love this book; but if you're new to the author, try Arrows of the Queen or Magic's Pawn first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    Fantastic Lackey fare!!

    Excellent storyline characters etc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    Awesome story!

    Well written, with memorable relatable characters. The black gryphon is always a good read no matter how many times you read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Xavier

    Hannah!!!! Please get back on!!!!! I miss you so much!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Hannah

    Helo?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Spectaculer

    An interesting read with enjoyable characters

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Well Worth Reading

    This is a wonderful and engaging story that hooked me in and wouldn't let me go, I sat down and didn't get up until it was done. I love the characters Skan and Amberdrake are interesting and the story is full of conflict, moral choices, and fleshing out the characters that I really enjoy. Over all it is one of my favorite books and a happy find for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    good story, mercedes lackey is a fav in genre

    i like most of mercedes lackey books...at least the ones i have read so far...always entertaining and makes you want to keep reading...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    "The Black Gryphon" is everything a fantasy book should be...

    I don't remember how old I was when I read this book...but I remember falling in love with it (I've read it 5 times now). Mercedes Lackey does a fantastic job of describing everything (especially the battle scenes) and Dixon does an excellent job of drawing the actual images. People who love the animal-like creatures of fantasy and not just the humans, I just have to say that this is an awesome book. She describes the gryphons actions/battle-scenes extremely well and realistically, it keeps you on the edge of your seat! When you come to the ending though, be warned, and bring a box of tissues...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    BEST BOOK EVER

    I have read this whole series and it was the best I've read so far.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2002

    Interesting Characters amd Plot!!!!!

    I thought that this overall was a good book. The begining was a little...slow I guess. I really enjoyed reading about Skan's personality and I find him pretty funny (in his own ways...) The ending was very good, but I wish that Misty and Larry could have written a little about their travels after (I don't want to give the ending away like some people do in these things...) all the battles.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2002

    Oh my this is an awsome book.

    This is a great book, and if you don't read it then.... your not cool. J.K. The ending is a huge surprise I hated the book for a couple days bacause of it then I read the sequal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2001

    Gryphons

    Lackey opens a whole new world to those familar with the other Valdemar books, through this. Showing us what existed before Valdemar was founded and introducing us to the magical and wonderful creatures that are gryphons.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2001

    Wow. This book is my favorite!

    Geez, I love this book! It's my fav, and thats saying something, i read a TON! I finished it in a day, and then i checked it out from the library like, ten times! (Yes, i know, i'm obsessed....)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2001

    best book I've read in quite a while

    I just found this book because I could not find anything else, but when I read it, it was excelent. coming from me that is a pretty good compliment for a book, since have read hundreds of them, I am really looking forward to getting the rest of the series, which I am going to get today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2001

    Great Book

    This was the first book of Mercedes Lackey I had ever read. Once you read it you can't put it down and you just have to finish the rest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2000

    This book is great

    This book is great most book that i have read has a bunch of events lined up like event boring stuff event boring stuff this book seemed to flow it is great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2000

    Great Book!

    Exciting book of magic and war, amazing creatures, good and evil. Great for any fantasy reader.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 80 Customer Reviews

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