The Revenge of the Shadow King (Grey Griffins Series #1)

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Overview

Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia--who form the secret club The Grey Griffins--seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max's backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it's up to them to stop the wicked ...

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Overview

Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia--who form the secret club The Grey Griffins--seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max's backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it's up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town-indeed, their world.

A thrilling legend is born in the first book of the Grey Griffin's magical adventures.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Strange things have started to happen in Max's hometown, but nobody else in this quiet Minnesota hamlet seems to notice. Creatures from a card game are escaping into reality, causing all sorts of mischief. Fortunately, Max and his trio of best friends (Harley, Ernie, and Natalia) are on the case. But how do you control an unruly brigade of goblins?
Children's Literature
Max, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia make up the Grey Griffins, a group of four friends who enjoy a trading card game called Round Table. Each of the Griffins fulfills the role of schoolyard stereotype: from the tough and self-assured Harley, to the scared and geeky Ernie, to the brainy-girl Natalia. Max, as the hero of the novel, has a slightly better developed character, but basically he fits the stereotype of a popular, rich kid. As the novel progresses, the friends begin to realize that the Round Table game is based on real characters and events from history and, disturbingly, that these characters have started to enter the mortal world again. References to the legends of King Arthur, the Knights Templar, and the world of fairies abound. Although imaginative, this fantasy lacks depth, as it fails to connect with the larger questions asked by great fantasy literature. Nevertheless, the story's fast-paced, adventure plot is compelling, and the characters, despite being stereotypical, are engaging. Overall, the book is a good read, even if it is not great literature. 2005, Orchard Books/Scholastic Inc, Ages 12 to 16.
—Laura Ruttig
VOYA
Snooping in his late grandfather's study one night, eleven-year-old Max stumbles across a magic book, setting the stage for an ancient evil to descend upon his small Minnesota town. The book, known as the Codex Spiritus, has a long history dating back to King Arthur, when a secret order of Knights was formed to keep the dark power of the Shadow King contained. A convoluted explanation involving Christopher Columbus and a Dungeons & Dragons-like card game reveals that the evil of the Codex may soon escape. Max and his three friends, known as the "Grey Griffins," are all that stand in the way of the coming apocalypse. This fantasy, clearly intended to appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, offers clever concepts with strong appeal to middle school students, including a slime-spewing fountain and cute yet surprisingly dangerous garden faeries. But flat characterization and too many subplots detract from the story. There is enough mystery to keep readers engaged, although at times just barely. Mounting suspense is often overshadowed by unnecessary explanations and characters who seem to come from nowhere and quickly disappear, including a loathsome principal and the sidekick of the school bully. Still the portrayal of a dark and evil world slowly leaking into everyday, small-town life is both believable and creepy. The first in the Grey Griffins series, this title will likely find a home with younger teens, particularly fans of Dungeons & Dragons or other role-playing games. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, Orchard, 370p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 14.
—Paula Brehm-Heeger
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Weird things are happening in tiny Avalon, Minnesota in this predictable novel by Derek Benz (Orchard, 2006). Goblins, fairies, and unicorns have begun to appear to Max Summer and his fellow Grey Griffin Club members. The Grey Griffins and the elderly proprietor of the Shoppe of Antiquities participate in a role-playing card game involving characters from Arthurian legend. Max and his friends seem to be the only people in town who realize that the characters have come to life. It's up to the Grey Griffins, with help from a few adults, to save the world from the evil that has been unleashed. The dialogue is mind-numbingly dull, and even narrator Erik Steele has a difficult time bringing the characters to life. The main characters are stereotypically the rich kid, the tough kid, the whiny kid, and the smart girl. The plot is more Scooby-Doo than fantasy.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A collectible card game introduces Max and his friends to the battle against ancient evil in this undistinguished but entertaining series opener. Grandfatherly shopkeeper Iver has sold the four a rare card game in which they fight goblins, faeries and the powerful Shadow King. It's only a game at first, but soon their town of Avalon, Minn. is plagued with horrors. Max finds a magical book, real goblins attack and Iver vanishes. Along with spunky Natalia, poor Harley and cowardly Ernie, Max determines to defeat the Shadow King. Luckily, he's the one true heir to powerful magical ability, born to make a stand in the age-old fight against evil-perhaps in the Gothic temple in town, built by Templars 500 years before Europeans came to the New World. Constant danger and some humor keep this adventure moving despite clunky prose. Not a bad option for fans of the genre. (Fantasy. 9-12)First printing of 50,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439795746
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Series: Grey Griffins Series , #1
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Derek Benz

Born in the wrong place, and unquestionably the wrong time, Derek spent most of his early years trying to figure out where he was and why he was different than everyone else. By the age of five, he had stumbled upon the answer: the rest of humanity was really nothing more than an elaborate hoax of cleverly disguised robots, and he was the only real human among them. Having overcome that mystery, he set out with other young members of the Grey Griffins (a super-secret club) to protect the world from darkness and bring about a better world through friendship, wit, and superbly-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

He's climbed volcanoes in the Ring of Fire, fished for sharks in the North Atlantic, scandalized the Cathedral of Barcelona, been mauled by an angry kitten off the coast of Turkey, narrowly avoided being blown up outside Belfast, learned the meaning of defenestration in France, and even jumped off a few cliffs in Greece. His interests spanned a wide spectrum: archaeology, linguistics, mythology, cosmology, conspiracy theory, religion and a host of others. At the same time, he managed to catapult himself to the top of his game in a Fortune 100 company doing what some idly speculated to be nothing less than international computer espionage.

But there was always the desire to change the world around him. And since the age of fifteen, he had become obsessed with writing as a means to this end. Year after year, he labored to prefect his craft, until he felt the time was right. In 2000, he teamed up with J.S. Lewis and with an eye to the stars, they launched The Revenge of the Shadow King.

Benz met and married his lovely wife in sunny Arizona, where they enjoy researching ancient civilizations and studying theology.

Born early enough to remember rotary phones, typewriters, and the glory years of Atari, J.S. Lewis has lived a rather obscure life in the shadows of many nearly famous people.

A member of the Grey Griffins (a secret club of courageous children who have vowed to save the world from evil overlords, alien invasions and brussel sprouts), Lewis grew up in the heartland of America. Yearning to become a marine biologist, but perplexed by the lack of exotic saltwater marine life in Iowa and Minnesota, he headed west. Sadly, his quest for the sea ended too soon, stranding him in the blustering desert of Arizona, where dreams of discovering new breeds of ferocious sharks were all but destroyed.

So it was, dejected and wandering like a drifting vagabond, that Lewis explored an eclectic career that would include news reporting, radio producing, animation, multi-media design, mural painting, speech writing, video game development and marketing.

Ever searching for new forms of creative expression, Lewis and boyhood friend Derek Benz sought to make their indelible mark through the written word. Thus from that collaboration was penned the novel The Revenge of the Shadow King.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2013

    This is not Harry Potter, but this trilogy is VERY solid. If you

    This is not Harry Potter, but this trilogy is VERY solid. If you like mythical creatures or MTG, this is a good read. A nice set of books to pass the time.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hooked right away...

    The Revenge of the Shadow King was one heck of an adventure. I completely fell in love. It was so captivating and I was hooked right away. It was spellbinding to fall in love with the characters and wanting to keep up with their adventure. This book will definitely not bore you. I absolutely loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Wow!

    This book was SO good. Right from page one it was exciting and full of adventure. You never knew what was to come next. The art for the cover went with the story so perfectly and it even spooked me a bit. You'll have to read this book to fully understand why.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Great read for a dad to his kids.

    The entire series is a great adventure for a father to share with his kids, even at 12 yr old, my son still loves to sit and listen to these books.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    Excellent read for an 11 yr old!

    My son read this and absolutely loved the story, and he isn't a reader! It took him longer than I expected to, but he said some of the vocabulary he had to look up. I liked that too! He is now asking for the second and third books in the series, I would definitely recommend this!!!

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  • Posted February 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Read

    "The Revenge of the Shadow King," by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis is the first novel in the "Grey Griffins" trilogy. With ten or eleven-year-old kids as the main characters, this book would most likely be enjoyed very much by anyone younger than twelve, but contains some parts in it which to older readers may seem a bit stupid. Full of suspense and mystery, this book is a good read, which is unique and enjoyable!

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

    Posted December 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An Easy read........ But very predictable

    I thought that the revenge of the Shadow King was desriptive, but predictable. I only read to chapter 9 and stopped reading because, even though it was supposed to be an exciting part in the book,it wasn't gripping. I felt like the authors tried to make it like other exciting fantasy books, but failed. Overall, the book was very childish and even though it is made for kids 9-12, I think that 11 and 12 year-olds wouldn't be interested.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    Revenge

    The Revenge of the Shadow King is an intense, action and suspenseful novel written by Derick Benz and Lewis. I like the novel it is full of action and smart characters. Danger lurks around every corner. This novel will definitely have you at the edge of your seat trying to find out what happens next. The story is set in Avalon Massachusetts, a small town. Max Sumner an 11 year old boy, must protect a book named the codex which has unlimited power and dark secrets within it. If Max fails to protect the codex from an evil witch named Morgan, his whole town will be doomed.
    Max accidentally releases a mystical beast named Sprig that will help him guard the book from any evil. A human named Ray is turned into a blue fairy by the codex. Ray later traps Max and his friends in a burning corn field while Ray runs away with the codex. Max and his friends go to the woods were Ray is hiding the codex. Max challenges Ray to a fight for the codex Max wins along with help from his friends. The author makes the characters sound alive by the descriptive dialect he uses. Anyone who likes action and adventures this is the book for you.

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Entertaining

    This was a fun book that was unique and entertaining. It will interest you and it will keep you thinking!

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  • Posted May 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING BOOK

    This book takes you on adventures never before heard of.
    It takes its time putting you into the setting but once you familiarize yourself with the town of Avalon your in for a great adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    What a lot of fun!

    This well written book makes you want to enter their world and live in Avalon. The story is easy and fun to follow that's great for any age. I just ordered the next book in the series and I can't wait!

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  • Posted December 23, 2008

    Action packed!

    This book was filled with action, thrill, and adventure. Ernie was definitely my favorite character. He's funny and silly. The book was a little on the dark side, but I'm a little bit sensitive to books. I tend to really feel the emotions of the book and this one was a little bit...scary. And i don't mean that to it's exact definition but i do mean it as a book with moments filled with a lot of suspense. I still liked it a lot. It was really good. I read it for a project in school and got a perfect 10 out of 10 on book choice. I hope you enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    best ever!!!

    this book is amazing!! like nothing I have ever read!! I recomend it to anyone who likes drama, action, and adventure!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    The Revenge Of The Shadow King

    The first installastion in the Grey Griffins Sereies:The Revenge Of The Shadow King. I highly suggest this book to anyone who likes Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings,Eragon, Star Wars, and many more. This novle is full of action, anventure, Faries, magic, suspense, thrills, monsters it has everything a book needs!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    Carol 40,mom of two boys 5/01/08

    I often find myself ordering books through my boys' book orders and this is one of them. I like children's books,because they are more adventurous. This is one of them. I find it very hard to put this book down and even though I haven't read the next two books in this series I think I would recomend them anyway. I'm going to get them.Have fun and may life always be an adventure for you....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!

    I absolutely loved this book! I think it is my new favorite fantasy, excepting LOTR and the Inheritance books! Some may say that this book has no deep plot, but this is a book that you have to dig deeper to understand. Maybe it is because the plot is so deep and passionate that if not given much thought it appears shallow and boring. This is a book that requires a brain to understand, and a love for the fantasy within it. I think that this is the best book of the series yet!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2008

    Awesome

    I loved this book. I took this book everywhere i went,I could not put it down. This is the first book I have ever finished. I actually got in trouble for reading because I would get up at night and read with my book light.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2008

    The Fascinating story of The Revenge of the Shadow King

    The Revenge of the Shadow King is a book about Max. It is a mystical adventure with some exciting scary parts. I would give it a two thumbs up but i guess the closest to that is an outstanding i love it. And once you read the proglue you can not wait to read the rest!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    very good book

    This book is real good and it does'nt just sit around and talk about the characters it gets straight to the book. I reccomend this book for people who like monsters and mystical creatures, and I like it and you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    coolio book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i bought this book at my book fair and cant put it down. i love this book and i take whereever. i dont read books that much but i absolutely love this one and i think it got me hooked.

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