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

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  3,481 ratings  ·  235 reviews
This irresistible first novel tells the story of four friends who find themselves caught up in the dangerous quest to save their town when the wicked creatures from their card game come to life.

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 noti
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Orchard Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Michaela Pilling It's not a waste of time to read. I certainly don't regret reading the book either, however there are some cons along with pros for this book.…moreIt's not a waste of time to read. I certainly don't regret reading the book either, however there are some cons along with pros for this book. Summarizing: The main character Max and his three friends play a game similar to "Dungeons and Dragons" The place they play is an antiquities shop and the owner plans their adventures that they play out through special cards that are so rare and were supposedly once played by King Arthur and his knights of the round table. The girl in their group even dresses like an elf to get into the mindset of playing the game. Now the cards are NOT like in "Jumanji" where you play the game and the creatures come out to kill you and you have to finish the game to return them to the game. However they are more a training game that the owner of the antiquities shop uses to help introduce these important children to the world.
When Max discovers a book that was kept by his grandfather of a bunch of mystical beings filling it's pages that were identical to that of the cards (He alone since he is the man's grandson can open the book) he is curious. Hears a voice in his head and repeats magical words that release two creatures....which only adds to the crazy things that have been happening to him and his group of friends. Morgan Le Fey shows up and there are some interesting characters including the Knights Templars are thrown into the mix bringing it to a climactic save-the-world from evil themed book. It is written as a Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy book. So if you are an adult don't expect big words and fancy writing. It's inteligently written, but it Is for Young Adults. Again...I found it a decent read but since I am not too interested in Dungeons and Dragons myself and it seems to have been inspired by Chris Van Allsburg's "Jumanji" and "Zathura" (but not by much) and written by someone who probably plays Dungeons and Dragons or the card game Magic, makes me not entirely in love with this book. But that is because I am biased in that way.
Give this book a shot. I was surprised. Perhaps I will read it again later and see if my biases change. It's worth a shot.(less)
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Sigh. I was disappointed with this book because I think it tried to be too many things for too many audiences. This is another ARC I picked up at work, set for publication in March 2006, and clearly trying to be the next Harry Potter, not just in sales but in plot and character as well. (Tragically the writing is nowhere near as good as JKR.) I did like some of the connections and stretches of imagination the authors came up with, but most of it was trite or it came flying in from left field. (N ...more
Trite - don't bother - Here's some other recommendations...

Don't bother with this book. The story has potential but it's writen for a reader that is assumed to be completely unintelligent (and so are the characters).

Example: Kids are told not to do the NEXT SENTENCE they go and do it. No story build up, no circumstance that forces the kids into it.

Example: Here's a common writing method in this book...
"I don't get it" said Ernie. He was confused.
-Obviously he was confused. The wri
This book is the written equivalent of whipped cream. It's fun while you're eating it, but isn't very substantial and leaves a bad taste in your mouth afterward. If you want to know what a standard kid-centered fantasy novel is like, check this out. Mysterious, not-really-important prologue? Check. Set of stock characters? Check. Mildly entertaining gimmick to introduce your fantasy world? Check. Blandness? Check-check-checkity-checkface from checkville, checkania.
Our cast: Luke--Eragon--Rand-
Max and his freinds Natalia, Harley, and Ernie play a very unpopular game round table only to find that the monsters witch's and last but most definitely not least the Templar are real! They go on and adventure fighting the which's and monsters with help from the Templar to save the world.

I thought this book was amazing it had alot of action was thrilling/suspencful.

I think this would be a good book people who have a wide imagination.
The book “The Revenge of the Shadow King” by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis, told a story of how four friends fight off dark forces that are invaded their peaceful town of Avalon. In my opinion the book was quite boring. The book seemed to be more for a younger audience than myself, and it told of your average spooky story. I kept waiting for something to get me excited, or on the edge of my seat, but instead it felt like reading the book was a chore. The book talks about goblins, witches, unicorns, ...more
Michaela Pilling
It's not a waste of time to read. I certainly don't regret reading the book either, however there are some cons along with pros for this book. Summarizing: The main character Max and his three friends play a game similar to "Dungeons and Dragons" The place they play is an antiquities shop and the owner plans their adventures that they play out through special cards that are so rare and were supposedly once played by King Arthur and his knights of the round table. The girl in their group even dre ...more
My 9 year old and I both really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a good book for his age and up. Great books for boys.
May 16, 2008 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who liked the Spiderwick Chronicles (Ages 9-whatever)
Recommended to Michael by: My teacher, Mrs. Morris.
Shelves: already-read
This book is great!!! I'm done!
Barb Middleton
Blue lightning bolt boy. That's Max. The only clue to his superpowers is thunder, the color blue, and electrical energy that crackles over his skin. Unfortunately, not enough is explained as to how Max got these powers. This is just one of many missing plot elements that makes this story fall short of its potential, BUT, students will like this series. There is plenty of action and the monsters are fun and scary. Just don't go looking for deep character and plot development. It ain't there folks ...more
I do not understand how this novel received so many positive reviews. It is really bad. The plot is predictable, the characters are two-dimensional and clichéd, new characters or unexplainable magic pops up to save the central characters from mishaps of their own creation; adults are absent and/or stupid.

The “hero” is a poor little rich boy from a broken home. His posse includes an asthmatic, cowardly young boy with a junk food jones, an uber-smart yet unpopular girl who doesn’t know when to kee
Barb Scott
Max Sumner is 11 years old. He and his best friends Harley, Natalia, and Ernie have formed a group they call the Grey Griffins. They love to play a card game called Round Table. When a goblin from the game appears to Max and tries to attack him, it leads to the discovery of a book called the Codex Spiritus. When he opens the book, Max unleashes a creature called a spriggan. Soon more and more creatures from the game appear in the real world and an all-out war between the Griffins and the magical ...more
May 22, 2015 Daisy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Middle Grade/pre-teen fantasy
Recommended to Daisy by: Gabby
This was everything I look for in a Middle Grade Fantasy book. The characters were original, amusing and loveable (although Natalia felt very cliché at times), the plot was exciting, and the writing flowed well with some awesome description. A very strong first book to this trilogy – I'm certainly intrigued to see where it goes next! The audiobook, narrated by Erik Steele, was thoroughly enjoyable – definitely recommended – as Steele does a superb job of distinguishing each and every character's ...more
The revenge of the Shadow King

The book I am writing a review is “The Revenge of the Shadow King” by “Derek Benz”. The book takes place in a town in Minnesota called Avalon. The main character is Max Sumner and his friends. Him and his friends have a group called the Grey Griffins. They play a ancient card game that only they have. Iver the man that gives them their cards said ‘They’re one of a kind’. Max’s grandpa has passed away for a while and Max uncovers some deep history. What did max find?
Shashank Eeda
The book The Revenge Of The Shadow King written by Derek Benz and J.S Lewis is a book one of a kind that goes through an amazing adventure. Max and his best friends Harley and Ernie see some strange creatures and know something is wrong and have to fix it.

By reading the story one important theme I learned was if you don't deal with your problems now they will hurt in the future. Max and his friends are the only ones that tried to do something about the weird creatures and the Shadow King. It al
Arthur Lin
The Revenge of the Shadow King is the first book of the Grey Griffins series. In The Revenge of the Shadow King there are 4 kids, Max, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia, that are best friends and they hang out every day to play a card game called the round table. Only these 4 kids are the people that play the round table and of course, there is a coach which is Max’s grandfather’s close friend. As they play this game they start to realise that strange things start to happen to the world like weird weat ...more
Angel Aponte
This book was decent it wasn't the best one I have read. It was a good starter to the year short and quick to read. It was a fantasy book so I get into it really fast which is why I read the whole thing even though it wasn't too good.
Max and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie and Natalia, must stop creatures from their favorite card game, from entering and destroying their world, not to mention the infamous and wicked Morgan LaFey, half-sister of King Arthur
I don’t understand why this book has so many good reviews. It is quite possibly the most cliché and superficial children’s book I have ever read.

Within the first pages of this book is an acknowledgment from the authors to a consulting firm. This, coupled with the book's lack of innovation, made me imagine this scene between the firm and authors…

“So, what do kids like?”
“Card games! They are in love with collecting cards for games like Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh!”
“Then we should
Mr. Cool (Dylan) Carter
this book was filled with adventure and danger at every turn with not just monsters but with bullies!i had to sneak it into my room to read before i went to sleep!!!can they save the world from the evil shadow king?
When strange things begin to occur in their small Minnesota town, the Grey Griffins struggle to make sense of it all. The four, Max, Natalia, Ernest, and Harley, realize that the card game characters (seems to be like a role playing game) begins to make appearances in the real world.

Max, the leader, finds a strange book at his grandmother's house. This book seems to draw a strange language out of him and allows him to release a mythical creature, which may not be the first or last to make an app
Rick Stuckwisch
An appealing action-adventure fantasy-mystery, aimed, I supposed, especially at 8-11-year-olds, but entertaining for older children (and adult readers), too. Fast paced and crisply written, I found it to be an easy read, but not shallow or simplistic. The central characters are interesting and engaging, and the story was well crafted. I appreciated the fact that the story included several references to church, not contrived but natural. I was actually rather impressed with this book, more so tha ...more
Ysabela M.
This is one of my favorite books! It has the right amount mystery, adventure, and fantasy all mixed together, making the perfect combination.
Sep 15, 2007 Legolas rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: m
Excellent children's book, but equally enjoyable for adults. My son and I both loved it.
Parker Towles
If you think you might want to read it don't it's terrible
Really love this book. The entire trilogy was amazing. And I'd read it in a second again. You really should have an imagination to read this. If you don't have a major imagination then this would be a waste of your time. This trilogy takes you to an entire different world. And it is even more incredible when you picture it in your mind. The author writes in a way that makes you picture it in your head. It leaves you wanting to be in their shoes even thought they go through so much trouble. A M A ...more
I really enjoyed this book and it's a good start to a series. This book is about a club of four kids who play a game called Round Table. Their names are Max, Ernie, Natalia, and Harley. One day, Max notices a dark figure lurking around his house in the night. Then, all of a sudden, he starts seeing more characters from their game. All this is happening to them because he found a book in his grandpa's attic one night. Soon, Max and his friends are put up for an adventure like they have never had ...more
Dec 03, 2008 Fallen*63 rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
This book is about a boy, Max Sumner, who lives with his rich mother in Avalon, Minnesota. His parents were separated, and his dad lives in Scotland. Max is the leader of The Order Of The Grey Griffins, a club that he and his friends, Natalia Romanov, Ernie Tweeny, and Harley Eisenstein, created. They play an ancient game called Round Table, and buy the cards from an old man named Iver, who also plays the game. He also has a private martial arts trainer (who is, oddly, paid in expensive exotic s ...more
David J
The group called "Grey Griffins" were made up of normal kids. But they soon found themselves in a dangerous world of goblins and faeries, they struggle to survive their very realistic trading card game. Max summer and his friends the Grey Griffins find the book called the Codex that contains all monsters in existence, but one bad move started this story. Throughout the story there are many battle, betrayals, mysteries, and monsters. Who will die? Who will triumph? And will the evil Shadow King t ...more
Cassidy Washburn
I mainly picked this book up because it was only 5 bucks at a local store and the cover art is fantastic, but I normally do not read middle grade novels.

When reading this book, I had to keep in mind that it was aimed at a younger audience. Maybe thats why it had some pretty obvious and pathetic lines.

Still, for a middle grade novel, I thought it was well done and enjoyable. The four main characters, Max, Natalia, Ernie, and Harley are apart of a club known as The Grey Griffins. They are just no
I was loaned this book by a friend's daughter who recommended it very highly. I loaned her a book in return and set to explore what 13 year old fantasy enthusiasts are enjoying nowadays. Now I'll admit it's been a while since I was thirteen and my tastes have expanded and refined since then but I firmly believe that even at 13 I would have felt this book was mediocre at best.
The plot in The Revenge of the Shadow King is the standard 'young boy discovers he has magical powers and a destiny to ful
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Born in the wrong place, and unquestionably the wrong time, Derek Benz 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 myste ...more
More about Derek Benz...

Other Books in the Series

Grey Griffins (3 books)
  • The Rise of the Black Wolf (Grey Griffins, #2)
  • The Fall of the Templar (Grey Griffins, #3)
The Rise of the Black Wolf (Grey Griffins, #2) The Fall of the Templar (Grey Griffins, #3) The Brimstone Key (Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles, #1) The Relic Hunters (Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles, #2) The Paragon Prison (Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles, #3)

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