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The Dark Griffin (The Fallen Moon #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  658 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Being chosen as a griffin's companion has allowed Arren Cardockson to gain a place of status within the land of Cymria. But Arren can never escape the prejudice that comes with his Northerner slave origins. For chained within the Arena where rogue griffins battle to entertain the crowds, there lies another soul crying out to be freed-a kindred spirit that will allow Arren ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Ace (first published August 1st 2009)
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Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne JonesSong of the Summer King by Jess E. OwenYear of the Griffin by Diana Wynne JonesThe Black Gryphon by Mercedes LackeyThe Dark Griffin by K.J. Taylor
5th out of 24 books — 21 voters
Edric the Hatchling Gryphon by Eric K. WilliamsSong of the Summer King by Jess E. OwenThe Black Gryphon by Mercedes LackeyYear of the Griffin by Diana Wynne JonesThe White Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey
Fantasy Books Featuring Griffins
11th out of 40 books — 29 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,818)
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Tsana Dolichva
The Dark Griffin is a story about a griffin and a human. The griffin has an unfortunately difficult life, fighting to survive from the time it's born. I was a bit surprised when I started reading, actually, that the first two chapters are told entirely from the point of view of griffins with humans barely featuring on the periphery. Taylor pulled it off, however. In a section that had the potential to feel like a drawn-out prologue, I was captivated the entire time.

In Taylor's world, griffins ar
Nerine Dorman
If you, like me, gobbled up Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels like they were crack, then you’re probably going to enjoy The Dark Griffin. And I really, really enjoyed this story, even though the novel is a bit rough around the edges.

First off, there were definite viewpoint issues. I felt as though the author couldn’t decide whether to run with a third-person omniscient or a deep third. As it stands, the narrative exists in a funny kind of limbo, with authorial voice intruding from time to time to off
Dark and unsophisticated: not a winning combination.

The book begins with a mother griffin tending to her chicks. In the wilderness. During dire times. Related in short sentences. This gets better, but those first three sentences were not promising, and in retrospect I wish I'd stopped there. The story progresses rather like a nature documentary until one chick triumphantly reaches adulthood.

Then we get introduced to Arren, a human of a traditionally enslaved race, who nonetheless has garnered so
Jan 21, 2015 Rebecca rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: griffin lovers (provided they're okay with skimming), people suffering from intense white guilt
I really wanted to like this. It's so frustrating that I don't like this. The groundwork for a great novel was all there, hopelessly out of reach! Griffins are an underutilized fantasy creature that the genre has not tapped into that much, especially compared to their bigger, scaly cousins. And when I heard there was a series that featured a world where griffins had a kinmanship with humans and set up a society where they were almost equals, I immediately asked my library to ship me a copy. Whoo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mercy Dragonslayer
This was a nice, good book. It was horribly slow starting up and it really needed some polish, but yeah, I liked it. Every time (every 25 pages or so) things got boring, the plot picked up a bit to keep me reading it.

The griffins were cool, albeit a bit . . . convenient. I could have done without their magic, and the fact that they can speak human languages. And I actually liked Eluna, but of course (this is a sore spot with me--my favorite character in a book will die 34 out of 35 times) the au
Temný gryf mi na poličce ležel už pár let a teď se akorát cítím trapně, že jsem se k němu dostal až nyní. I když kniha asi nepřekvapí ničím světovým, má jednu výbornou vlastnost - není to žádné klišé. Hlavní postava má už od začátku knihy smůlu a kvůli svému vzhledu - černý, jak ho všichni nazývají - to jednoduše nemá lehké. A tak to platí po celou dobu. Všechno by mohlo vypadat dobře, ale autorka prostě s takovýmto koncem není spokojená a proto děj odebírá tou nejtěžší a nejnebezpečnější cestou ...more
I just finished this trilogy last night and am here to give some advice for those of you who wish to start this series. Don't waste your money.

You know how they say "Never judge a book by it's cover"?

In this series, you really should. Just like the hilariously bad photoshop cover art; this book is lazy, poorly done, and embarrassing to read.

I wanted to like this book. So much so that I stuck it out and bought the other two books hoping it'd get better. It actually did get a little bit better,
This was something that entered my book collection by my urging Heather to pick a book she thought I would like, that I wouldn't read the summary to or the author of, but instead buy impulsively--this practice sort of became a ritual upon visiting book stores. The Dark Griffin was refreshingly unbridled, it didn't feel as though there were any overtones or deeper levels, but written well enough to be palatable. While reading you'll experience a fun exploration of how griffins might behave and ho ...more
Clumsily written, weirdly paced, and with some kind of bizarre racial politics going on. There was a good idea or two buried in there, and it was never quite so bad as to be unreadable, but in both tone and overall quality it reads like someone just filed the serial numbers off a mediocre Dragonriders of Pern fanfic they wrote in an attempt to grimdarken everything up. And it's that very specific subgenre of fanfiction where everyone misunderstands and abuses our poor mild-mannered protagonist w ...more
The black griffin had nothing, not even a name, when he was cast out on his own. Against all the odds, he survived, grew, thrived. But his territory bordered that of the humans, and humans disliked the wild griffins.

Arren had everything, especially considering he was a Northman, a people best known for being slaves. But he had a griffin, Eluna, and that meant the opportunity to be more than any Northman ever was. Even if he couldn't get any respect thanks to his heritage.

But when their paths cr
2015 Reading Challenge #42, a book you own but have never read.

I picked this up for $1 at a book sale, but never could find the time to read it. I've probably had it 18 months or so.

Spoiler alert (maybe?) but it seems obvious to me that the main character Arren was bound to end up with the dark griffin. And yet, I kept reading and reading, and nothing would bring them together, and I kept thinking "Aha! This is when they become partners!" and instead we'd go off in some totally different directi
I picked this book up because I was in the mood for something clearly fantasy, and didn't feel like reading another dragon book. Griffins provide similar themes without having been done so many times before.

I suppose the author would categorize this as Dark Fantasy, but for me it felt like a slightly dark Epic Fantasy that was two levels below my standard with regards to worldbuilding. The plot was somewhat predictable, but I enjoyed this book. It was fun to read a story from the (sort of) vill
Tom Flaherty
This book is a masterpiece of Dark Fantasy, mocking the cut-and-dry morality of High Fantasy and exposing the self-righteous xenophobia often displayed by High Fantasy protagonists. The characters are compelling, the setting gritty, the prose brilliant and the plot pure genius.
This was a fabulous read. Not only was there a great attention to detail, Taylor threw every hardship and more at the protagonist, Arren Cardockson.


Definitely a keeper! (And I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.)
Ciaran Mealer
This was a really nice, solid high fantasy. Fans of E.E. Knight, Anne McCaffrey, and Christopher Poalini will enjoy this series.

*Spoilers ahead*

I really enjoyed the parts of the book told from the perspective of the various Griffins. I think Taylor really captured something there, especially in the opening chapters. Those areas reminded me a lot of E.E. Knight's Age of Fire series.

This series is really dark, and I feel like the "hero" would actually be a villain were the story told from anothe
There's a dual narrative here--the first narrator starts with a Call of the Wild kind of theme to it (the wild Griffin started as an egg and survived to adulthood) and the second narrative is a Griffin-rider who fights with biases against his race everyday and is only mitigated by his partnership/friendship with his griffin.

I was very surprised with how much I liked the book. Even though it is part of a series, the ending was very satisfying while still making me excited to read the rest of the
I'm so glad that I won this book. One thing I find lacking in most other books of the same genre are richly written details of the world in which the story unfolds. I'm not actually comparing this book to Lord of the Rings, but (for me) that is one book that fills in so much history and detail of the world and history that the story seems real/plausible. Taylor did just that with her detail and understanding of her world making me feel as though this world did exist (or could). She obviously put ...more
Kallie M
This book is truly remarkable in the fact that the plot is unlike any other that I have read. Having an entirely new concept - bypassing the current mediocre vampire/werewolf dramas that seem to be the sole fantasy media circulation these days.
Anyhoo, back to the story. The world KJ Taylor creates is very vivid and full of cultural background, making it plausible that the world could actually exist. Although the world is not without it's dark areas. Which is what I think I love the most about Ea
Když byl Arren ještě velmi malý, měl to obrovské štěstí, že si ho Eluna vybrala. Eluna ale není jen tak někdo. Je to přenádherný gryf a gryfové si neberou jen tak někoho. To že si ho vybrala, bylo docela neobvyklé, protože Arren je seveřan, černý a hned se omlouvám za tuto opravdu ošklivou nadávku, kteří ještě před nedávnem byli otroci. A i když je Arren gryfmistr, občas se najde někdo, kdo s jeho postavením nesouhlasí.
A jelikož je Arren zadlužený, přijme nabídku na chycení černého gryfa v Měděn
Jul 15, 2012 Honour marked it as to-read
I was looking for reviews for this series (The Fallen Moon), having just seen last year's (2011) comic con Epic Fantasy panel.

K.J. Taylor was the only woman on it so I was curious.

Funny thing is, there are hardly any detailed reviews here or at amazon for her books. Amazon till date (July 2012) has just 6 reviews to offer and the longest of them is by Harriet Klausner (who is not my favourite reviewer on the net). Now that's just sad. I wanted to read a clear eyed critical review by a fan (and
I received this copy for review off of GoodReads First Reads to provide a review for the book. And to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how to review it. Usually things are pretty cut and dry for me. Either I liked it, or I didn't. This book has a wonderfully developed protagonist, great dialogue, scenes that make you happy, angry, infuriated, sad


there were parts that dragged a little bit also. The beginning of the book was interesting, we learn about the origins of the black griffin
Going into this book I was expecting a traditional 'farm-boy-to-hero' story. A few chapters in I realised that The Dark Griffin isn't what I expected at all. Arren's dark story of betrayal and retribution realistically documents easily how quickly society turns on those who are different. Arren becomes a victim of a set up, designed to disgrace him and strip him of his power. At the first signs of trouble his neighbours and work mates condemn him and he very quickly loses the things he once took ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
Plot summary: Arren Cardockson is a griffiner - the companion and rider of a griffin. He's also a Northerner, a people who were enslaved centuries ago. He became a griffiner by chance, chosen by his griffin at a young age. When he's sent to a small town to investigate a rogue man-eating griffin, life as he knows it changes forever.

Thoughts: I honestly don't know how I feel about this book. I mean, I wanted to know what happened. And I liked the world in which the story took place. But there were
Ok, so I really wanted to classify this as YA, but the weird bout of griffin sex made me change my mind. However, the the style of writing, and the development of the characters and plot scream YA.

This novel, like The Battle Sylph, had a lot of potential - but ultimately failed to deliver. I liked the world K.J. Taylor created, and I didn't even mind the main character and the series of unfortunate events he faces. (Readers who couldn't understand how quickly and horribly Arren's life sank shoul
Book Him Danno
Fantasy is not something I read a lot of, but this story kept my interest. I had a uncorrected proofs copy and so I found a few misspelled words and sentences that needed restructuring (I'm sure this will be fixed in the bound book).
The story was interesting, if not a bit long. This is the first book in a series, so it was setting up the story for the rest of the books. The hero is an interesting kid, his life is turned upside down and hopefully he will come out OK in the end. I'm not sure how
Anthony Eaton
I had the privilege of being asked to speak at the launch of this book, so I'm probably a little biased, but this is, I believe, one to watch out for. Taylor has inverted many of the traditional tropes of the fantasy genre with this one, while at the same time staying faithful to the genre in a way that demonstrates clearly her familiarity with, and the depth of her understanding of this often-maligned field of writing.

Her writing is deft, the story engaging, and the plotting is, for the most pa
Jan 08, 2011 Robin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers everywhere
Shelves: first-reads
I got this as a goodreads firstread ARC. I unreservedly give this book four stars. When I signed up to win this copy, I knew it was a gamble- fantasy usually is a bit of a gamble. But books like this are the reason I sign up for firstreads books. I got to be one of the very first to read a book that I feel sure will be disappearing off the shelves very soon.
Taylor has approached her world in some very unique ways. For instance, focusing on the griffin instead of the dragon or the unicorn or some
I started this book somewhat warily. An acknowledgments page of mostly Internet-handles doesn't usually bode well for the quality of what comes after, and for the first few chapters or so, The Dark Griffin proved as generic as expected (which isn't necessarily a bad thing in a genre novel.) Also, the blurb on the back hailing this as "edgy" always makes me wary. Granted, I'm a big fan of the Game of Thrones series, so in the end this book, to me, wasn't edgy so much as it was complex and well-ac ...more
Like Nita, below, I have difficulty summing up my reactions to this book.

I love griffins, and I love fantasy stories where the nonhuman race(s) are not just humans in another shape; and this is probably the best feature of the book. The griffins have their own language, culture (a simplistic one, but it includes an origin myth and some cultural norms that are quite different from any human group's). I wish there'd been some more exploration of this, and some further explanation of how griffins'
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Griffins, Griffon...: The Fallen Moon Series, by K.J. Taylor 1 7 Oct 26, 2012 03:48AM  
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K.J.Taylor was born in Australia in 1986 and plans to stay alive for as long as possible. She went to Radford College and achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Canberra, where she is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Information Studies.

She published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy through Scholastic when she was just 18, and went on to publish The D
More about K.J. Taylor...

Other Books in the Series

The Fallen Moon (3 books)
  • The Griffin's Flight (The Fallen Moon, #2)
  • The Griffin's War (The Fallen Moon #3)

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