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Frankie Shaunessy's friends are out of this world!

It's an easy mistake to make - instead of whistling and calling for her dog, fifteen year old Frankie accidentally summons a griffin and his rider from another world. The Rider is tall, blond and extremely rude. On the other hand, Balkind is the sweetest, most lovable griffin Frankie's ever met, and Frankie is determined to help the Rider and his griffin find a way back to their own world.

Dealing with parallel universes, disgruntled warriors, and hungry griffins is the easier part of Frankie's life. At school, Frankie learns friends can become enemies, teachers aren't always right, and the boy of your dreams can be all too human. Told in approximately 53,000 words, suitable for young adults, and all those who've ever dreamed of riding a griffin.

134 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 3, 2012

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About the author

Julia Hughes

26 books113 followers
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Author of The Celtic Cousins' Adventures: (A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time and An Explosive Time), also The Bridle Path, and The Griffin Cryer.

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5 stars
58 (39%)
4 stars
48 (32%)
3 stars
26 (17%)
2 stars
9 (6%)
1 star
6 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for William Stuart.
Author 4 books99 followers
March 3, 2013
It is amazing how an ordinary act can have extraordinary consequences. This is what happened to Frankie Shaunessy when she tried to call her dog home. Instead, she summons a griffin from another world, complete with his Rider - wearing fancy dress! That is how Julia Hughes starts her book The Griffin Cryer.

Frankie is determined to help Balkind, the griffin, and his rider return to their own world. Her efforts, set against the backdrop of a young woman trying to balance school, friends, teenage angst, and a tragic family situation, make for a compelling and entertaining story.

I loved the character development in this novel. Balkind is not your usual griffin. He is sweet and loves attention. His rider is rude and demanding. Frankie’s parents are solid parental types, but have their own issues. Frankie, as with most young people, is complex and finds that friends aren’t always friends and enemies aren’t always enemies. Romance isn’t always like the movies, and relationships within the family can be difficult. But, in the end, love and friendship always win!

The story itself grabbed me from the start (who doesn’t love supernatural things happening in a graveyard) and kept its hold on me until the end. It follows Frankie’s life from finding Balkind and his rider, through a romance with her dream guy, and back to helping Balkind and the rider get back home. I did get a little confused toward the end when Frankie has to help her brother, but the story sorted itself out
I think this book is suitable for all ages and all genres. It has some romance, teen issues, paranormal elements, suspense, and fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book to be added to your to-be-read pile!

My rating 4.5 Stars!! (I wish Goodreads allowed half-stars).
Profile Image for Jenny Worstall.
Author 23 books158 followers
June 16, 2013

The Griffin Cryer is an enthralling and imaginative tale, suitable for readers of all ages.

The lovable heroine Frankie embarks upon a fantastic adventure between two worlds as she encounters the Griffin with "barley sugar horns...and gossamer wings" and the Rider. The scenes in Frankie's school (with the ever present teenage angst of wanting to be popular and cool) are startlingly realistic and the transition to another dimension is seamless and believable.

We meet a solid, dependable policeman, loyal friends, a loving family with a tragic situation and also plenty of unpleasant characters, even one from (literally!) beyond the grave.

As the dramatic story races along and Frankie has to make the biggest decision of her life, we are swept up in the action and moved by the emotion. I thoroughly recommend The Griffin Cryer; your heart will beat a little faster as you devour this magical, timeless fairytale.
Profile Image for Deborah.
Author 14 books114 followers
July 19, 2014
I really enjoyed it. It didn't go where I expected it to, so kept me guessing.
The writing is really easy going, flows along nice and smoothly, with clear and believable dialogue.
On the downside, although I found the villain suitably villainous, I wanted his motives to be more clear, and I got rather muddled by what stone did what and whether the rider had what he wanted at the end, or if he'd settled for an alternative.
On the plus, the climax was thrilling and rewarding, and I'd certainly read a follow up.
Profile Image for Alicia Huxtable.
1,684 reviews56 followers
July 12, 2018
Quite enjoyable

I found this read to be quite enjoyable and enjoyed the characters and the storyline. I wish there had been more to the story, and maybe a bit longer. Look forward to reading more by this author
Profile Image for Doreen.
Author 3 books85 followers
May 6, 2013
*spoiler alert*

She was only calling for her dog. It was dusk and strange imaginings always occur within centuries-old cemeteries, right? Yet, upon seeing `green eyes' within a huge dark shadow then feeling a blast of `hot fetid air' and the near graze of a `sail-sized leathery wing,' 15-year old Frankie wasn't so sure this was imagined. When a young stranger `wearing fancy dress' appears out of the dark mist within the old cemetery and speaks, "Did you summons my griffin?" she runs for her life!
These words, spoken in Chapter 1, plunged me excitedly into a cannot-put-down, do-not-want-it-to-end extraordinary story! Julia Hughes has masterfully woven an intricate and thrilling YA fantasy tale of a girl with ordinary teenage issues suddenly being catapulted into an intriguing, perilous adventure involving beings from a twin world called, Ella-Earth. Frankie's uncanny ability to call forth a griffin and The Rider from this parallel universe will ultimately serve her family's tragic circumstances in a unique mysterious way. Ms. Hughes must have a very magical muse in her mind whose wisdom to weave such an intelligent and heart-warming story is beyond brilliant.
Frankie is not one of the cool kids at school. Julia Hughes has created a most engaging and fascinating character that appears to be rather ordinary, a girl who is struggling to maneuver through the throes of middle adolescence towards the early side of adulthood. I was delightfully engaged during the segments involving Frankie's encounters and foibles at her school as she oftentimes reacted to others in either a sassy or a respectful way; with either a fearless or a demure stance. She makes discoveries about friendship and enemies, and the humanness of teachers; and wrestles with a realization that the boy of her dreams might not be one who is human.
So what makes THE GRIFFIN CRYER extraordinary? 15-year old Frankie's coming-of-age maturity is evidenced by her reactions to ordinary yet often intense life events, yet they are in counterpoint to the daring challenges that she takes on with The Rider and his marvelous griffin. There is a harmonious flow to the script as it moved me to and fro, from Frankie's rich zesty day-to-day life situations into the perils undertaken with The Rider and his griffin; ones that involve the recovery on earth of the Ella Stone, a crystal powerful enough to protect a membrane that separates Earth from Ella-Earth, keeping both worlds from colliding.
Throughout my read, it often felt as if I was in the story itself, walking in Frankie's shoes. Some of the most vivid, exceptional segments are those between Frankie and her mum; those in which Frankie takes flight with The Rider on the griffin; and those in which her mind descends into her comatose brother's nightmares, seeking to bring him home from the dream world in which he is lost.
An outstanding story for all young adults and for those who are young at heart, THE GRIFFIN CRYER takes center stage on the top shelf of my favorites' bookcase, alongside Julia Hughes' other delightful, masterfully written novels.
Profile Image for J.B (Debbie).
391 reviews8 followers
March 24, 2013

Francesca is 15 years old and prefers to be called Frankie. Ever since her brother had a freak accident that has left him in a coma for the last couple of years she has felt like an outsider amongst her peers. Her only true friend being her brother Michael's dog Bally. Frankie worries constantly about her mother and has a good, but tentative relationship of sorts with her stepfather. Just when Frankie's life couldn't get any stranger, whilst out walking Bally she 'accidently' summons a Griffin from another world. And, for good measure, his Rider comes along too!

The Rider is a quiet and mysterious young man who Frankie finds infuriating. But, she agrees to help him and Balkind, his griffin, get back to their own world. However, the secret of the Griffin is not Frankie's alone and she soon discovers that there are other, more dubious characters who have a vested interest in acquiring a griffin. They are prepared to use Frankie's family's desperation to have Michael come back to them from his own other world as a bargaining tool. Will Frankie and The Rider be successful in their quest or will darker forces stop them achieving their goal. For Frankie, a lot rests on her ability to be The Griffin Cryer and summon Balkind and save her brother in the process!

The Griffin Cryer is a Young Adult book and not my usual genre. However, once I started reading it I could not put it down! I was totally hooked! I was instantly transported back to my early teen years when this was just the sort of book that I adored. The excitement and sense of adventure are palpable and to be honest, I felt like I used to when I was a teen with my nose constantly stuck in a book that held a world of fantasy, full of magical creatures and dark and brooding strangers. I loved it!

Julia Hughes has created a wonderful host of characters, right down to the villainous Professor! The book also, in a subtle yet effective way, explores the complexities of loneliness, family relationships, and grief for a life hanging in a state of limbo. I loved how gutsy Frankie was and her fearless loyalty to her family. This is a story that just holds the promise of further adventures for Frankie! This is the first book I have read by Julia Hughes and I look forward to reading more by this very talented author.
Profile Image for Berenice.
144 reviews51 followers
June 17, 2013
Probability of mythological creatures existing = the same as finding a needle in a haystack the size of the Empire state.
Probability that said mythological creature shares same name as your dog = the same as to find that one day that my brother’s dog dances mambo like a pro.
Probability of you trying to call your dog and instead said creature appear = the same as knowing the exact number of grains of sand that are on Earth.
Well it seems I just made the impossible happen, while trying to find my dog after it ran off I called for him but instead of a lost dog glad to see his owner, there was a griffin and its rider from another world.

The Griffin Cryer is an exciting story; it is a tale of world travelers, mythological creatures, magic and love.
The way Julia Hughes writes has a nice tempo to it, you can get lost on the narration, but there are certain points where you might get lost a bit because of the slang or the way I assume people phrase their phrases in this region.
One of the things I love the most about this book was that even if I think I got a sense about who Frankie is, there is always this layer underneath her that keeps me on my toes waiting for her to surprise us. Then there is the Rider, the guy that we may not get to know as well as we would like to but has a funny way of making the reader trust him and want to see more of what he can do, his past and who he really is.
A thing to keep in mind is that when I talk about love in this book, I don’t really mean romance, the type of love that flourishes in this book is the love for family, the love shared as friends. This book leaves the opportunity for love to grow, but the main focus on love isn’t the one you feel for your lover.
I do think this story could have been more memorable, it has interesting protagonist each of them with a goal of their own and we get to see how they need each other to resolve it, you do get excited, sad and happy for them but it’s not the full hard blows your mind up. I wish to see how Julia grows on the next installment of the Griffin Cryer, in my opinion this book is a good beginning to what can be a great story.
Profile Image for Rabid Readers Reviews.
547 reviews23 followers
March 14, 2013
There is a unique sense of place in “The Griffin Cryer.” Frankie is very clearly English and speaks in an appropriate slang for her region. Her specific dialect may throw readers off for a moment but in this global age, a reader will not take long to adjust.

“The Griffin Cryer” was a good book. Frankie is a fun character who grows exponentially within the scope of the story-line. There are certain elements that the reader can anticipate the end result from introduction but the journey is the point and Hughes gives us a compelling progression. Frankie has a good parent and step-parent that are willing to stand beside her though they have their own worries and problems. She has friends that she never realized she had … and a boy she never thought she could have.

The baddies are a bit brutal in this novel though no more so than in the Harry Potter series (though in a vastly different way). If I were to give this novel to my 11-year-old to read (and we have talked about her reading it), I’d want to discuss the baddies with her. I think the level of violence is suitably appropriate for someone 13+ when children understand that this is just a novel and that sometimes people are just horrible jerks but this is fiction so rarely to the extent we see in the work. That said the baddies, though exceptionally well-written, are not the point of the story. The point seems to be a beautiful progression within Frankie herself.
Profile Image for ѦѺ™.
447 reviews
June 26, 2013
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. -Friedrich Nietzsche

one night, as fifteen-year old Francesca Shaunessy frantically calls her dog Ballykinny to come to her side, a griffin named Balkind responds instead. Frankie gets to meet the griffin's Rider too. what happens next alters Frankie's world in more ways than one.
author Julia Hughes' fantasy novel is a perfect escape for young and adult readers who want to while the time away with an entertaining and wholesome book.
it centers around Frankie, her family, her school and friends. her mundane existence shifts dramatically when she befriends a mythical creature and its rider from a parallel universe.
more than a fantasy novel, this book also deals with growing up pains, confronting fears and making a stand. Frankie, the ordinary teenager becomes extraordinary as the story progresses.
there are events in her life which readers can relate to and this is great because there is something in here for everyone - young and old.
this book will make you feel good, choke you up in some places and get your adrenaline going as well. overall, this is an excellent start to an exciting and fun series and i look forward to reading its "stable mate" - The Griffin's Boy.
Profile Image for L.K. Jay.
Author 13 books44 followers
February 14, 2013
I like a bit of fantasy but what I like about this novel is that it is firmly set in the real world. This is something that Julia Hughes is very good at, with her Celtic Cousin adventures, she manages to create realistic and grounded characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Fifteen year old Frankie takes her dog out for a walk and gets more than she bargained for when she summons a griffin, and its rider as well. But Frankie also has other things to contend with in her life - such as school and a brother who is in a coma. There are villains and heroes and a lot of adventures, I couldn't put this novel down and is a great read for a young adult audience.

What I thought was most effective was the depiction of a teenage girl's life and the frustrations that it holds. The malice that some young people can contend with at school is very realistic and those relationships are portrayed very well. The fusion of this and the magic of the griffin and his rider makes for an engaging and thrilling read. This would make a great film or television series and I hope there's a sequel as there is a lot that I'd like to find out after the end! More please, I want to find out more about Frankie and what happens to the other characters too.
Profile Image for Ronda Caudill.
Author 15 books24 followers
March 14, 2013
The Griffin Crier by Julia Hughes was truly an amazing and magical story for all ages. It was action packed filled with wonderment and excitement. The characters were so realistic. I love that Julia gave the Griffin a personality that made you want to take him home. Frankie is a typical teenager that everyone can relate to, but she is also strong and full of life. The Rider reminds me of the knight in shining armor, rescuing Frankie in a sense. This is such a unique story that intertwines myth with reality. Julia does this in such a way that the story is so believable. The way it is written makes you want to join the characters in the book and help them. It is a book that pulls you and won’t let you go until the end, and then leaves you wanting more. This is an outstanding story. I recommend it for anyone who loves mythology and griffins.
Profile Image for Wendy Steele.
Author 12 books106 followers
May 16, 2013
This, though a young adult book, is a most enjoyable read. With a lot to deal with in her young life, Frankie is great and endeavours to do her best as she deals with her own sense of loss and the emotional cauldron at home. The Rider and Balkind change her life. I loved the magic and the storytelling. Some of the scenes where the girls were in lessons held the story up a bit for me but that is my only criticism. I loved Frankie's strength, choosing to live her own life and trust herself.
Profile Image for Rosie Amber.
Author 0 books114 followers
April 7, 2013
This was a brilliant book for the YA market and very readable as an adult too. If you like dragons then you'll enjoy the Griffin in this book. There is a mix of modern life and very old English Celt history, with the temptation of more books to come in the series. A great book.
Profile Image for A.E. Shaw.
Author 2 books20 followers
May 25, 2013

A read-for-review book for The Mind Palace, this was a joy to discover. I'll certainly be picking up Hughes' other stories, for it's a long time since I found something which appealed so firmly to my taste for easy, nostalgic English myth and comprehensive school realism.
Profile Image for Francis Potts.
Author 9 books5 followers
April 4, 2013
Frankie calls for her dog, and instead summons a griffin with a very similar name. A fairly obvious mistake, but the starting point for a great little teenage fantasy.
1,652 reviews7 followers
April 15, 2018
Do you believe in fairy tales? Frankie just wants things to go back the way they were before her brother was injured. Everything is a big mess he will never come home and she will always feel guilty about that day. She calls a griffin by accident as she was just looking for her dog and she is about to learn about the other side and how she will need to use all her skills to save the griffin and its rider. The griffin is beauitful and he doesn't want to leave to go back home just yet and that will lead to a mad professor finding the rider and using Frankie to call the griffin. But Frankie knows that he just wants to use her and not help her family but her mother can't see anything wrong with helping the professor. Will Frankie be able to save the griffin and the rider before it is too late? A good read.
12 reviews7 followers
August 19, 2018
Better than the first

This work takes place in our world, and our time. I feel it's better than the first book, capturing attention with relevant worries and feelings we all have. I do hope the author continues the series!
144 reviews
January 26, 2015
'The Griffin Cryer' is a charming story of how an accidental summoning of a griffin and his rider bring two different people together, while a common enemy will change their lives forever. For the Rider, it's a struggle to return home, while Franky must struggle with being a teenager and being targeted by malevolent enemy bent on using her to their own sinister gains.

Fans of 'Pegasus and the Flame' by Kate O' Hearn might find an instant liking to this fantasy story that is complete with a lovable griffin instead. All of Hughes' characters were realistic and I warmed up to Franky very quickly. The story was also interesting when told from the Rider's perspective and how he saw things around him much differently by simply being from another world and all. Their enemies left me guessing what they would do next with suspenseful twists and turns throughout the story.

'The Griffin Cryer' is a well-rounded story that is written for the young adult and late tween audience. I think teens will easily relate to Franky and the circumstances that surround her, while following her choices that both expand her character and shape her future.

There was room left at the end for a sequel and I'm hopeful that there will be one as this was a very fun read.
Profile Image for Shelly Hammond.
1,714 reviews
September 26, 2014
This book takes you on an adventure like no other, with characters you'll not soon forget, right from the very first chapter. The Griffin Cryer is a fun book for all ages!

The griffin (Balkind) is one of a kind and a truly unique character. He and his rider are impressively written and are brought to life perfectly. The world they 'arrive' from is cleverly created and added a level of higher fantasy to the storyline. The other characters within the pages are also all very well written and have clear distinct personalities of their own bringing each and every one of them into a more concrete felling of being actual living beings. Great character writing!

The storyline is one that has a lot of mystery surrounding different subplots which develop into the full storylines by the end. It's mostly very well written although there are times when the story speeds up when perhaps it should be slowed down, and slows down at times when it might have been better being a bit more sped up. However, the story is still so unique and the characters so brilliant, it's still worth reading, maybe even twice! It isn't a super long book so you really just need to give it a go. It's worth it!
Profile Image for Linda Hamonou.
Author 7 books29 followers
June 4, 2015
It's difficult for a book to completely transport you into a different reality even when the world where the story takes place is totally different from yours. Well, this book did just that. The story is set in our world, with elements coming from another world and it totally gripped me. The characters were realistic and believable on every level. The plot twists and turns and fasts forward in a way that keeps your attention from beginning to end.
I loved the fantasy part because it didn't feel forced, it was just something that happened and even if weird the main character decided to deal with it normally like any other every day life occurrence.
The school interaction was also really well described and could have happened in any highschool.
There was alone parents and they were not useless. Useless parents is something that really annoy me in that type of book but the parents here were totally doing what parents should be doing without exaggeration. It was as if I was looking at a normal family without interfering.
The outside world, press, police... was also very realistic which made the fantasy part pop out even more.
And the villains were, well, villains but not overboard.

I really liked this book, it made me smile. I want a Griffin!
Profile Image for Intisar Khanani.
Author 16 books2,208 followers
April 19, 2015
This was a fun, light read, with enough depth threaded through the telling for it to have almost no fluff at all. Issues of assault, school bullying, loss, and trust all surface at various points, and for the most part they're dealt with very well. As for the premise--come on! You're calling your dog and a griffin shows up? Loved it.

The pacing towards the middle dragged a little, and I found the character of Ford to be more of a plot device than a person (he showed some signs of humor, but we spent so little time with him for the role he purportedly played in Frankie's life, that he felt like cardboard). Similarly, I had a hard time believing in the depth and reality of Frankie's friendships with various other girls in her class, and how they changed.

However, the emotional climax of this book was well done, requiring Frankie to step up and face her fears and rescue someone on her own. While there is a separate climax to resolve a different thread of the story, the emotional climax is the one that made this book for me.
Profile Image for Cinta.
Author 107 books99 followers
June 2, 2013
Frankie is a teenager who goes to have a walk with her dog and, "by accident", ends up calling a griffin and its rider from another world. While trying to help them to go back to their own alternative world, Frankie will have to go through some challenging events.

This is another book that I started reading with high expectations, but it made me roll my eyes lots of times very soon after I started reading it. There are inconsistencies, typos, odd punctuation, and even missing words. Apart from that, the story was entertaining, but predictable and not good enough as to make me give it 4 or 5 stars. It dragged at some points, and then some other times it was kind of rushed. If there is a sequel, I will probably read it, and I hope I don't get disappointed again.
Profile Image for Marta Moran Bishop.
Author 52 books70 followers
May 18, 2014
Julia Hughes stole my heart in her book The Griffin Cryer. I am forever a Griffin rider want-a-be. Her tale of a parallel world, peopled with griffins and people who ride them to help humanity is a story sure to delight anyone who has read Anne McCaffrey’s, Dragonrider’s of Pern series will find such joy in Ms. Hughes novels depicting a world filled with flying griffins.

In The Griffin Cryer, Ms. Hughes intersects our world with the world of the griffins as Frankie accidentally calls Balkind through the veil and forever changes her life.

I am forever indebted to the friend who introduced me to these captivating novels and cannot recommend them highly enough.
Profile Image for A.K. Michaels.
Author 86 books1,047 followers
June 10, 2014
I absolutely loved The Griffin's Boy and this is the next book in the series. This one is set 'here' as young Francesca, or as she prefers Frankie, mistakenly calls Neb and Balkind from their universe to here. The story has some parts that had me smiling widely and particularly liked when Tony clocked the baddie! It follows the Rider as he fights to return to his own world and his revelation to Frankie that she can help her brother who is in a coma was fabulous! Then Frankie decides to go with him! Back to his realm! I can't wait for the next instalment in this story. Oh yeah - I still want a Griffin!
Profile Image for Eddie Jong.
Author 9 books64 followers
April 29, 2014
Beautiful mixture of fantasy and reality

With many fantasy books, the whole story takes place in fantasy land. I really enjoyed the mix of fantasy and reality in the Griffin Cryer.

After Frankie accidentally calls the Griffin, she deals with it, but her normal life carries on – problems at school, trying to work on a relationship with a boy and avoiding bullies. The Griffin and it’s rider appear sporadically in the beginning, but as the story progresses, they have an ever bigger impact on her life.

This mixture made the story very real for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

Profile Image for Lisa.
1 review
November 3, 2013
Full of action and written beautifully, I would recommend this book to all fantasy lovers. I loved this book I love Julia hughes style of writing This the first time i have read one of her book's and i love it
Profile Image for Bill Tillman.
1,644 reviews65 followers
July 20, 2014
Really a great story. Only bone was the use of Alice with Frankie's brother. Loved the way 'The Rider' remained mysterious throughout the tale. The conflicts are real and made of the stuff of everyday life. Great Read!
Profile Image for Lenoh.
1 review3 followers
December 6, 2013
This book drew me in from the first page, but I really didn't like the end... I'm hoping there are more books set either in this story line or in Ella-Earth. :)
Profile Image for Rebecca Carr.
5 reviews
January 26, 2015
I thought it was okay. I just wish that the characters were more fleshed out and that the villain's motive was more clear.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews

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