Book Review: The Silver Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

Posted November 26, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Silver Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Silver Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Published by DAW on March 1, 1997
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Closer to Home, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, Silence, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar, A Scandal in Battersea, The Hills Have Spies, The Bartered Brides, Dragon's Teeth, Eye Spy, Breaking Silence, Pathways, The Case of the Spellbound Child, Jolene, Passages, Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, The Serpent's Shadow, The Oathbound, The White Gryphon, Beyond, Spy, Spy Again, Oathbreakers, The Lark and the Wren, The Gates of Sleep, Phoenix and Ashes, The Wizard of London, The Robin and the Kestrel, Oathblood, Exile's Honor, The Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley, Owlflight, Exile’s Valor

Third and last in the Mage Wars subseries, part of the Valdemar Universe (BF 975) and revolving around Tadrith (Skan’s son) and Blade (Amberdrake’s daughter) some 15 years after The White Gryphon, 2. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Valdemar books on my website.

My Take

It’s a scary time for Skan and Drake: The kids are growing up. I can sure understand Skan and Drake commiserating with each other over their growing old. I can so relate, lol.

Lackey uses third person global subjective point-of-view which means we gain the perspective of most any of the characters, reading of their emotions, experiences, and thoughts.

Lackey does like to include environmental issues in her stories as well as that wonderfully warm sense of family and the good and bad of their interactions. I also like the peoples’ pride in wanting to make things beautiful. It goes right along with Lackey’s description of the city’s growth and practicality.

That trip Tad and Blade undertake is a great opportunity for Lackey to describe the land White Gryphon is responsible for as well as the importance they and the Haighlei place on the land.

It’s a trip that brings adventure, tension, drama, and what drives the primary characters. It’s that excitement that keeps the pace moving along.

Hmm, the Kaled’a’in think the mage storms affected not only their magic but the fact that they have more men than women, and that is not the only reason so many Haighlei women (and men) come to White Gryphon.

Dang it, I do wish that Lackey hadn’t ended the Mage Wars subseries. I want to know more about White Gryphon and its characters and descendants.

The Story

Magic is working reliably again, but no one wants to trust it when it comes to bigger spells. It’s one reason why Tadrith and Blade are making the trek to Outpost Five through flight.

A flight that ends in disaster.

The Characters

Tadrith “Tad” Skandrakae, a gryphon and minor mage in simple object-moving spells, is a twin with his brother, Keenath, a gyrfalcon like their mother, and they have their own aerie. Keenath is training to be a trondi’irn. Skandranon “Skan” and Zhaneel Rashkae are their parents. Kechara, the gyrfalcon daughter adopted by Skan and Zhaneel, had been one of Urtho’s “mistakes”, although she had had a long-reaching Mindvoice.

Silverblade “Blade” is Tadrith’s partner. (Her childhood name had been Windsong; she’s Drake and Winterhart’s daughter.)

White Gryphon is . . .
. . . the city of light, carved as it is from the white cliffs above the Western Sea. The Kaled’a’in of the Clan k’Leshya, the greater part of the city’s population, are humans. The magical creatures include the gryphons, hertasi, tervardi, dyheli, and kyree. They have an alliance with the Haighlei in return for the king’s grant of lands.

Amberdrake is a kestra’chern mated to Winterhart, a trondi’irn. Chana, Gesten’s hertasi daughter, is in charge of the platform that goes to the top of the cliff. (Gesten is Drake’s snarky companion hertasi and the leader of all the hertasi.)

Aubri, a gryphon, lives with Commander Judeth and both are co-commanders of the Silver Gryphons, the policing force for the city. Snowstar is a Kaled’a’in mage who is on the council. Tamsin is a Healer. Tad’s fellow Silvers include Dharra, who is a year older than Tadrith and a mage; Kyleen is a year younger and serving with the fleet; and Jerrinni is already working with a partner on unsupervised assignments. Redoak is a young Kaled’a’in and Gielle is a mercenary mage, now an Adept, who had been in Urtho’s army. Joffer, Lora, and Greenwing. Ikala is one of Shalaman’s younger sons, twentieth in succession behind the Crown Prince of Nbubi. He’s also in a relationship with Blade.

Darzie is a gryphon with skills: the faster racer, a consistent flyer, and the best of the fast couriers. Outpost Five is remote. Regin is the leader of the rescue party. Bern is one of their scouts. Filix, a human, is a Master mage and a Silver. Sella and Vorn are the gryphons currently serving in the king’s personal guard. It’s suspected that Kally and Reesk will be the next pair chosen.

The Haighlei Emperors . . .
. . . a.k.a. the Black Kings, are ruled by King Shalaman. Khimbata is their capital city. Leyuet is one of the king’s advisors. Makke had been the Rashkaes’ nurse back in The White Gryphon, 2.

The kestra’chern are highly skilled mental therapists and healers. Trondi’irn are healers for gryphons and other nonhumans. Urtho, a.k.a. the Mage of Silence, had fought a long war with Ma’ar. Their demise set off the Cataclysm that changed their world forever (The Black Gryphon,). The psychotic Hadanelith (The White Gryphon) was one of those who caused much damage before he was exiled. The makaar were Ma’ar’s response to Urtho’s gryphons. Created by an Adept long before Ma’ar, wyrsa, meant to mimic the kyree, are magic-thieves.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a rainforest of greens and blues. His back to us, Tad, his wings spread, is looking over his shoulder at Blade, kneeling pale greens, appears to be salvaging what she can of the wreck. At the top are the authors’ names in white. Below it, each word of the title is on its own line and also in white.

The title is still about Skan, who has grown older and become The Silver Gryphon.

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