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Griffin's Daughter: Book One: The Griffin's Daughter Trilogy Paperback – June 30, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Moore's first novel portrays a young woman s struggle to make her way in a world that has trouble accepting someone neither human nor elven...Suitable for larger fantasy collection. --Library Journal

This is the opening tale of what looks to be a great epic fantasy...Fantasy fans who read this author s first published tale will demand Moore adventures in the Soldaran Empire and beyond... --Harriet Klausner --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

The humans of Soldara generally view the elves of Alasiri through a prism of superstition and hate, fed by religious xenophobia; nevertheless, in the borderlands, both races have quietly intermingled for centuries. Those of mixed blood, however, are often the victims of bigotry and scorned as inferior or worse in Soldaran society.

Seventeen-year-old Jelena, of human and elven blood, has spent her entire life as an outcast in Amsara Castle. Her mother, the sister of the Duke of Amsara, died giving birth to her, leaving Jelena to be raised in the servants' hall, denied her proper place in the family by her uncle. Jelena is scorned by everyone, except for her foster mother Claudia, and the Duke's son, her cousin Magnes. Though her life is hard, Jelena has managed to adapt to her circumstances. Her fragile peace is shattered, however, when she discovers she has a mysterious and frightening new ability that manifests itself as a powerful blast of blue energy. Convinced the energy is some form of magic inherent in her elven blood, Jelena desperately wants to learn the nature of her ability, and how to control it. She knows the only people who can teach her about elven magic are the elves themselves.

Jelena is galvanized into action when the Duke announces his intention of selling her as a concubine to a neighboring nobleman. She makes the decision to flee Amsara forever. Though overcome with sorrow, Claudia gives Jelena her blessing and an extraordinary gift--a clue to her elven father's identity in the form of a signet ring. As Jelena's mother lay dying, she had given the ring to Claudia, charging her with keeping it safe and seeing that her daughter received the ring when she was old enough to understand its meaning.

With the ring as her only link to her unknown father, Jelena sets off north, her cousin Magnes by her side. The two cousins make it to the border, but are ambushed by bandits near the bank of a river. Their situation is dire and just as the bandits are closing in for the kill, a mounted elven patrol sweeps down upon them.

The leader of the elven patrol is Ashinji Sakehera, a young man unhappily constrained by the dictates of a society as tradition-bound and hierarchical as its Soldaran counterpart. Ashinji has been troubled by a dream, one in which a half-elven girl cries out to him for help, only to be swallowed up by a mysterious force of unspeakable menace. Ashinji has no idea what the dream means, but he will soon find out its significance as he rushes headlong into a stunning confrontation at the river's edge.

Meanwhile, an ancient entity, imprisoned and unconscious for a millennium, has at long last awakened. Implacably evil, its lust for revenge upon those who stripped it of power and exiled it to the eternal dark is second only to its desire to reclaim the key to its lost magic, a magic that will allow it to escape its prison and destroy, then remake, the material world to suit its own purpose. The entity with no name knows the magical key resides within a vessel, a living being that carries the energy in the form of a blue fire...

Griffin's Daughter is the story of a young woman's struggle to find her place in the world, a young man's search for his life's purpose, and the strength of true love. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Ridan Publishing; 2 edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979621151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979621154
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,859,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a science fiction/fantasy fanatic since falling in love with Andre Norton in the early 1960's, I've developed a strong sense of what characteristics various writings in this genre must have to hold my interest. First, they must have well-drawn characters, each with a unique personality which clearly distinguishes one from another. I don't have to like them all, but they must each be unique and interesting. Second, the environment, settings and mood must be described richly and clearly, with well-developed and consistent history and culture. Third (and perhaps most important) interpersonal relationships must be realistic and varied, and the story should be told from more than one clearly distinct perspective. In addition, there should be topical themes which relate to the reader's own experience and observations. This novel easily lives up to my expectations.

Griffin's daughter is imaginative and beautifully written, with elements that parallel events and concepts in our own modern world. For example, tolerance/intolerance and the influences that breed each (in the novel, border communities are more diverse and more tolerant compared to the more central and homogeneous regions).

There is warfare and violence in Griffin's Daughter but it is not too graphic for young adult readers. There is also romance, most of which can be characterized as wistful longing. Although the primary romantic relationship is eventually consummated, it is tastefully described and lovely, not raunchy and graphic. Suitable for both adult and young adult readers.

Personally, I would not hesitate to recommend this book to mature teens, who might find ample food for thought in the recurring themes of duty, responsibility, tolerance, respect, women's rights, freedom, politics, etc.

I can't wait for the sequel to find out what happened to Magnes. And the bombshell in the last sentence has me wanting more.
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Format: Paperback
"Griffin's Daughter" is that rare thing - a fantasy novel that doesn't scream "Tolkien carbon copy". I won't reiterate the storyline, which is in the editorial review. What I want to comment on is the quality of the writing and the story's originality. Leslie Ann Moore has brought solidity and reality to her fantasy world. Her heroine suffers racial prejudice in both the human and elven societies, and this is an important sub-theme running through the book. It is deftly handled and never becomes in-your-face or preachy, but is a hard fact of Jelena's life. It is also a hook for the following books; will she be in a position to fight it?

The other aspect which I found refresingly different was the avoidance of the standard fantasy mock-European-medieval setting. While Soldaran society is a blend of classical-medieval, the elven kingdom is drawn from early Japanese society, and this gives an interestng resonance and feeling of "otherness" in many ways to the Western reader, as well as to the displaced heroine.

The characters are well-drawn and have depth. Ashiinji and Jelena are sympathetic and engaging, and the villains are not one-dimensional, all-bad characters, but are allowed moments of humanity. The dialogue strikes a good balance between modernity and a sense of another time, and the descriptive touches - clothes, places, and particularly meals - add colour and a sense of place.

This book is the first of a trilogy and essentially sets the scene, characters and conditions for the battles to come. It is a fine work and books two and three promise to be even better as the action intensifies. I highly recommend this work to any readers of good fantasy.
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This was a light read. Prose was simplistic. Story was not very original- the concept of a nameless evil emerging to conciousness was similar to the Green Rider series.

The hero falls in love with the heroine at first sight and they are predestined to be together- not much romantic tension in this approach.Our lovely heroine is predictably destined for greater things and is the illegitimate child of the Elf king working as a scullery maid,ie,Cinderella.However it was quick to read, an easy way to pass a Sunday afternoon as long as you don't expect too much from this book. Explicit sex scenes so I would not recommend it for younger readers.
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I wanted to like this book. The use of Japanese traditions for elvish culture was original, and the description made it seem like the story would be a good meditation on bigotry and racism. It's not.

The problems:
--The writing! Rather than showing, the author hits us over the head with telling, over and over again. And she's overly fond of adverbs.
--The plotting! There was no subtly in the writing, so sense of surprise as the story unfolded. The prologue pretty much laid out the series' entire story arch, and jumping into Ashinji's head early on made it very clear that Jelena was going to end up with him. No slow building of feeling or a coming to an understanding, just BAM! They see each other and fall in love, and the only thing keeping them apart are rank and filial responsibility. Very unrealistic and disappointing. Even her father's identity isn't a surprise; the prologue kind of ruined that.
--The characters! The characters are just black and white; once again, there's no subtly. Jelena and Ashinji are completely good, no significant personality issues resulting from their troubled backgrounds (Jelena treated as a servant by her own family and experiencing extreme prejudice for being a half-breed, Ashinji being constantly tormented by his older brother and forced into a career he hates). The bad characters are completely bad (such as Ashinji's older brother), with no redeeming qualities. The author tries to make gray areas (some good characters who hold prejudices against half-breeds but who aren't mean about it and who learn to see the errors of their ways, good characters struggling against their station in life and accidentally committing horrible acts in the process, etc), but her efforts, at least in my book, fall flat.
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