The Black Gryphon

The Black Gryphon

Mercedes Lackey Larry Dixon / Aug 12, 2020
The Black Gryphon It is an age when Valdemar is yet unfounded its organization of Heralds yet unformed and magic is still a wild and uncontrolled force Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race w
  • Title: The Black Gryphon
  • Author: Mercedes Lackey Larry Dixon
  • ISBN: 9780886776435
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • It is an age when Valdemar is yet unfounded, its organization of Heralds yet unformed, and magic is still a wild and uncontrolled force Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight and sharp intelligence Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be He is the fulfillIt is an age when Valdemar is yet unfounded, its organization of Heralds yet unformed, and magic is still a wild and uncontrolled force Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight and sharp intelligence Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be He is the fulfillment of everything that the Mage of Silence, the human sorcerer called Urtho, intended to achieve when he created these magical beings to be his champions, the defenders of his realm a verdant plain long coveted by the evil mage Maar.Now Maar is once again advancing on Urtho s Keep, this time with a huge force spearheaded by magical constructs of his own cruel birds of prey ready to perform any evil their creator may demand of them And when one of Urtho s Seers wakes from a horrifying vision in which she sees a devastating magical weapon being placed in the hands of Maar s common soldiers, Skandrannon is sent to spy across enemy lines, cloaked in the protective of Urtho s powerful Spell of Silence.
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      Mercedes Lackey Larry Dixon

    About "Mercedes Lackey Larry Dixon"

      • Mercedes Lackey Larry Dixon

        Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972 During the late 70 s she worked as an artist s model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music I m a storyteller that s what I see as my job My stories come out of my characters how those characters would react to the given situation Maybe that s why I get letters from readers as young as thirteen and as old as sixty odd One of the reasons I write song lyrics is because I see songs as a kind of story pill they reduce a story to the barest essentials or encapsulate a particular crucial moment in time I frequently will write a lyric when I am attempting to get to the heart of a crucial scene I find that when I have done so, the scene has become absolutely clear in my mind, and I can write exactly what I wanted to say Another reason is because of the kind of novels I am writing that is, fantasy, set in an other world semi medieval atmosphere Music is very important to medieval peoples bards are the chief newsbringers When I write the folk music of these peoples, I am enriching my whole world, whether I actually use the song in the text or not I began writing out of boredom I continue out of addiction I can t not write, and as a result I have no social life I began writing fantasy because I love it, but I try to construct my fantasy worlds with all the care of a high tech science fiction writer I apply the principle of TANSTAAFL There ain t no such thing as free lunch , credited to Robert Heinlein to magic, for instance in my worlds, magic is paid for, and the cost to the magician is frequently a high one I try to keep my world as solid and real as possible people deal with stubborn pumps, bugs in the porridge, and love lives that refuse to become untangled, right along with invading armies and evil magicians And I try to make all of my characters, even the evil magicians, something than flat stereotypes Even evil magicians get up in the night and look for cookies, sometimes I suppose that in everything I write I try to expound the creed I gave my character Diana Tregarde in Burning Water There s no such thing as one, true way the only answers worth having are the ones you find for yourself leave the world better than you found it Love, freedom, and the chance to do some good they re the things worth living and dying for, and if you aren t willing to die for the things worth living for, you might as well turn in your membership in the human race Also writes as Misty LackeyAuthor s website


    208 Comments

    1. This was my first Mercedes Lackey book, all the way back in High School I have read it soo many times since I love the civilian perspective that this book gives to a war So many fantasy books focus on the battles and great deeds You only see three battle scenes the whole book and one of them is of an afterthought of a battle The true focus is on the downtime in between the battles and how the fighters and their support go about their lives in spite of the war I LOVE the characters as well, Ambe [...]


    2. This is one of the first books I read in the Valdemar world, and it hooked me quite thoroughly It is still my favorite of the ones I have read so far The characters are engaging, even when they are showing a little flatness None of their developments are particularly unique finding confidence, learning to ask for help, learning you can t always have any mate you want all spring immediately to mind However, they are presented in a unique wrapping, and they are unoriginal because they are nearly u [...]


    3. I like it But I always like Mercedes Lackey.For the first half of the book I thought Skan and Amberdrake were gay interspecies lovers Then I found out they were just really close, and interspecies lovers don t exist in Valdemar, duh Well how was I supposed to know, Mercedes is always pushing some socially progressive sexual tolerance in her books, I thought maybe she was taking it to the next level Love Zhaneel And I want a kestra chern massage P


    4. I love Lackey s Valdemar novels, and this is set in the same world a thousand years before that country s founding, in the midst of a cataclysmic war referred to than once in that series One of Lackey s strengths is her world building, and that s certainly on display here, with magical races like the gryphons developed in interesting ways, and I liked the title character, Skandranon The novel kept my interest, was a fairly enjoyable read, and I did go on to read and mostly enjoy the next two bo [...]


    5. I used to read a lot of Mercedes Lackey a long time ago, I guess in my early teens I really loved her various Valdemar series Recently, kind of because I don t read as much as I used to and am tired of books that just don t engage me, I was thinking maybe I should try falling back on some authors I used to like Lackey was basically the one at the top of my list since I remembered her books as being so enjoyable.I wouldn t say I liked The Black Gryphon as much as some of my other favorites by Lac [...]


    6. First of the trilogy about the pre history of Valdemar This entails the story of the Mage wars and how the people were scattered in order to save them from the threat of Ma ar and his evil hordes The people are aided in their efforts by gryphons carnivores that speak and think in human language They are raptors but constructed on a larger scale by their beloved Founder Urtho The Black Gryphon is the main character and the best friend of Amberdrake, a kind of professional counselor with the gift [...]


    7. Mercedes Lackey has to be one of my favourite fantasy authors ever Her talent for creating believable magical worlds and elegant, mystical creatures shines in this book It s a gripping read from start to finish.


    8. A friend lent me the Mage Wars trilogy, which is a prequel trilogy in Mercedes Lackey s Valdemar world I love Mercedes Lackey s Elemental Masters series to bits, so I ve been keen to read Valdemar books for a while This friend is a massive Lackey fan, and offered to lend me the first Valdemar book, so of course I accepted The only snag is that The Black Gryphon is the internal chronology first Valdemar book, not the publication order first I am usually super pedantic about reading series in publ [...]


    9. Revisiting another of my favorite Mercedes Lackey books found me smiling in remembrance I hadn t marked this as read in my time on , but the instant familiarity means it must have been one of the last books I read before I joined this site I knew I had read it, but it was so familiar that it can t have been that long ago I read it Like with many of Lackey s books, the war is only secondary to the relationships of the characters There is rich history here, and the stories all interconnect eventua [...]


    10. This is a truly brilliant example of a full blown three dimensional nonhuman character Skandranan is proud, vain, reckless, loyal, fierce and completely loveable He s a gryphon, the ultimate predator who always manages to come back from one way missions He s one the front lines of a magic war the good guys are losing So Skandranan goes on one last heroic mission that will either save everyone or destroy everything.I love Mercedes Lackey, and this book is the pinnacle as to why Her characters hav [...]


    11. This is the novel that started me on my love affair with Mercedes Lackey and her Valdemar series I decided to re read this after being able to meet the author and her husband Larry Dixon who did the art for the book This trilogy in the series, is a bit different than any other sequentially later books This is really the only time gryphons are the focus of the series Skandranon who is the main focus is a smartassed bird with a huge ego, and for me it makes him funny instead of annoying, especiall [...]


    12. Having reread this series this week, I found that this first book, is actually the most powerful of this so called trilogy which really is a loose collection of connected stories It is a good perspective, historically speaking, of Urtho and the Mage Wars of Valdemar Ma ar is not nearly as interesting as you would hope, however, in comparison to his other iterations However, it was a great book, with a lot of strength in its story, and is highly recommended for Valdemar fans The second and third [...]


    13. This book had a lot to do, introducing the reader to a new world and many new species, so it is not surprising that it was difficult to get a handle on what is going on as the book unfolds By the end of the book, however, the reader is fully invested and wanting to move on to the second in the series, even though the first in the series doesn t end terribly well It certainly ended better than expected at one point The illustrations are wonderful, although the placement was a bit misleading from [...]


    14. This was the first book by Mrs Lackey that I had ever picked up The title and cover art drew me to it and I have never regretted picking it up.


    15. Pinning down what bugged me most about this one isn t easy It s one part the total lack of a female character who wasn t an offensive cardboard cutout stereotype, one part confusing worldbuilding, and one part nothing happening for the vast majority of the book except for vague interpersonal squabbles involving one shot characters I usually love Lackey s stuff, but this fell completely and totally flat for me.


    16. This is the first book I ever read from Mercedes Lackey s quill and I must say that even after many different critics I ve seen it still doesn t change the amount of enjoyment I had reading this book.Yes, it s written somewhat fast and it gives off that aura of a filler which I found out after reading is an afterwards written prequel , but I still quite enjoyed it.I completely fell in love with Amberdrake who seems almost too good to be true I like the way she portrays him and to me he was far [...]


    17. The Black Gryphon The entire Valdemar series is a favorite of mine and one that I have reread repeatedly over the years The series unfolds in the form of trilogies, duologies, singles, etc and this series, Mage Wars, is the start of it all The Black Gryphon takes place long before the Valdemar kingdom is founded, a time of magic and the fight for power A war is brewing between two great mages, Urtho and Maar Urtho wants nothing than to protect his realm and the people in it To that end, he has [...]


    18. Sooo you all know that I m a Mercedes Lackey fan, right Of her books, anyway I am well aware of their multiple flaws, and I definitely make fun of them with the best, but I do genuinely enjoy them most of them glares at Unnatural Issue So, The Black Gryphon First in the Mage Wars trilogy and the only one to really deserve the trilogy name, set way before Valdemar even was a Valdemar, and I think mostly written so people didn t think the Mage Storms trilogy came out of nowhere Black Gryphon sets [...]


    19. Get ready to be entranced by the fiction story, The Black Gryphon , by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon.This story changed my idea of an amazing story forever The tale threw you into the life of Skandranon and Amberdrake as well as their mates during a massive war between two mages Skandranon is a magnificent gryphon with sheening black feathers and Amberdrake is a kestra chern or advanced healer.Skandranon is the perfect example of a gryphon This gryphon, has keen eyesight and humongous wingspan [...]


    20. Mercedes Lackey s Valdemar series provides one of the cornerstones of my reading past After discovering her when quite young, I still follow new additions to the series nearly twenty years later I read and re read these books over and over again throughout my youth, but I haven t re read this series in its entirety in a long time and never as an adult There are some new books added to the series since the last time I read them, so this re reading project is pretty exciting for me since it will i [...]


    21. This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon Please head there for in depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.Skan is a powerful gryphon, a creation of the mage Urtho Fearless and brave, little does he know he s going to fall for a cull gryphon With the help of his friend Amberdrake, they will have to overcome the final treachery.There s so many tiny storylines in this novel that you hardly get a sense of the overall war However, it s clear that there is a war [...]


    22. I read this book several years before I became involved with , and I m just now feeling moved to write a review because I saw it listed as one of the Best Strong Female Fantasy Novels I ll get the bad news out of the way first it really isn t, at least to me I never could manage to warm up to the bigoted shrew Winterhart even after her supposed reformation, I still found her one of the least engaging of all Lackey s female leads One female character did capture my heart and wouldn t let go, the [...]


    23. It s hard to think of this as a wartime novel I had a lot of trouble getting into it, despite what should ve been a high tension moment of a gryphon trying to sneak into an enemy camp and steal a new magical weapon Gryphons are constructs, created from magic and yet with the same emotions and intelligence as humans Skandranon is a sterling member of the species, with the beginning highlighting how he s at the top of his form physically, how brave he is to volunteer for this mission, and such The [...]


    24. The advantage to rereading the Valdemar books in internal chronological order is that I get my least favorite ones out of the way first I do not like the Gryphon trilogy much at all Larry Dixon s influence is far too noticeable, and while his illustrations are nice enough, the man can t write The result is a really choppy book, with some good parts I love the idea of a professional therapist masseuse high class escort, because we all have needs, and they re very much intertwined, I think And som [...]


    25. I love reading books about mythical creatures and was so excited when I came across this book and couldn t wait to dive in.This is sort of a prequel trilogy in the Valdemar world known as the Mage Wars and takes place around 1000 BF before the founding From the moment I started reading, it was full of adventure, humor and mystery It starts out with Scandranon who is a Black Gryphon and is running intel over enemy territory Throughout this story I was introduced to a lot of fascinating people who [...]


    26. I found this one to be disappointing Despite being better than the next two novels in this trilogy novels which felt almost like filler fare that the author had been forced obliged to write in order to have a trilogy to publish , it was by and large quite disappointing Most important faults of this novel 1 The MOST important and most glaring glaw is that the reason s , origin, politics, etc behind the all important mage war are never explained Instead we are simply told that there is an ongoing [...]


    27. I have read this with pleasure many times over the years, most recently this week on discovering it has appeared in a Kindle Omnibus Edition I think what brings me back to it are the characters, especially Skandranon, the eponymous Black Gryphon, and Amberdrake, his human best friend The opening sequence, particularly, in which Amberdrake mourns the loss of his friend while Skandranon berates himself on getting into a situation he may not get out of, is surprisingly moving, even when you know th [...]


    28. It seen a very long time since I read this, but I remember reading it at least three times, and besides being an excellent plot, having beautiful description, and captivating characters that are easy to identify with despite some of them not being human the thing I recall most is the relationship between the gryphon and his healer caretaker I apologize, but my memory fails me on names It was almost presented as a poignant, forbidden sort of love between two different species and both male to bea [...]


    29. Oh my GodsThis this is just amazing Skandranon, and Zhaneel, and Amberdrake I went into this book knowing nothign about them, or any parts they may play in other stories from this world in other series companions, but Icame out with a lot of respect for them all, the ending had me in tears at the sadness of loss and the joy of friends surviving Simply an amazing story that I can t find the words for a proper review for I got so wrapped up in the story that, even feeling drained and picking up a [...]


    30. I really love how Mercedes Lackey writes I am quickly drawn into her books and feel like I am part of the story While this is not the very first book written in the Valdemar Series it is first Chronologically and at first it s hard to see how this book ties in with all the others Once you really read you see how they are connected I highly recomend this book to those new to Science Fiction Fantasy I was never really into this type of writitng before but thanks to Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon [...]


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