Deep in the bowels of The Black Tower, the elfin magic imprisoning an ancient evil is weakening. Using it’s power of projection, the evil finds an accomplice to help in recapturing and releasing the key to it’s power. Jelena Preseren, the half-elf and half-human unwitting vessel of the key, begins her training to unlock the power of her long dormant magically Talent. Because of her newly acquired position in elf society she also become a beacon of hope for the half breed elfin people who crave equality with the pure blood elves; though not all elves accept her and an secret conspiracy begins forms. Meanwhile, humans and elves prepare for war and Ashinji – a pure blood elf and Jelena’s love interest – struggles to survive and return to his people.
Leslie Ann Moore’s Griffin’s Shadow picks up where Griffin’s Daughter left off. I enjoyed the first book, but this chapter in the trilogy is even better. While the first installment introduced the foundational elements of the story, it’s focus was primarily on the love interest between Jelena and Ashinji. However, this novel injects considerably more fantasy elements such as the ancient evil sorcery as it grows in power. The treachery and betrayal of family, politics, power of the ruling class, cruelty of prejudice, remorse of lost love, and overall action and tension is ramped and builds throughout the multiple story arcs.
Griffin’s Shadow is a masterfully crafted fantasy adventure which immerses readers in it’s characters and wonderfully created universe. Once again, Moore seamlessly weaves in issues of prejudice while advancing the story. My only complaint is I have to wait for the next book to see how this all resolves! Most of the story arcs are left open at conclusion of this novel. It left me with the same feeling I had at the end of The Empire Strikes Back when I first saw it as a kid having to wait for the release of the then final chapter of the series.
Griffin’s Daughter is an award winning novel and Griffin’s Shadow is more than worthy of additional national acclaim.