The Griffin's Gauntlet
The Griffin's Gauntlet by Wesley Lowe is a young adult fantasy that starts with fairy magic. Sharon is deposited into a world completely different from her own. She is recruited by a good witch to protect the land from the evil Dragon King. Sharon accepts the quest to travel through the haunted Blackwoods to acquire the Griffin’s Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is the only weapon that is powerful enough to challenge the Dragon King. Along the way, Sharon meets an enriching cast of characters, including a dauntless knight, a demon sorceress, a faerie enchantress, and a cursed bard. With the help of these humble associates, Sharon hopes she can find the Gauntlet and restore the peace that the witch so desperately craves for her people.
This was a very interesting fantasy tale with all of the traditional fantasy elements that readers expect. Dragons and fairies and witches, as well as singing bards and knights and sorceresses. All of the characters were very well described and very likeable and entertaining. The story was well written and the author's imagination was very adequately translated to the pages of the story. There was a lot of good action that will keep readers invested in the story and wanting to turn the pages quickly to get to the next exciting bit of the tale. I think readers will enjoy the lovable characters that accompany Sharon on her journey as well.
Reviewed by Janelle Fila
By Reader's Favorite
October 1st, 2015
Wesley Lowe's "The Griffin's Gauntlet" is the prequel to The Necromancer War Series. I don't usually read books in the fantasy genre, so I don't have much to compare this to. Some parts of it are like a clean version of True Blood or Buffy The Vampire Slayer. There is an ensemble cast and the characters show a lot of depth. The storyline is a lovely tangled web of fantasy goodness. The writing and flow are excellent. I like how in the beginning it has the feel of the first Harry Potter novel as Sharon gets whisked away into a strange land of magic.
4 out of 5 stars
By Danielle's Domain
September 4, 2015
A young teenage girl loses herself in a dark forest only to find an old witch who will bring her on a whirlwind of adventures filled with magic, fantasy and tragedy.
Sharon Ambers, an innocent, sixteen-year-old from New Hampshire, becomes infatuated with a boy named Gerald and from then on her life is not the same.
Bring channeled through a vortex, Sharon's curiosity takes her beyond the normal world of New Hampshire and into a world of witches, demons and knights.
Along her fantasy journey, Sharon comes across a witch named Olden Jade. Upon meeting the witch, they discover that Sharon's immunity to magical potions will become the key to capturing the Griffin's Gauntlet and defeating the Dragon King.
Sharon and the witch set out and round up the best team for the job. Team Griffin ranks in as a charming knight, a wicked demon and the dead.
This story has some striking similarities to the classic movie, "The Wizard of Oz".
An innocent girl being thrown into a fantasy world only to find three diverse, but very dependent characters sounds very familiar.
Hands down, "The Wizard of Oz" does a better job of creating a magical land that viewers have never seen before, but Wesley Lowe, author of 'Griffin's Gauntlet", proves he has mastered the art of description.
Lowe's literary ability of using language so his reader can actually picture the scenes sets this book apart from other fantasy novels.
Taking a passage from the book, "The trees of the forbidden forest were as black as a moonless night, its branches reaching into the sky like skeletal hands... The path they stood upon snaked out like a tongue of a monster so twisted and hideous, it lacked any kind of symmetrical form."
This description of the ominous forest that Sharon and her companions will embark upon opens the door for turmoil and entices the reader to read on.
One aspect of the book that I think Lowe failed in explaining was the passage of time.
It was not until the near end of the book that the reader finds out that two months have passed and this throws off the flow of the story.
Overall, "Griffin's Gauntlet" works as the fantasy novel that it set out to be. The plot remains solid throughout and the mixture of magical drama and occasional comedic banter between the characters works well together.
If you enjoy this book by Wesley Lowe, check out the follow up piece called, "The Coven Initiates," where Sharon Amber embarks on new adventures.
By Lauren Krull, Book Reviewer
October 28, 2005
As a stranger lost in a world of unique creatures and magic, Sharon Amber befriends an old witch who kindly takes her into her home. Soon the witch discovers Sharon's strange ability to resist magic, and persuades her to embark on a journey to face the Dragon King; an evil dictator who is determined to destroy any that oppose him. But first Sharon must venture into a haunted forest and retrieve the Griffon's Gauntlet, an ancient and potent weapon that could rid them of the Dragon King once and for all. Together with a small group of adventurers, Sharon sets forth to meet her destiny with the Dragon King, and perhaps find a way back home.
The Griffin's Gauntlet is a rich tale that captures the readers interest immediately and keeps it there. The book was well written, allowing the reader to easily follow the characters through the story. The tale itself ends in a way that hints for a sequel... I'll be looking forward to that!
I recommend The Griffin's Gauntlet to anyone who loves adventure and magic, with a good dose of courage and the human spirit. Great job!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Michael Bogert, Reviewer 2004
MidWest Book Review
May 27, 2004
Sharon Amber is your average sixteen year old, with her stern and emotionally unavailable father, her doofus brother, and her secret elfish boyfriend. When said boyfriend, Gerald, asks her to sneak away and meet him in the forest at midnight, she figures there would be a little talking, a bit of cuddling, maybe some lovemaking. A night she will never forget.
She has no idea.
A few glowing magic orbs, some levitation, and swirling blue vortex of terror later, and Sharon wakes up to find herself in a new forest, with trees as big as redwoods, with bark as black as the night. And Gerald is nowhere to be found. Men!
She is taken in by Olden Jade, an old witch who teaches her about the magic realm she has landed in, and soon they discover that Sharon is unique in all the land. She's immune to magic.
And that gets Olden Jade thinking. The land of the Pix is under the thumb of the evil Dragon King and his magic sword. All Sharon has to do is travel through the haunted Blackwoods, kill a giant griffin, steal his all-powerful weapon, breach Bain City, get past the army of monsters, and kill Bain the Dragon King, and the land of the Pix will be free forever.
The Good: While the plot elements are not the most original in fantasy, this book has all the elements that people enjoy in fantasy novels. There are great fights, scary monsters, and unique and interesting characters. They all make for an enjoyable read. And Mr. Lowe builds up the momentum and suspense well, making the final fight between Sharon and Bain pretty damn exciting.
The author also makes good use of irony in the character of Darklin Reed, who plays a major role in the liberation of the Pix, but who will only receive scorn an hatred for all her days from the very people she helped save.
The Griffin's Gauntlet is a prelude to a new series by Wesley Lowe. If this book is any indication, the series will definitely be worth reading.
The Bad: As with most first-time small press authors, the prose is lacking. Too much narrative, too much description, excessive repetition of certain words, ham-fisted exposition, etc. Basically the book suffers from what I like to call new author syndrome.
Besides the prose, I think the author did a poor job on the character of Justin. He is portrayed as being little more than an arrogant bigot. Very little comes out of his mouth that doesn't involve his hatred for Darklin Reed, even after she saves his life several times. Perhaps he will undergo and arc in the later books in which he is able to let go of his prejudice, but I think that should have happened here. Because that character development doesn't happen here, I found nothing to like about him.
Hopefully that will change in his later books.
The Ugly: If you have read my reviews before, then you know I am a dialogue freak. And the dialogue in this book can be excruciating at times. Banshees that talk in Yoda speak, witches that try to sound medieval by saying "thou" and "thee." A lot. If Mr. Lowe works on his dialogue, he could improve the quality of the writing by ten times, easy.
One of the criteria I use for rating novels is whether or not I would want to read the author's next book or not. During the last 30 pages especially, I was pumped up and ready for the next installment.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
April 13, 2004
This one is certainly a page turner. Not only did I get into the characters of the book, but they left a lasting impression on me as well. This book was very well written, and the author uses his imagination well.
Mr. Lowe will take you into a world a fantasy where a young girl finds herself in another world, a world different then her own. While in this new world she meets creatures that in her world would be make believe to her. She will also find herself having to fight the Dragon King. In her adventures she will face fears and battles that will change her life forever.
I had this book sitting on my coffee table ready to read to give the author my review, but before I could pick it up my fiancee' decided it looked interesting to him. My fiancee' then picked up the book and began reading it. Needless to say, he did not put the book down until he finished it that evening. He too loved the book!
If you love to read Fantasy, and like to read books that you just can't seem to put down, then I recommend you pick up a copy of Mr. Lowe's book today; you'll be glad you did.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!
Misti Jackson, Author & Book Reviewer
March 1, 2004
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