If you are tired of reading fantasy novels about dragons, witches, and vampires, I would highly recommend looking at Mira’s Griffin. As the title suggests, this book focuses on the mythological creature known as a griffin—for those of you who are unaware, a griffin is basically a giant eagle with much sharper claws and a much more aggressive attitude. These creatures are mystifying and are built for war; depending on the author, they can be half-lion or just have certain feline characteristics like a tail or a mane. Either way, griffins are easily one of my favorite fantasy creatures, so I was psyched to see them here—they’re simply not featured enough in this great genre!
The concept of the story is very intriguing as it goes into great detail regarding the griffin society as well as the culture of the humans who have settled around them. Mira’s culture is very similar to that of a Viking settlement, so it has a heavy sense of family and sticking together—especially considering the mysterious disappearances that’ve been happening lately. When Mira discovers griffins at the mountaintop she stumbles on much more than she bargained for; there is tension between the two societies—that of the griffins and that of the humans, but there’s also an underlying message that maybe we (humans) need the others (griffins) to survive in this world, and vice versa. There’s a lot of food for thought hidden in the pages of this novel which I appreciated as it gave me something to ponder after setting down the book.
The writing was very good, I’d say it was solid and easy to understand. I absolutely enjoyed the world-building but sometimes it felt like the details were cut short—there was just enough for me to picture what was happening but nothing more than that. In a way, that’s not a bad thing at all—I felt happy not to be bombarded by so much unnecessary verbiage—but I couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting more while reading through the book. Another note I have to include is that I thought Mira’s age was a bit awkward; she was a very well developed character but being fifteen, paired with the short length of the book, kind of felt like this story teetered somewhere between middle grade and YA but didn’t have a home in either genre. I prefer my protagonists a bit older, but I didn’t have a problem getting through the book at all.
In the end, I definitely enjoyed reading Mira’s Griffin and I’d be surprised if someone told me they didn’t. Exploring this Viking-like culture mixed with the mythology of the griffins and featuring a bit of romance! The story really came together in a way that I found entertaining and truly unable to criticize.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*