Mira's Griffin: Seriously, Don't Judge a Book by its Cover
Let’s get this out of the way right from the start.
I HATE the book cover for Mira’s Griffin.
We don’t need to dive into detail, but I need to emphasize similarly, right from the start, that it’s just about the only thing I disliked about this book. Seriously, don’t judge Mira’s Griffin by its cover; otherwise, you’ll miss out on a creative world, compelling plot, and themed narrative with a few clever twists.
By Christie Valentine Powell, Mira’s Griffin follows a young girl (Mira) who discovers griffins living in the mountains near her village. She befriends one, but in the process, a whole cascade of events spiral out of control in to a plot with ever increasing stakes.
This story has magic, and creative magic too! This story also has political worldbuilding, but of a kind you very rarely see. You see, in Mira’s Griffin, the worldbuilding focuses on the society of the griffins, not that of humans, which is a very fresh approach to fantasy worldbuilding.
Overall, Mira’s Griffin tells a narrative with themes both universal and unique. It emphasizes the problems with human nature to out-group and reject the “other,” while transposing those similar fears onto an entirely different species, too. Powell thus successfully develops a powerful conflict that both illustrates “humanity vs. nature,” and “humanity vs. humanity,” and “nature vs. nature,” all while using the same characters.
Well done, Powell! My only significant knocking of points comes from the length of the narrative. I definitely think the book would have benefited from being a hundred pages shorter.
Writing: 7/10. There were a few moments where action wasn’t clearly described, and the book suffers a bit from its length.
Characters: 9/10. Powell successfully establishes a wide cast of characters and develops them all in varied and interesting ways.
Setting: 8/10. While Powell is sparse in details about the actual geographic setting, she builds a fantastical world filled with magic, mystery, and varied people groups that feels natural within the first few chapters.
Plot: 9/10. The conflict constantly builds and grows throughout the narrative until its powerful ending.
Overall: 8.25/10. Congratulations on your four star review!