The Dark Griffin by K.J. Taylor is a melancholy tale of two outcasts, Arren Caradockson and the feral griffin that helps start his descent into disgrace and despair. Book One of the Fallen Moon series, this tale focuses on a Arren, a griffiner who has overcome the handicap of his race as a despised Northerner and has the power and status accorded by his relationship with his griffin. Unfortunately, Arren loses his partner and main support while trying to capture a wild griffin who has never been trained to work with humans. Betrayal and depression cause him to spiral downward into an abyss from which he can't seem to recover but he crosses paths again with the creature who has gained the name and reputation of Darkheart. Fighting against the heritage that has traditionally been enslaved by those of Cymria, Arren is reduced to acting as a caretaker for the griffins that he has devoted his life to working with but his fortunes continue to worsen until he becomes unable to cope with his life and through a series of horrific experiences becomes inextricably tied to Darkheart. The two will have to seek their destiny together as Arren learns how to cope with the radical changes that have occurred in his life.
This was a complex and imaginative work involving fascinating creatures interacting with humans. It is unclear what the complete function of non-feral griffins is other than status symbols and advisors and difficult to ascertain the intricacies of Cymrian society as a whole. The tone of the majority of this story is fairly depressing and it is to be hoped that life improves for Arren and Darkheart through subsequent novels.
Being chosen as a griffin's companion has allowed Arren Cardockson to gain a place of status within the land of Cymria. But Arren can never escape the prejudice that comes with his Northerner slave origins. For chained within the Arena where rogue griffins battle to entertain the crowds, there lies another soul crying out to be freed-a kindred spirit that will allow Arren to fulfill his destiny and release the darkness in his heart.