In the simplistic village of Parallon, the community is
tight-knit, families are close; and every man, woman, and
child is terrorized by the malicious leader Askinadon.
Between his hateful servants, his ability to hear their
thoughts, and "the voice" in their heads commanding his
will, the villagers are under his complete control. Two
years prior, Katera's twin sister had been summoned by
Askinadon to be carried to his fortress as the village's
yearly sacrifice to him. Not knowing what fate awaited her
sister, or if she was even alive, left Katera and her
parents' hearts in pieces. So this year when news of her
summoning reaches Katera, she refuses to put her parents
through another ceremony at Askinadon's altar, this time
losing the only child they had left. Of course Askinadon
knows what she has planned, as he can hear her thoughts- so
Katera must work quickly, even as "the voice" commands her
to obey. She runs toward the river and throws herself in
where she knows the falls will take her, a final defiance
to the terrible Askinadon.
But a handsome stranger comes out of nowhere and saves her
before she plunges over the edge of the falls. He pulls
her out of the water just as she feels excruciating, dagger-
sharp pains in her head, and hears Askinadon's voice
telling her it would continue until she gets to the altar.
But the stranger quickly makes a cut in her forehead and
pulls a small object out of the incision, and the pain and
voice instantly disappear. Her rescuer is called Mikolen,
and she soon discovers he is the only one who knows the
secrets of Askinadon; the only one who can help her save
herself, her people, and her sister- if she is even alive.
As Mikolen reveals the secrets of
Askinadon's "omnipotence", she is shocked to discover that
the source of the cruel leader's control comes from a small
device that was painlessly and secretly embedded in the
foreheads of every Parallonian. For the first time, she
has hope and a plan to save herself, her family, and her
After spending enough time with Katera to hatch a plan for
her, Mikolen knows he can't stand by and let her face the
dangers alone. However, he also knows that helping her
will expose him to Askinadon, who happens to be his arch
enemy. Exposure that will cause him to lose everything:
the chance to complete the project he has worked on for 10
years, his way home, and possibly both their lives.
Ann Durand has written a fantastic science fiction novel
with a sweet romantic subplot. Flight of the Gryphon is a
highly descriptive novel that instantly transported me to
Katera's world and kept me there even after the story
ended. Although I would've liked to see more romance
between Mikolen and Katera, it's mostly because the author
created such real and likeable characters. Durand has a
wonderful imagination for creating magnificent and
terrifying species of animals, and for inventing incredible
high-tech devices and equipment. The story contains mild
sensuality and some short scenes of graphic violence, all
of which are necessary plot elements. Flight of the
Gryphon is chock-full of imaginative creatures, ingenious
technology, complex characters, and enough twists and turns
to keep you excitedly turning the page.
Reviewed by Mandy Briggs
Posted September 7, 2007
Katera would rather die than allow the elders to present her at the altar of Kopa Na An. Her twin sister, Adrella, never returned after her Summons to the altar. Craving an end to her suffering under the merciless rule of Askinadon, Katera plots her own demise.
Her plans are foiled when Mikolen rescues her as she plunges hundreds of feet down a waterfall to her death. The attractive stranger releases her from her forced servitude to Askinadon by removing the high-tech device implanted in her head. Encouraged by her freedom, and her attraction to this mysterious man, Katera asks him to free her people from Askinason’s unrelenting grip.
Mikolen is close to completing his 10-year project to repair the machine that will return him to his era. Helping Katera can only thwart his efforts by exposing him to his archenemy Askinadon. The only thing he still needs is the exotic matter stored inside the Orb in Askinadon’s lab. With it he can end his exile in this hellish world and create a wormhole to complete the stargate that will carry him home. He has only to steal the Orb as his last act in this world.
Yet, something compels him to risk it all, to gamble on…what? Mikolen can only look into Katera’s green eyes and wonder. How did everything get so complicated?