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Image by Peter Steiner 🇨🇭 1973

Indies Today Review

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

By R.C. Gibson

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

He may seem like your average sixteen-year-old kid, but Hale possesses something that his protective older sister has been trying to shield him from. When Hale is unceremoniously dumped into a savage world filled with bloodthirsty teens and terrifying beasts, he has no choice but to adapt. While he is able to quickly make some friends, those relationships are inevitably tested as Hale emerges as a pet project for Bayo, the leader of a clan of living Griffins. These Griffins, with their magical abilities, are only the beginning of the world opening up before Hale’s eyes. Ancient beings vying for power, spells and powerful amulets, mysterious glowing orbs, and twisted family bonds are just a few of the intrigues coloring the pages of this ravishing debut novel.

JK Noble has created not just a novel, but an entire mythical empire with Hale: The Rise of the Griffins. The intricate worldbuilding moves in unexpected directions as new characters, new places and new adventures are introduced. Besides the brilliant setting of Malphora, the story boasts formidable magical creatures, vicious fight scenes and a few strong-willed players, all of which make for a fresh and sleek fantasy book. The primary tensions in the plot arise from the complicated relationship between Hale and Bayo. As the larger-than-life antagonist, Bayo exceeds every expectation of a fantasy baddie. He is patient, calculating, ambitious and maniacal, yet demonstrates just enough weakness, petulance and vulnerability to make him my favorite fantasy villain in quite some time. With its familiar fantasy mythos, The Rise of the Griffins adopts a surprising narrative that becomes more and more complex as Hale’s secrets are revealed. Without a doubt, JK Noble promises to be a rising star in this star-studded genre. An escapist dream, Hale: The Rise of the Griffins is a full-circle coming-of-age story filled with dynamic theatrics and tantalizing twists!


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