Updated: Dec 29, 2022
J.K. Noble's first installment in her new YA series, Hale: The Rise of the Griffins, is a fast-paced adventure through a magical realm full of danger, deception, and mythical beasts.
Sixteen-year-old Hale was orphaned at a young age; his parents both mysteriously killed while on a family camping trip. His older sister, Carly, took him under her wing and raised him, making sure he was safe and that he always wore the amulet given to him by his father. But two years later, when Hale and Carly are both abducted and held captive by a violent man, Hale's life takes another drastic turn he isn't expecting. He's swiftly ushered into a magical realm known as The Extraordinary Division of Malphora – a sister realm to The Human Division of Malphora – where Griffin's reign supreme and monsters lurk across the lands.
Accompanied by a group of other kids also pulled into The Extraordinary Division of Malphora, Hale learns that he isn't a simple human boy – he's a Griffin with the power of Endurance, the strongest of powers among his kind.
Aided by his new friend River, Hale navigates the brutal world of young Griffin training set up by the leader of the Griffins – the powerful and respected Bayo. Except, Bayo isn't entirely what he seems. He's hiding a dark secret from Hale that could flip their entire world upside down, and if he's not careful, Hale could end up bringing about his demise.
Noble crafts an intricate and vast world full of lore that will keep even the most avid fantasy reader engrossed.
The magic system uniquely draws upon many familiar mythological creatures – harpies, nymphs, witches – but offers its own spin, combining these old legends with the modern era's ingenuity. It is clear that an immense amount of planning and work went into the creation of Malphora, and while some details may feel rushed at times, Noble gives the reader an adventure of a lifetime that they won't be able to put down.
Not only does Noble's magic system draw the reader in, but so do her characters.
The emotional ties between the cast are one of the book's most vital attributes, exploring the trials of friendship, the heartbreak of love, and the dangerous things we'll do to protect our family. The bond between Hale and Carly provides a solid start to the book. The friendship that forms between Hale and fellow Griffin River keeps the reader invested, not to mention the plethora of other characters and their interesting and often complicated personal ties to one another. Emotions run high in Hale: The Rise of the Griffins, and they will make any reader laugh, cry, and sing Nobel's praises.