Monday, July 31, 2023

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with a review of A Vanishing of Griffins by S.A. Patrick

A VANISHING OF GRIFFINS (Songs of Magic #2) by S.A. Patrick
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company
Format: E-ARC
Number of Pages: 400
Published: May 2nd, 2023
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss+ for Book Tour with Rockstar Book Tours

Opening Lines:  "Ten years ago, an evil Piper stole the children of Hamelyn.  They were never seen again.  Then the same Piper stole a hundred dragon children, and they too disappeared forever." 

A Darkening of Dragons is the first book in the Songs of Magic series.  It's a retelling of the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.  I recall that there were many twists and turns and lots of adventuring with moments of danger.  

A Vanishing of Griffins picks up right after the events in the first book.  S.A. Patrick does a wonderful job of reintroducing the characters and provides a lovely recap.  So far, the plot involves Patch Brightwater (a disgraced 13-year-old Piper in training), Wren (a girl who has been cursed into the shape of a rat), and Barver (a dracogriff), foiling the plans of the Pied Piper and preventing him from building his mind controlling device.  The Pied Piper is then locked up deep in the dungeons of Tiviscan Castle, only to later not only escape death, but to be alive and plotting his revenge.  From there the plot branches off into mini subplots involving investigating a murder, tracking down the Pied Piper's next moves, trying to locate the Sorcerer who cursed Wren and complete his wishes in order to lift Wren's curse, rescuing Erner from mercenary pirates, and finally understanding a prophecy that involves a betrayal of trust.  I would highly recommend starting with the first book in the series, even though I found the recap to be very helpful.

There are a lot of subplots going on at once that take the story in many different directions.  Some, like searching for a rare and unusual book seemed to slow the story down.  While others like the battles and rescues added lots of action.  I felt like Patch's character was being fleshed out a little more in this book.  He experiences a lot of guilt over the events in the first book, no spoilers from me, and tries to make amends.  I also enjoyed that there is a resolution to Wren's curse and how they are all reunited with Erner.  The friendship between these characters is what really comes through when reading.  How they will endure most any hardship in order to help one another out.  One even willing to sacrifice themselves in order to save the rest.  But that ending, why?  Why another cliffhanger?  Although, it does now have me eager for the release of A Thunder of Monsters.   

   I hope you'll check out all the other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge's blog HERE  


  1. This sounds a magical, fantastical series! A cliffhanger ending is a bit tough, especially if there is a gap before publishing the next book. I think you need a rapid release schedule for that to work well (though I guess when the entire series are published, this won't be an issue). Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Folk and fairy tale retellings come and go in my library, and I think I already have a Pied Piper one at the beginning of the alphabet. (After the summer, I need to spend a lot of time in the stacks reaquainting myself with books!) May have to take a look at this if a lot of my 6th graders ask for this type of story. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. This sounds like a really intriguing series, Brenda! I appreciate your points about the subplots slowing the story down at times, as well as the cliffhanger ending—I suspect those endings are part of why I gravitate away from series and toward standalone books. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, and enjoy your week!

  4. Retelling of an old story. Sounds magical and one that lots of kids will like!

  5. What an enticing cover! The plot also has me hooked. I'll be tracking down a copy. Thanks for the review and Happy MMGM!

  6. Not my cup of tea, but there are plenty of fantasy readers in my family, so I will pass along your thoughts on this book. Thanks for the review.

  7. This sounds like an awesome fantasy. Good to know we should start with book 1. And I'm glad that book 2 has a good recap to remind us where we left off.