BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Bea Reviews The Gryphon's Lair by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Royal Guide to Monster Slaying #2
Read As A Stand Alone: Yes, but not recommended
Publisher: Puffin Canada
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 2nd, 2020
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

The exciting follow-up book in the fantastical duology for ages 10-14 by NYT bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong.

Rowan is now the Royal Monster Hunter, and her twin brother, Rhydd, is destined to be king. But her mother's cousin Heward is still determined that his children be the ones to inherit the titles, and will stop at nothing to show that Rowan and Rhydd are too immature to properly lead. After the gryphon that Rowan captured in Book One gives birth but then dies, Rowan is left with a baby gryphon she knows she cannot keep. And it grows faster than anyone can imagine . . .

In order to save face after an accident involving the troublesome gryphon, Rowan, with the help of her friends Dain and Alianor, along with an entourage of monstrous companions, must make a journey to the mountains to release the gryphon back into the wild. What starts off as a simple enough task soon becomes a dangerous quest, as the group encounters numerous rare and deadly monsters along the way, including wyverns and ceffyl-dwrs. Nothing is easy when you're a "monster magnet" like Rowan.

Can she prove herself worthy of the title of Royal Monster Hunter? Find out in this exciting second book in the Royal Guide to Monster Slaying duology!

My Thoughts:

"The Gryphon's Lair" was even more enjoyable than its predecessor, "A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying", and I liked that one. Then again, it's the rare book by Armstrong that I don't enjoy.

Rowan, who is now the royal monster hunter, needs to return a juvenile gryphon to the wild. She also still has to deal with her uncle and other relatives hoping to displace her or her brother, now the royal heir. Relatives can be such a pain, dreadful even. Fortunately, her brother and mother are on her side and decent relatives. She also has friends who have her back, most of the time. One friend does betray her and when Rowan finds out, her feelings are hurt of course, but then she handles it beautifully. Many adults could not handle it so well. I was sorry we didn't see more of her twin brother Rhydd but this is Rowan's book. She's the hero.

The story gently delivers messages on compassion, respect, communication, problem solving, and relationships. Rowan, Dain, and the others make mistakes but they learn from them and they apologize and try to work things out. It was nice to see the growth in the characters both from this book and the first, and from the start of this book to the end of it. As Rowan and her companions set on their quest, they have numerous adventures. The book is fast paced and full of action though it dragged slightly here and there. Still, it was fun and the creatures, the monsters, were delightful. Most I was familiar with but there were a few that were new to me. Armstrong chose from a nice array of myths for her monsters. And really, I had a hard time of thinking of them as monsters. I kept thinking of them as creatures or animals, and honestly, that was part of Armstrong's point.

"Absolutely not," Dain calls. "You're a monster hunter, not a monster collector. Stop taking them home."

"As they like you. As Dain says, you're kind and respectful, and that's why they stay with you. But the bigger question is why they come to you at all."
I frown at her.
She chuckles. "Does this seem normal to you, child? That you just happen to stumble upon gryphons and pegasus fillies and baby jackalopes?"

"So do you still doubt you have a natural gift for monsters, child?"
She's right. I have something, and it is both gift and curse. I attract monsters, which puts anyone near me in danger. But I understand them, too. I want to understand them, and I think that makes a difference. 

"The Gryphon's Lair" was fun, sweet, and full of adventure. I think children who enjoy mythology and action will enjoy this. I'm disappointed this is the last book in this series.

My review of book 1, A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying.


  1. That cover sure is fun. And being a royal monster hunter? What a great job. Well...not the hunting, but the being around cool creatures. :)

    1. It is pretty cool and Rowan, despite her title, tries to find alternate solutions. :) And I do like that cover.

  2. I like Kelley Armstrong but didn't know this one, probably because of the audience age.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. I read pretty much anything Kelley writes. I think adults will enjoy this too.

  3. Ooh Kelley Armstrong wrote this? I'd like to read more gryphon stories.

  4. How did I not know about this book?! I really like what I have read of Kelley Armstrong's work and this sounds like a fun series.

    1. This series has gotten a lot less PR than her books usually do. ☹

  5. I really liked the first book so I am looking forward to this one. I am glad to hear you thought this one was even better than the first book.

    1. I think you will really enjoy this one. :)


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