Review: The Griffin Gate

I was so excited to learn that Vashti Hardy was writing a new dyslexia-friendly series for Barrington Stoke.  I have adored all of Vashti’s middle-grade books, Brightstorm, Darkwhispers and Wildspark and, of course, was eager to get my hands on a copy of The Griffin Gate as soon as it was published.  It was so worth the wait!  What a start to this exhilarating new series! 

13-year-old Grace Griffin comes from a family of Wardens started by her Great Grandma who invented the Griffin Map, a technologically advanced map linked by portals to all the towns and villages in Moreland so that people can ask for help if they are in need.  The Griffin family protect the people by teleporting to where they are needed when they are alerted to problems through the map. 

What an amazing job!  Grace thinks so, but unfortunately, she is a warden-in-training, not allowed to be a fully fledged warden until she is 15 so she is banned from taking part in family missions. 

Some rules are made to be broken.

Grace feels she is ready to take part in missions and, when the opportunity arises, she finds herself teleporting to a village in need of help from the Wardens but, once there, she finds she has a greater problem to deal with than she was expecting … will Grace and her trusty mechanical raven, Watson, be able to overcome the peril they find themselves in, and return to Copperport with mission accomplished?

This is such an exhilarating, exciting, fast-paced story with some brilliant twists and revelations, a mystery to be solved and monsters to be defeated.  I am so glad there’s going to be more adventures for Grace …

I adored Grace who is a feisty young girl, determined to prove herself just as capable as her older brother, Bren.  Although her impulsive nature leads her into trouble, it also leads to an amazing adventure.  She is clever, courageous and resourceful ably assisted by her faithful mechanical raven, Watson.  Oh my!  Watson!  Grumpy, sarky, straight-talking, but with a heart of gold:  just the kind of friend that is needed when trouble comes calling …

The illustrations by Natalie Smillie are absolutely wonderful and so expressive, complementing this world and its characters perfectly.

This is such a wonderful story which introduces an incredible new world with some fascinating technology; a determined young girl; and, a family who come to accept that ‘Some rules are made to be broken’This is one of those stories that warms your heart, draws you into its enchantment and takes you on an exciting adventure … perfect for readers of 8+, and one I’m very happy to be recommending to my class.

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