Title: The Griffin Gate
Author: Vashti Hardy
Illustrator: Natalie Smillie
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Genre: Children’s fiction, Fantasy
Book format: Paperback
Description: “Warden Griffin at your service. Can I ask if you’ve seen a monster in the area …?”
Grace’s family are wardens of the Griffin Map, using its teleport technology to fight crime across Moreland. Although Grace is still too young, she longs to go on missions herself. After all, if her brother, Bren, can do it, why can’t she? So when Grace finds herself alone with the map when a distress call comes in, she jumps at the chance to prove she’s up to the task. But the map transports Grace to a remote village where nothing is quite as it seems … Has she taken on more than she can handle?
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: Oh wow, what an exciting adventure! Grace Griffin’s family are wardens of the Griffin Map, a magical map of the country of Moreland, which they can use to teleport to different locations, to help the locals when there’s an emergency. Grace’s mother says she’s too young to use the map, but Grace is determined to prove her family wrong. When a call comes in from a distant area on the map, Grace sees it as her chance to prove herself, but when Grace teleports to the location, things start to go wrong and she might be in more trouble than she thought.
I have enjoyed this story so much I just can’t get it out of my head! This is such an imaginative adventure and the first in a series which I can’t wait to read more of. Grace’s mother and brother are able to use the map to teleport but Grace isn’t old enough yet. But she’s a determined girl and wants to prove she has what it takes to be a warden so when a call comes through from a distant area, Grace teleports herself there, and the locals tell her about a monster that’s been seen. The story is an exciting one with Grace braving the woods to find this strange monster the locals think they’ve seen, but things take a dark turn and Grace finds herself unable to return home.
The story is so imaginative with the idea of the map that can teleport the characters to different locations as well as the interesting spyglasses and Watson, a mechanical bird that accompanies Grace. The tale feels so well thought out and has an exciting twist that leads to such a great ending. I don’t want to reveal what happens but the story ends really well and will put a smile on your face when you’ve finished it, but there’s also a feeling of excitement because there’s a hint of more stories in the series and I just can’t wait to see more adventures that Grace and her family will have!
The illustrations are really lovely and really set the scenes in your mind. All the pictures are in black, white and grey and appear throughout the book every few pages. I love the little spyglass illustration at the start or every chapter as well as the overall look of all the characters including Watson who is my favourite! The book is printed on thick cream/yellow coloured pages making this easier to read for dysexics and reluctant readers. The text is also very easy to read with each paragraph separated from the others making the text look less daunting.
I have enjoyed this story so much I just couldn’t put it down and even though it’s not too long a book, at just over 100 pages, it has such a vivid and amazing adventure. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a great story with a fantasy twist, it’s such a great story and I can’t wait for book two, The Puffin Portal!
What do you think of this book? Do you like stories with a magical twist? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂