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Griffin Rising

YA fantasy


Darby Karchut






"Um Ö Basil?" said the teen, pushing his dark hair out of his eyes. He glanced around the abandoned parking lot, its rotting blacktop camouflaged by a layer of snow, then looked up at his tall companion. "I think your pant leg's on fire." Gesturing toward his Mentor's foot, he added, "in case you were wondering about that burnt denim smell."

"By the Light, Griffin!" Basil took a hasty step back and looked down. Grumbling under his breath, he leaned over and pointed his fingers, water spraying from the tips of his fingers like miniature fire extinguishers. "And precisely how many times have I told you--no Elements during flight?" Steam rose with a hiss from his cuff as he waved his hand back and forth.

"I'm guessing the low hundreds?" Griffin smiled sheepishly as he dug in his pocket and pulled out his phone.

"Yet here I am. All ablaze. Again." After a few moments, Basil straightened up. He wiped his fingers dry on his jeans, then ran a hand through his cropped white hair. "And I'd suggest you put that away and start warming up. You haven't much time."

"Just checking," he said, scrolling down. "Katie said she'd try to leave me a message for luck between classes." He snapped it shut and handed it over. "Would you hold this for me?" Stepping away, he rolled his shoulders, then took a deep breath and dropped to one knee; cocking his arm back, he punched his fist into the ground. With a rumble, the pavement shuddered and rippled outward, forming a ring of broken asphalt around him, the jagged tips poking up through the snow like black teeth. "How's that for control?" He glanced up at his Mentor as he rose, blowing on his smarting knuckles.

"Better," said Basil. "Speaking of Katie--she seems to have adapted fairly well to who and what you are."

Griffin nodded, then lifted his arm and pointed toward the far corner. A ribbon of Fire erupted from his forefinger in a roar. With the fiery ink, he wrote his name across the snow-covered lot, the giant letters glowing in the dim light of the overcast afternoon. They faded, leaving a slushy signature.

"You know, human guys do that by--" Griffin began, then stopped when Basil raised a hand in protest.

"I'm well aware of certain ... rituals ... performed by male adolescents."

Griffin grinned at his Mentor's expression, his brown eyes crinkling at the corners. "Anyway, Katie's totally cool about me. After all," he said, beaming, "I am an angel. Well, an angel of a lesser sort," he added. "The perfect boyfriend." They both chuckled, grateful for the laughter keeping their fears at bay. After a moment, Griffin's smile faded as he studied the isolated warehouse, its metal siding rattling in the wind.



"I so don't want to do this." He licked his lips nervously.

"I know, lad."

They stood in silence for a few minutes, the wind mixing with sleet as it swirled around them, ruffling Griffin's hair. Then he sighed and lifted his chin. "Well, here goes nothing," he said and started for the door.

"A moment, please." Basil reached out and snagged the hood of his apprentice's sweatshirt, yanking him back. "I want a final word with you."

"Stop doing that!" Griffin tugged it back into place.

"But it's such a convenient leash," said Basil. He sighed and stepped forward, placing a hand on one of Griffin's sturdy shoulders. I can't believe he's sixteen earth years already, the Mentor thought, and facing this trial by combat.

Along with the monster who still haunts his nightmares.

Basil cleared his throat. "Speed is your best tactic, my young Tiro," he began, his blue eyes intense. "And you are wicked fast." A corner of Griffin's mouth twitched at the rare praise. "The sooner you break the circle, the better. Do not give Nicopolis time to get the upper hand." He let go as Griffin nodded, shuffling his feet. "And remember--"

"I know. I know. All your other Tiros passed theirs, so I better not be the first one to fail my Proelium and embarrass you," Griffin said. A nervous grin flashed across his face.

Basil snorted. "Cheeky," he said, affectionately cuffing him on the side of the head. "No. What I was about to say is that we've spent the last three years practicing every skill and strategy you need for this ordeal. So believe in yourself." He stepped back, gesturing toward the building. "Godspeed, Fin. I'll meet you here afterwards. And, by the way, kick Nicopolis' butt for me, would you?"

The young angel chuckled and gave a nod, then turned around, squaring his shoulders as he started toward the warehouse. With a faint smile still on his face, Griffin went into battle.



Griffin Rising Copyright © 2011. Darby Karchut. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.   




Author bio

All her life, the archetypal hero and his journey have enthralled Darby Karchut. A native of New Mexico, Darby grew up in a family that venerated books and she spent her childhood devouring one fantasy novel after another. Fascinated by mythologies from around the world, she attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a degree in anthropology. After moving to Colorado, she then earned a Masterís in education and became a social studies teacher.

Drawing from her extensive knowledge of world cultures, she blends ancient myths with modern urban life to write stories that relate to young teens today. Darby is a member of the Society of Childrenís Book Writers and Illustrators and the Pikes Peak Writers Guild. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband, where she still teaches at a local junior high school. She enjoys running, biking, and skiing the Rocky Mountains in all types of weather.

Griffin Rising is her first novel. She is currently working on the sequel, Griffin's Fire.

TTB titles:
Griffin Rising -- Book 1
Griffin's Fire -- Book 2

Author web site.




To order this book:

Format: Trade Paperback
    Available now!
List Price: $15.95 USD



Five stars ~

"...can't wait to read the next one in the series!" ~ Readers View Kids

Five stars ~ National Children's Book Examiner

"If you're looking for an adventure with a boy to cheer for, this is the book to pick up!" ~ Wicked Awesome Books

"Be prepared to be blown away." ~ Moonlight Book Reviews

"Darby Karchut not only wrote a killer debut novel, but she also made her readers a promise of more greatness to come." ~ Rabid Reads

"...the beginning of a well-crafted and extremely enjoyable new series." ~ Eating YA Books





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