Marc, MtSnow, and Dana review Draakenwood (Whyborne &Griffin #9) by Jordan L. Hawk (Published by Widdershins Press, June 2, 2017, 291 pages)
Note: a copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Check out MtSnow’s interview with Julian G. Simmons (Whyborne & Griffin narrator) HERE.
Check out Dana and Marc’s review of ‘Undertow’ (Whyborne & Griffin 8.5) HERE
Check out Marc’s review of ‘Fallow’ (Whyborne & Griffin 8) HERE.
Check out Marc’s review of ‘Maelstrom’ (Whyborne & Griffin 7) HERE.
Check out Marc’s review of ‘Hoarfrost’ (Whyborne &Griffin 6) [Audiobook] HERE.
Check out Marc’s review of ‘Bloodline’ (Whyborne & Griffin 5) HERE.
Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.
Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.
Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.
Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.
Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.
Marc – Before sharing my thoughts about Draakenwood here, it feels very important for me to mention Undertow, book 8.5 in the Whyborne & Griffin series.
While Undertow does not feature an M/M relationship, I would strongly encourage you to read it. The F/F novella is the companion story to ‘Fallow’ as both stories take place at the same time. While Whyborne, Griffin, Christine and Iskander are busy fighting off the Fideles and the Rust in Fallow, Widdershins is under attack at home and Miss Parkhurst, a most unlikely heroine, saves the day.
She was an ‘unimportant’ but fun side character with a crush for Whyborne in the beginning of the series, but especially after Undertow my perception for her has changed and it is impossible for me not to see her courageous heart and loyalty. Even though I don’t often read F/F romances, we all know love is love – and love is a wonderful thing in all of its forms. It was beautiful for someone (and if you are not as clueless as Whyborne you probably know who 😛 ) to finally see Maggie Parkhurst in a way Whyborne never did.
The novella really feels like an important part of this series, with terrible enemies, high stakes, great battles, LIBRARIANS and a romance that breaks boundaries. The events of ‘Undertow’ are referenced in ‘Draakenwood’ and affect the series, however you could read the new book and understand it, without reading the novella if you really wanted to. The question is if you should, because you really would be missing out!
Check out Dana’s and my review of Undertow HERE 🙂
We are now 9 books into the Whyborne & Griffin series and the books are still getting better and better. There are times when you can feel that a series should come to a conclusion, because the same things happen again and again. That is not the case with the Whyborne & Griffin series. There is so much life left in these books, I don’t want to imagine an ending. EVER.
One of the reasons for that is Jordan L. Hawk manages to add amazing twists and turns in every book that have far-reaching consequences for the story, the characters and how they see the world. If I look back at book one and what has happened since for these characters I have come to love, it is mind boggling. The game has changed again and again, yet all the parts readers love are still there. The twists and turns keep the story fresh and readers on their toes. Nothing is or stays long as it seems and it is so much fun to theorize about what will happen next.
The heart of the series are the wonderful characters we have come to love and that is one aspect that never changes, even as they or our perception of them does not stay the same.
There are three couples at the heart of things: Whyborne and Griffin, Christine and Iskander as well as Miss. Parkhurst and her lover (the newest couple, introduced in Undertow (Whyborne & Griffin 8.5).
Whyborne and Griffin, as main characters of this series, have experienced so much horror and pain that it is incredible to see their bond as strong as ever. The two men, now husbands in everything but law, have such a deep connection that NOTHING can rip them apart. Their affection and love is pure and indestructible, even after everything that has been revealed about the two men and the difficult choices they had to make.
Christine and Iskander’s love has been a wonderful addition since book four. In the beginning I did not know if Iskander was there to stay, but I am glad he did, because Christine deserves someone like him and it makes me glad to see her happy. Even though their relatinship is very solid and beautiful and may be ready for the next step, there are still new things that can be explored about their past – especially with Iskander.
Miss Parkhurst and her lover also have an important role to play in this book and the series going forward. It is wonderful to see their new relationship develop, even as they have to navigate difficult challenges and misunderstandings and live in such different worlds.
There are so many balls in the air going into this 9th book that in most series I would doubt the author was capable of juggling them all. But Jordan L. Hawk has earned my trust by never dropping a single one. We have the Masters coming soon, with limited information about who or what they are beyond their god-like powers and their ill-intent. We have the Maelstrom as a rebellious entity connected to Whyborne and his sister and the entire town. We have the Fideles trying to prepare the world for the Masters. We have the Endicott cousins who see Percival and Persephone as monsters and humans as collateral damage, We have the cult-like librarians, the Ketoi in their underwater kingdom and the Mother of Shadows looking after her children in her dark cave.
All of it, everything that has happened, is important for this book, especially as Whyborne and his friends prepare for the Masters and the end of the world they might bring. Fighting these god-like creatures from the outside won’t be easy and they can’t do it alone. As powerful as Percival Whyborne has gotten from his first stumbling spells to being able to tap into the Maelstrom for powerful sorcery, he never thinks to feel overpowered. All things considered, his knowledge about the unnatural world seems very limited in comparison to some of the more experienced people he meets on his journey. This fight is too big to fight alone or even with just his inner circle of friends, courageous as they might be.
I loved seeing so many threads come together in this book. The author has woven them together artfully to form something new and beautiful. If you love this series, you know you CAN NOT MISS this book (and truthfully, I hope you did not miss the wonderful F/F novella Undertow, either). The Whyborne & Griffin series is my favorite ongoing book series by one of my top 5 favorite authors and this latest entry is pure perfection for me. A MUST BUY! ❤
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
MtSnow – Draakenwood. Is. So. Darn. Good!!
When I first began the Whyborne and Griffin series years ago, I didn’t realize how addictive they’d become. It definitely helped listening to the narrations, as now I hear Julian’s voice as he portrays all the characters. And just so you know, just cuz I read it, doesn’t mean I’m not getting the audio too.. how can I not?! And now, for my thoughts on the story.
If you’ve followed Whyborne and Griffin up to now, you know about what happened in Fallow, and how it seemed to change the relationship between our two main characters. And the surprises from there do not lessen the surprises within this most recent story. The weakness and strength that both of the MCs each have are put to the test here. Oh, what a tangled web we weave!
The threads throughout the stories come together even more closely in this one and, as I have said previously, the stories only get better and better. Characters we have grown to admire and love show weaknesses and strengths that make them more interesting and help us question their true loyalties.
I don’t in any way want to give spoilers, but I will say for a short moment I was afraid this was a culmination and ending to the series, but ah-ha! It took a bit of logic on my part that there were still mysteries left unresolved, and too little pages left to read, that I knew the author has even more ‘fun and adventure’ for us.
Now, all I can say is… when will the next one be published?!? Drat you dear author! Highly recommended and not to be missed! A perfect addition, and waiting for more. Already. Really. Like. It’s that good!!
Dana – There is a reason that the Whyborne & Griffin series is so popular. The author has created a world that isn’t like the one we know, but that we can still relate to in its subplots. Family drama, self-acceptance, romance, and finding inner strength when it’s needed. I could gush all day about how awesome this series is but I should really review the book. 😉
Over the series, Whyborne has really come into himself and his abilities. He grew from a shy librarian with a handful of people he cared for and could call friends. Meeting Griffin has probably opened Whyborne up a bit. Griffin brings modern conveniences with him like cars and telephones. It’s enough to drive Whyborne mad and it’s completely hilarious considering he can control the elements and harness the power of the Maelstrom beneath Widdershins. Griffin also helped him be comfortable with who he is – as a sorcerer, an intellectual, and a gay man.
This book demonstrates that Whyborne experienced the most development for me out of all the characters. The author writes about his commanding presence while wielding magic that would kill most humans. He stepped up to the plate in this book even when the support he usually got from Griffin, his friend Christine, or his sister Persephone was not available. He forged new alliances to defeat the antagonist in this story (wait until you see who it is!) and showed leadership without being controlling. I was awestruck by the new Whyborne.
Griffin’s POV is also shown as it is in the previous books. He is so lovable for all that he has been through. He has complete faith in Whyborne and his love is so pure. I like that he wants to protect his Ival, even though he knows he can protect himself quite well. They have an equal partnership where one isn’t greater than the other, even though Whyborne isn’t quite human and can touch the magic that powers the town. Griffin’s gift of shadow sight allows him to help Whyborne just as much as he is helped by him.
The surrounding cast of characters is also amazing. Christine and Iskander, Persephone and Miss Parkhurst, the librarians, and even the police stepped up to stand behind Whyborne in what was one of the toughest battles he had to fight. In the beginning of the series, I didn’t care for Whyborne’s dad, but he has redeemed himself to me completely and to Whyborne which is even more important. Whyborne’s mother Heliabel even comes to help in this book. I was almost overwhelmed with the support given to Whyborne and Griffin by the end of this book. It was a sign of what great men they are and I could feel the love and admiration for both men within me.
It’s always a testament to the author’s ability when the characters on page feel so real that you want to join them in the story to pledge your support or your love, and Jordan L. Hawk makes that happen. I know there are a lot of fans of this series, who won’t need this review to decide whether to pick up Draakenwood, so I reach out to those who haven’t read any Whyborne & Griffin books to start. You won’t regret it.
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.