by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Legends of Heraldale, by Brian McNatt
Chickasha, OK, The author, January 2017, trade paperback, $13.95 (243 pages), e-book $3.95.
Legends of Heraldale is very much a stereotypical Young Adult fantasy. Its appeal will be to those who want to see a world where all the most familiar animals of mythology – gryphons (griffins), unicorns, hippogryphs, dragons, cockatrices, wyverns, sphinxs, minotaurs, salamanders, and mermaids – live, including some that I have never heard of like a rockodile and zakarians. But there are many curious aspects to it.
A Prologue tells of the last battle of the First Expansion War between the unicorns and the gryphons:
“For a moment, night turned to day, illuminating the two clashing forces. Through the woods to the canyon’s west massed the unicorns of the Avalon Empire, hooves beating the earth and snow as they galloped among the trees. From their horns streaked bolts of red magic at the many-towered fortress across the canyon, blasting chunks of stone from the high walls and tearing through the gryphon defenders.
From the fortress walls and towers the gryphons rained down flocks of arrows and crossbow bolts in return, each weapon striking true.” (p. 1)
Gryphons are usually thought of as quadrupedal. I have a hard time envisioning them shooting bows & arrows, and firing crossbows.