Title: Draakewood (Whyborne & Griffin: Book Nine
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Length: 246 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Historical
At a Glance: I will admit that this one wasn’t my absolute favorite of the series—for now, I think Maelstrom is still sitting in that spot—but, there is no denying that it’s fantastic.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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.
Review: Buckle up, kids! It’s time to head into the Draakenwood! And, remember, the Man in the Woods is NOT a nice fellow, nor are his followers; so, as you’d expect, there are all kinds of unsavory characters running around. Whether it be creatures from the Outside, a police chief on a power trip, the Endicotts, or unsavory characters even closer to home, Whyborne and Griffin once again have their hands full trying to stay a step ahead and keep Widdershins safe in Jordan L. Hawk’s Draakenwood.
Things start off as they were left in Fallow as far as the main story arc goes. The Fideles are still trying to summon the masters, who, upon their return, wish to reshape the world to fit their needs, forsaking humankind. And, there is still no certainty as to when it might happen, or, really, how to stop it. Whyborne still desperately needs the key to deciphering the Wisborg Codex if they even want to have a hope of answering those questions, and as of now, he is no closer to getting his hands on it. So, Whyborne, Griffin, and the rest of the gang are biding their time back in Widdershins, training, brushing up on their sorcery, etc.—doing whatever they can to prepare themselves for the next fight.
Things can’t ever remain quiet for long, though, and this time, the town is struck with the gruesome murders of members of some of Widdernshins’ founding families. While trying to uncover what creature from the Outside might be behind the killings, Whyborne finds himself behind bars as a suspect, and then smack in the middle of an alliance of sorts with two more of his Endicott cousins, whom he, of course, can’t trust at all.
There were several things that really stuck out while reading this book. First, how incredibly weary Whyborne is becoming of all this tomfoolery. In fact, he wishes all this business would simply go away, and repeatedly maintains that the maelstrom should have chosen someone else as its vessel. The magic, the monsters, the power of the maelstrom, he doesn’t want it. In fact, at numerous points in the story, Whyborne voices some variation of “I didn’t want this…” It’s obvious how desperately he longs to just do his work at the library and make his home with Griffin.
I didn’t want any of this. I just wanted a quiet life with my husband, and my job at the museum, and my cat. Why couldn’t they simply leave me alone? The police, the Fideles, the old families, the Endicotts, all of them.
Second, we see how truly important Widdershins, and Ival, are to Griffin. We’ve always known, of course, that Griffin loves Ival with everything he is. But, in Draakenwood, we get an even clearer picture of just what the town means to him. We see how grateful he is to have been chosen by the maelstrom, and that he will do anything to protect it, and his Ival. The maelstrom brought him home, after all…to Whyborne. I loved this moment, when he’s trying to explain to Whyborne that his being tied to the maelstrom isn’t a strike against his character:
I hesitated, wondering if I could ever make Whyborne truly understand. “I know your connection to the maelstrom has troubled you ever since you realized the truth. But in bringing me here, it saved me, in a way I didn’t even know I needed to be saved. The fact you’re a part of it makes you more wonderful to me, not less.”
Awwww. *hearty eyes* The love between these two is still so inspirational and fantastic. Their relationship is solid, despite the fact that Griffin has brought another modern horror into their home. I mean, first a car, and now a telephone?!? Poor Ival. Ha! I love them so, so much.
Finally, I was once again struck by just how awesome and consistent Jordan L. Hawk is. This is nine books into this series, folks. Nine. And, Hawk’s brilliance at crafting a story still leaps off every page. There are things we count on when reading a Whyborne & Griffin book: Whyborne’s adorable obliviousness—in this case regarding the relationship between his sister and Miss Parkhurst; some comic relief, whether it be Ival angsting over technology, or the Librarians fighting off evil armed only with their dictionaries; and Whyborne being self-deprecating, but then coming through like a badass when the chips are down and he has no choice but to act. And, when he puts his mind to it, and knows it’s time to get down to business, his badassery knows no bounds.
I will admit that this one wasn’t my absolute favorite of the series—for now, I think Maelstrom is still sitting in that spot—but, there is no denying that it’s fantastic. Griffin shone so brightly in this book; I fell in love with him even more. Niles won me over quite a bit more as well. And, the excitement, intensity, and emotion that Hawk packs into the final chapters are as awesome and heart-stopping as ever. Plus, I learned two new words! Mephitic and nacreous. Look ‘em up. 😉
I don’t think I really have to tell anyone to go get this book. If you’re reading the series, there’s no way you won’t be grabbing it up, immediately. But, if you haven’t started them yet, now is seriously the time to get on board!! We’re coming down the home stretch I think—and you do not want to miss out!
You can buy Draakenwood here: