The Gryphon by Nick Bantock

The Gryphon: in which the extraordinary correspondence of Griffin & Sabine is rediscovered written and illustrated by Nick Bantock

Genre: Epistolary Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Series: #4 in the Griffin & Sabine series
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 56
Source: Library

*Note I’m posting about this series every Friday until I finish. I am not attempting to be spoiler free so if you haven’t read the previous books in the series you have been warned.

The Book:
From the publisher:

The parcel did contain something unusual…65 cards and letters, the massed correspondence between Sabine and a man called Griffin Moss. It’s odd stuff. I’m trying to decide if I’ve encountered an elaborate fiction, or a series of events that, if true, cast doubt over any concept of reality I’ve ever held. –Matthew

The correspondence of Griffin Moss and Sabine Strohem, at turns enigmatic, sumptuous, and romantic, reveals dangerous undercurrents and strange forces at work in the universe. These powers have only grown stronger with the couple’s disappearance. Nothing is heard from them for quite some time, until Sabine asks Matthew Sedon, a young archaeologist working in Egypt, for help. As Matthew is reluctantly drawn into the intrigue, he finds encouragement from his strong-willed girlfriend, Isabella de Reims. Miles away in Paris, Isabella struggles with glimpses of fabled landscapes and vivid fantasias that come to her in waking dreams. Slowly Matthew and Isabella realize that to unlock this secret world is to open the door to their deepest yearnings.

My Thoughts:
While I had read the original Griffin & Sabine trilogy years ago, this is the first time I’ve read the follow up books that came along ten years later.

In this book two new correspondents are introduced, lovers Matthew and Isabella. Initially their postcards seem similar to those of Griffin & Sabine. When Matthew starts getting cards from Sabine from place he cannot find on any map, the mystery expands. Sabine leads Matthew to the box containing all of her correspondence with Griffin. When Matthew and later Isabella read them the mysterious connection becomes more complex. Isabella sees similarities to unexplained visions she’s been having and then she starts getting postcards and letters from Griffin.

These books are so beautifully formatted and illustrated. The postcards and the envelopes containing letters add to the sense of spying on someone else’s lives.

I enjoyed this continuation of the original trilogy and am quite curious to see where the journey through these letters and cards will take me. There are certainly plenty of unanswered questions.

4 stars Rating 4/5