At their worst, Tom Deitz books feel a little bit like they were written as wish fulfillment for the Society for Creative Anachronists or Southern Fae junkies. Unfortunately, this is not one of his better efforts.
I read the first few books that he wrote with considerable interest and enjoyment, but most of what has followed has seemed stuck in the same old groove. Even though this book is not in the David Sullivan series, it honestly felt as though it might have been. It had similar characters, plot points and emotional issues.
I remained essentially unconvinced by many of the major character moments in the book. The relationships never felt like there was really very much at stake. The Gryphon King (the character) raises some good questions about the relationship of Jay and Dal is one that really holds water. It was a good question, but one that the book never entertains as valid or even worth asking. This is a graduate school where true lovers find true love and hold it, and that is perhaps the most fantastic part about the book.
Character flaws aside, Deitz does his usual credible job of anchoring the book in mythology and folklore (although the roots are not as deep as they are in the early Sullivan books). I enjoyed the work that he did with the miracle plays, although even that was not as well developed as I would have liked. He is a talented author, and it makes me sad to have such a feeling of pastiche from reading this book.
Fans of Dietz might enjoy the outing. People new to his writing should start with the David Sullivan books instead.