Review: The Green Rider by Kristen Britain ★★★★

The Green Rider by Kristen Britain
Genre: Fantasy Andventure
Series: Green Rider #1
Publication Date: 1998
ISBN: 0886778247
Page Count: 504

A young woman on the run discovers her true destiny--as a royal messenger for Sacoridia.

Karigan G'ladheon is expelled from her school at Selium for challenging a nobleborn boy one too many times. On her way through the Green Cloak Forest, she encounters a dying royal messenger, a Green Rider, and takes on the job of carrying out his final duty. She doesn't realize however that she has been chosen by the magic to assume his place in the Green Riders. Now, Karigan must defend Sacoridia while trying to rid herself of the unexpected duty.

REVIEW


Swords and sorcery, coming of age, adventure, action, magic, creatures of myth and legend, dark magic, evil power-hungry bad guys, magical horses, kidnappings, betrayals, triumphs, defeats. Any of that sound good? Then you should read this book!

It truly had a bit of everything. It's quite a long story but the pacing was pretty consistent and fast throughout. I instantly felt comfortable in the world-building, it was very easy to acclimate to. I have read a few swords and sorcery type books but not so many as to become complacent with them so I put this feeling of easing into the world-building so effortlessly firmly in Britain's hands. At the start of the book it almost felt as if we are coming into a story midway through, due to the fact that Karigan, the main character, is on the run because of something bad that happened. At the time you just had to go with it and trust that all would become clear later. Which of course it did, and it all linked nicely together to combine characters and plots and all the various points of view into one excellent story of an ordinary young girl being put on an extraordinary path.

In the first chapter Karigan crashes headlong into a rider coming the opposite way with two black arrows protruding from his back. She quickly identifies him as a Green Rider- a type of royal messenger with rumoured magical abilities- and accepts his dying wish that she continue his mission to deliver an urgent message to the King of Sacoridia. She accepts, and fearing that whoever shot those arrows may be nearby, heads off swiftly to complete her new mission, taking the now dead Green Rider's horse and message with her.

And so starts Kari's journey, and it soon becomes evident that simple timing and a chance encounter may not have been the only reason the rider found Karigan that day, for Green Riders are called to their professions through magic, and the rider's broach has accepted her.

"Caving in to fear will be your death,” he once said. “There is no room for it on the battlefield. Being afraid is healthy, but fear is an enemy.” 

All in all a great fantasy-filled adventure story. Suitable in content for younger readers but not written specifically for them. There is a definite sense that Kari's story has only just begun even though this book's story is completely wrapped up and could be read as a stand alone. There are clues throughout to Kari's specialness. I get a bit annoyed when people complain about books whose main characters have that "the chosen one" thing about them. I mean, okay, if it's bordering on ridiculous and they can all of a sudden do EVERYTHING without any training or previous knowledge, then that's one thing, but other than that, I want my main characters to be special. Otherwise why would I be reading their story?

Frivolous side note: I hope I'm right in my suspicions about a possible romantic sub-plot to come, that would be very welcome please thank you.

My only negative would be that there was very little detail given on the characters in terms of ages, physical descriptions etc and I like details to help me build up my mental image. It said things like "character x looked only around 5 years older than Karigan" but since I don't know how old she is, other than that she was at school/university and is considered a "young woman" so, that's what? 16-21 then? That wasn't much help. And there's quite a difference in maturity levels in those ages. So, yeah that was a bit annoying but that's about the only thing I can think of.

Recommended to Fantasy adventure fans!

4 Stars! ★★★★

2 comments:

  1. This was a great read - not sure why I haven't made time for the rest of the series yet, but I have books 2 and 3 sitting on my shelf waiting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's wrapped up so nicely I can see how you wouldn't feel a pressing need to grab the next one immediately. I plan to spread them out too. The books are usually around 4-5 years apart in publications so we have plenty of time to catch up!

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