Thursday, 21 November 2013

Review: Green Rider (Green Rider #1) by Kristen Britain

Title: Green Rider
Series: #1 Green Rider
Publisher: Gollancz
ISBN: 978 0 575 09985 2

 I came across this series when I picked up the fourth book a while ago.  While the summary on the back of the book peaked my interest, the main reason I bought it was because of the gorgeous cover. Only when I arrived home and looked the author up on Goodreads, I learnt that is was part of a series that was not yet completed. The fifth book is scheduled to be released in May 2014. I bought the three preceding books and eagerly started reading the first one.

The first couple of pages made me doubt about Green Rider. The protagonist was a girl at the end of her teenage years. The exact age is not mentioned. I prepared myself for another young adult fantasy book filled with love and typical strong females. I was positively surprised. There was not much love to be found and while Karigan was not a very original character, I really liked her. Her motives were interesting and her spunk is admirable. 

Source: Google Images
Karigan meets quite a lot of characters on her journey and every single one of them is interesting. They really bring the story to life and add a great touch of realism to it, even though it still remains fantasy. Through the secondary characters, Britain adds themes top the story that we deal with in our lives as well. One of the minor characters leads a group that questions monarchy. Living in a country where we still have a king, recently a new one came to the throne; I have question it as well. It made the story that more interesting. I hope this group, and other characters, will get more page time in the next books

The horses in the book were wonderful. Karigan’s horse is one of my favourite characters. Many fantasy writers do not put enough effort in researching horses and their behaviour, Britain did a wonderful job here. While Karrigan’s horse is a special horse, smarter than most, he still felt very real: he showed he was afraid of certain things, he was stubborn and could not keep going without proper food and rest at unbelievable speed for ridiculously long distances. 

What made this book stand out from all the other fantasy books I have read were not the characters, but the skilfully crafted plot. Everything was tied together. How the chain of events started and its outcome, are very ironic actually. A small, seemingly unimportant event can lead to something much bigger and more influential on a higher scale. Also throughout the whole story, a wonderful metaphor is used to reflect on what is happening: a board game.  I absolutely enjoyed this concept and it almost want to make me do something similar in my writing. The board game intrigued me. It is definitely words its name, Intrigue. 

The writing is fast paced and reads very easily. I had no problem getting absorbed into the world. There was just enough description to paint and imagine in my mind while I still had room to use my own imagination to complete it.  While the book left me with some questions, it could easily be a standalone novel. I am curious what will happen in the second part, but unfortunately it has not arrived yet. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Gift a Book!

The season of gifts is coming up, and hopefully it comes with snow. While Christmas should not be all about gifts, we spend a lot of time picking out the right gift for the people we love. I made it fairly simple for myself: I am going to give a book to everyone.

I believe that there is a book for everyone. It is, however, not always easy to find a book that will get you into reading and of course, reading requires some effort and time. While I do not want to force my love for reading on to someone, I want to make gift giving easy for me this year. A book does not have to be a novel. It can be a non-fiction book as well: a cookbook or a travel guide or a beautiful photography books. A lot of choices!
All my friends and close family know I love reading, but barely anyone gifts me a book. I have gotten a gift card and my boyfriend lets me pick out some books and he pays for it, but it is not the same. I suspect that people are afraid that they will buy me a book that I will not like or have read already. My Goodreads to-read list should be helpful to bypass that problem!

Source: Google Images

The reason I would love to be gifted a book, preferably a novel, is that books hold memories between the pages. Some books hold more memories than others. For example, I can still remember very clearly where I read Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince for the first time, because it was such an unusual location. On my holiday to Helsinki I bought a couple of books and I read one of those while I was there, and every time I see it, it transports me back to that beautiful September afternoon were I was lying in the grass enjoying the sun and reading, more relax than I had been for quite a long time.

If you gift me a book, you will be between its pages for ever. Every time I will pick up that book or just look at it, I will be reminded of you. If I loved the books, I will think a lot about you since I often stand in front of my bookcase looking at those books that gave me a wonderful time. Gift me a book, and you will gift magic.