Title: Green Rider
Series: #1 Green Rider
Author: Kristen Britain
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.
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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.