TITLE: Green Rider
AUTHOR: Kristen Britain
SERIES: Green Rider (#1)
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Adventure
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
Karigan G'ladheon, running away from school, is travelling through a deep forest when a galloping horse pounds up to her, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows. With his dying breath, he tells her he is a Green Rider, one of the magical messengers of the King. Before he dies, he makes Karigan swear to deliver the message he's carrying, and gives her his green coat, with the symbolic brooch of his office.
Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, Karigan becomes a legendary Green Rider for when given to the right person, a Rider's brooch awakens the magic inside.
What I Liked:
- There was a really good attempt made at world-building, and I definitely appreciate that in Fantasy literature above all things because I want to be able to envision the world I'm reading about. It did remind me if a lot of other Fantasy worlds I've delved into, which in some ways was a good thing because I have fond memories of those books, but it also did highlight that so far, there wasn't anything hugely special about this world. It seemed to draw upon a lot of specific elements from other Fantasy series, which has been picked up on by other reviewers of this book) or vague elements from a general Fantasy 'feeling'.
- I did like the characters a lot, especially the feisty MC Karigan. She was everything I wanted in a feisty heroine, stubborn and bad-ass but emotional and with the capacity to develop. I liked the occasional jump to other POVs too, particularly Karigan's Father who was a good, solid character. I really think a book series like this would benefit from more of a variety in POV though I'm more on board with sticking with Karigan than I was to begin with.
What I Disliked:
- Like I said, some of the content felt a little, dare I say, copied? 'The North' and a great big wall to keep out ancient evil were just two of the many things that made me think of the ASOI&F series, and then so many other elements that I felt like I'd read before. Now we must consider that this book was published a long time ago and so more modern books that share similarities will not have been taken from. However, sad to say the lack of something truly unique to this story made me a little sad.
- While I liked the characters, some of the conversations in this book and the way they interact with each other is excruciating. My main example of this was during Karigan's conversations with the Berry sisters. My goodness. Britain should have named those chapters 'info dumping' because that is what it was. The sisters spent an unnecessarily long time explaining magic, it's uses in the wider world, spirits, lore, propriety, and all sorts of things that could definitely have been spread out. They were the most boring chapters of the book by far because of this.
This was not a bad book. I liked a lot of it, and never found myself totally becoming disconnected from the plot other than that weird blip with the Berry sisters. Britain kept the plot interesting throughout and made sure that her characters developed well. I liked Karigan sticking to her guns, and even after adventures not deciding that she's ready to be a hero. Yes, there were some wholly unoriginal elements - that can be expected from most Fantasy. I would have liked to see something a bit different, though perhaps those individual details will show better in later books This was certainly a good attempt at building a world!