Book Review: First Rider’s Call

Book Review: First Rider’s CallFirst Rider's Call (Green Rider, #2) by Kristen Britain
Published by DAW on August 3rd 2004
Pages: 596
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Karigan G'ladheon had been a Green Rider, one of the king of Sacoridia's elite magical messengers. Being a Green Rider was more perilous than Karigan had ever imagined, for a rogue Eletians had cracked the magical D'Yer Wall which had protected Sacoridia for a thousand years from the evil influence of Blackveil Forest--the arboreal prison of Sacoridia's ancient enemy Mornhaven the Black--and had brought the threat of dark magic into the land. In the messenger service she had been caught up in a world of deadly danger, and though she had defeated the Eletian, she had nonetheless been tainted by his wild magic.
Exhausted in body and spirit, and determined to be the mistress of her own destiny, Karigan has returned to her home in Corsa. But Karigan's determination was no match for the Rider's call. Ghostly hoofbeats echoed in the deep regions of her mind, and when she awoke to find herself on horseback halfway to Sacor City--in her nightgown--she finally gave in.
Back at court Karigan found the Green Riders weakened and diminished. Rider magic was becoming unreliable, and she herself was having ghostly visions--visions of a strong woman with wild flowing hair and a blue and green tartan draped across her shoulder, pinned with a golden brooch. This woman was no stranger to Karigan nor would she have been to any Green Rider, for she was Lil Ambriodhe, First Rider, and founder of the Green Rider corps. But why was she appearing to Karigan? And would Karigan be able to seek the help of a woman who had been dead for a thousand years?

First Rider’s Call was a 4.5 stars book for me. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the sequel to Kristen Britain’s The Green Rider, it wasn’t quite as fast paced as its predecessor. This isn’t to say that the novel doesn’t start with a bang—it does. Readers are hooked from the onset, as main character Karrigan G’ladheon and other Green Riders on assignment are devastated by an attack from a horrific evil that hasn’t been seen in centuries. Discouraged, what is left of the party returns to report to King Zachary of the ancient evil that once again walks the earth.

After this point, some of the novel drags a bit and suffers from a lack of pacing. What’s more, is that a lot of First Rider’s Call reads like it was merely setting up for the third installment in the series. However, this isn’t too much of a problem because of the richly developed cast of characters .It has been awhile since I have read a series with a main female protagonist that I liked as much as Karrigan. I think many authors tend to confuse strong female heroines with well-written ones. This is not the case with Britain’s Karrigan, who is time and time again put in impossible situations—complete with wraiths, ghosts, time travel, and even a burgeoning love interest—that test her mettle and all that she holds dear. As the magic of the world goes haywire and the Riders threaten to fall apart, Karrigan— driven by fierce loyalty to the Green Rider order and strengthened by the ghostly appearance of Lil Ambriodhe, the very first rider—holds them together.

In this novel, the author deftly illustrates Karrigan’s transformation from a reluctant messenger to a vital and determined member of the Green Riders. At the same time, Britain creates a fantastical world with a rich history and a looming evil as a backdrop. I cannot wait to see how Karrigan faces this evil in the next novel, High King’s Tomb.

Book Review - - First Rider's Call

Posted July 17, 2015 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Books

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