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First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain
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First Rider's Call (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Kristen Britain

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1,411185,358 (4.02)28
Member:eviltammy
Title:First Rider's Call
Authors:Kristen Britain
Info:DAW (2004), Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library, donate
Rating:****
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First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain (2003)

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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

After impressing King Zachary with her courage in Green Rider, Karigan G'ladheon has been sent north on a diplomatic mission. When her companions make the bad decision to camp in a magical place, a dark supernatural force is inadvertently loosed upon the world. It seems to be linked to Mornhavon the Black, who used evil magic to try to conquer Sacoridia a thousand years ago. Back then he was captured and walled into the Blackveil Forest, but now he is working his way free through a breach in the wall. Karigan??s friend Alton Dƒ??Yer has been sent to the wall to try to repair it. Meanwhile the whole country is experiencing strange magical events that are frightening the people and undermining their faith in the king. The Riders are experiencing problems with magic, too ƒ?? suddenly their powers have become unreliable. And, most frightening of all, thereƒ??s a secret band of Sacoridians who have been waiting for generations to help Mornhavon the Black return.

First Riderƒ??s Call, the second of Kristen Britainƒ??s GREEN RIDER series continues Kariganƒ??s adventures as a Green Rider. This is a long book (19?« hours in the audio version I listened to) that will appeal to those who liked Green Rider. The setting is well developed and I felt immersed in Britainƒ??s world. In First Riderƒ??s Call, we learn more of Sacoridiaƒ??s history and legends. Some of this history was cleverly related through ancient journal entries of the best friend of the man who became Mornhavon the Black.

Karigan continues to be a strong but stern character. I was hoping Iƒ??d warm up to her a bit in this second book, but I still found her difficult to embrace. Sheƒ??s courageous and loyal, skilled at everything she does (even sword fighting), but sheƒ??s almost completely rigid and humorless. Thereƒ??s not much to make her interesting other than a talent for staying alive. Men fall in love with her and people are afraid to get in her way, but Iƒ??m not really sure why they think sheƒ??s so awesome. When she gives a 30 second speech about how weƒ??re-all-in-this-together-and-we-will-overcome, she sets the Ridersƒ?? hearts aflutter, but I thought it dull and trite. Iƒ??m afraid that Kariganƒ??s personality is a stumbling block for me. I like her world, but I donƒ??t really care enough about Karigan to want to spend more time with her. Her love interests, King Zachary and Alton Dƒ??Yer are more inspiring, but they are also unrelievedly good.

Kristen Britainƒ??s writing does its job without calling attention to itself in either a positive or negative way. Thereƒ??s nothing wrong with it except that it tries too hard to sound archaic. If youƒ??re looking for beauty, you wonƒ??t find it here; ƒ??utilitarianƒ? is a better description of Britainƒ??s style. The plot is fast-paced but relies too often on deus ex machina involving ghosts and time travel. Villains are easily vanquished and we never really fear for our favorite heroes. Still, First Riderƒ??s Call is a cozy high epic fantasy that will likely appeal to many, especially women since it contains a strong heroine.

The audio version is read by Ellen Archer who uses Irish and English accents for most of the characters. As long as you donƒ??t mind these accents, youƒ??ll probably enjoy this audio version. Archer gives a nice performance. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
A solid second entry into a complex and quite fulfilling fantasy series, First Rider's Call finds Karigan thrust once again into the treacherous and deadly world of magic, intrigue, love and loss that accompanies the life of a Green Rider. The author has created a vibrant and complex world that is at once foreign and realistic. Her characters aren't just good or evil, black or white. Most have facets to their personalities, giving them a greater depth and more believability. However, I think what I enjoyed best about this book is the romance, which, coming from a person who despises 95% of romance novels, is quite a statement. With the romantic life of Karigan, though, Kristen Britain isn't afraid of showing that life isn't always roses and sunshine. A king who falls in love with a commoner doesn't abandon his kingdom and duties to wed said commoner. A king puts his position above his heart, as sad and as unromantic as that may be. Where some authors may be tempted to write a 'happy ending' to this scenario, Britain defies tradition, bringing an additional level of bittersweet heartbreak to this layered story. ( )
  LauraDragonWench | May 27, 2012 |
My thoughts:

This is then book 2 and a little time has gone by since the events in book 1. Karigan felt the need to come back to the capital and become a real Green Rider and that is what she is now. And of course even if the danger was averted in book 1 there is still the danger of the wall that now is broken in the north. And of a presence that is dangerous and mad and he wants destruction. Yes a crazy bad guy, one has to love those.

Karigan has come to terms (sort of) that she now is a rider, and she is good at it. She has grown a bit since the last book but I do like the fact that she is not perfect, she still has got her fears. She is also learning how to become a better fighter. Other characters are Rider Alton who is up in the north trying to fix the wall so no evil things can get through. He may not be around a lot but I do like him. King Zachary is trying his best to hold his people together and he does not need to do much for me to really like him..a lot. Through a journal we meet Alessandros who came over with ships 1000 years ago to conquer the lands. And he was not a nice conqueror. But I sure liked learning more about the history of this land, and there are also clues what it all has to do with Karigan since her name is whispered in the win. A mystery, I can't say more.

This book is sure long but there are a lot of things happening and a lot of things explained. In book 1 we learnt about a war but here we get to learn more. And it's fascinating. The history is rich and I want more, especially about the place the evil people came from (not that all were evil but let's just call them that.)

Then we have the crazy bad guy who unleashes wild magic and things get weird. I also talked about a hint of romance in book 1 and here there is more, not romance, but looks, smiles and thoughts. Enough for me to wish with all my heart that Karigan can be with the one she loves, but alas no, for it's the king. And this is not a fairytale.

Conclusion:

Wild Magic and adventure. I liked book 1 and I enjoyed book 2 even more. Because this is why I enjoy fantasy, rich history and a world built on that history. It's a nice fantasy story that does not get too violent, sad or bleak. And it made me want to read more.

Rating:

I enjoyed it. ( )
  blodeuedd | May 26, 2011 |
Although I enjoyed the Green Rider, this sequel is pretty disappointing. What began as an action-packed series slowly unravels to a slow-moving love triangle romance. I might continue on to the third, but it's no longer on the top of my priority list. ( )
  MorganGMac | Sep 23, 2010 |
Following on from 'Green Rider' , I re-read this book, too, so I can go on to the third book in the series, which I recently bought. I must admit, I peeked into the third book, to see how a tentative romance is going.

Karigan G'ladheon, the heroine of the first book, has returned home after having to act as a Green Rider - a king's messenger facing innumerable dangers. She wants to go back to her life as her merchant father's heir, but the Riders need her, and she is called back to action by the ghost of the first Rider, the founder of their corps.

As a result of her first adventure, tainted wild magic is being let loose in a land which has rejected magic for centuries, and the people of Sacoridia no longer know how to deal with it. The Green Riders are the only ones who have innate magic, albeit secretly, so they are at the forefront of this new war. Karigan relearns secrets lost to the centuries through her contact with the First Rider's ghost, faces heartache as her colleagues bear the brunt of the attacks, and realises that she seems to have begun a romance that must remain unfulfilled - or must it?

This book is as well written as, or better than, the first book, with the action coming thick and fast, and there are some nicely evocative descriptive passages. Karigan is a likeable heroine, with a strong sense of loyalty to her friends and country - but she does have a temper, which tends to get her into trouble. This story brings the history of the Green Riders - and the kingdom - into play, which fills in some of the background to the first story nicely. I do wish, though, that there was a map - my geography's gone a bit squiffy. ( )
1 vote humouress | Sep 9, 2010 |
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In honor of my grandparents:
Leona Springer and Alan Britain, Sr.
Emma Momberger and George C. Momberger
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We sail into the night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756401933, Mass Market Paperback)

In this long-awaited sequel to Green Rider, Karigan G'ladheon finds herself in a world of deadly danger and complex magic. Compelled by forces she cannot understand, she becomes one of the legendary Green Riders-magic messengers to the king. Pursued by the ghost of the First Rider, Karigan will re-enter the life of the Green Riders-just as an ancient evil is reawakening...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:25 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Karigan G'Ladheon was a green Rider, one of the King of Sacoridia's magical messengers. With evil forces at large in the kingdom and the messenger service depleted and weakened, can Karigan reach through the veils of time to get help from the First Rider, a woman who has been dead for a thousand years?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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