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Green Rider by Kristen Britain
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Green Rider (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Kristen Britain

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2,217542,919 (3.94)91
Member:Menshevixen
Title:Green Rider
Authors:Kristen Britain
Info:DAW Trade (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:britain, fantasy, YA, heroines

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Green Rider by Kristen Britain (1998)

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English (53)  French (1)  English (54)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
While the concept of the "Green Rider," seems pretty original, it is unfortunately about the only aspect of the novel that could be claimed to be so. It also seems to be the only part of the novel Britain spent much time developing before writing the book. The areas in the book where the history, or concept of the Riders is discussed are in depth and fully realized, while the remainder remains less so.
Once again a fantasy novel that puts a random person in the right place at the right time to send them on an adventure they are wholly unprepared for, yet seem to somehow ultimately succeed at.
While I find this style of Fantasy to be overused, it wasn't even the worst part for me. It seemed the main protagonist Karigan was constantly getting into harrowing situation after situation, and would then be rescued by some luck. Typically with a new character entering and saving the day. It seemed a lazy way to introduce characters to the story line, and for the most part, none of the characters introduced came into play except in the one instance, which was to save her, and then give her more information she didn't have before.
It all felt overplayed and redundant. Perhaps these characters come into play later in the series, but regardless, it all felt far to coincidental and trite. Sloppy storytelling. Karigan very rarely got herself out of trouble in the book, and yet by the end was praised as a hero.
Also, as in other fantasy novels of this ilk, Karigan shows clear signs of being out of her element and of very little skills in a fight, and yet somehow by the end of the novel can hold her own against someone who claims to have studied sword skills for over 400 years. Again, lazy storytelling.
The writing had it's moments where it seemed actually good, and then Britain would fall into over-explaining or simplifying mode and the writing would dwindle.
Overall, it was at the very least a decent read, in which I can tell the author was trying to go somewhere, but ultimately failing. Perhaps the series gets better. I would think it would have too, since there are now six books to it. However, this first installment left me fully convinced it ranks as one of the more forgettable fantasy series out there. ( )
1 vote Kiddboyblue | Nov 5, 2016 |
I'm re-reading this series before reading the latest new releease from this author.

Revisiting this book several years after my first reading, I'm still struck by what a strong offering it is by a first-time author. Kristin Britain plops us down in a world with a well-realized mythology, history, and socitey. The plot moves along at a gallop, and the her characters are sympathetic and well done.

Some aspects of this book are a bit rough, but this derives from a new author finding her voice, as her later books show admirably.

In sum, Green Rider is a wonderful first book that serves to introduce the reader to an interesting and vivid world. I recommend this book to any fantasy lover! ( )
  irregularreader | Oct 31, 2016 |
My best friend talked me into reading this book by comparing King Zachary to Tom Hiddleston. So I read it and fell in love.

Karigan is just trying to get home to her family to explain why she's been expelled from school. It isn't her fault, not really. But it all goes awry she stumbles on a dying Green Rider, a messenger of the king named F'ryan Coblebay who makes her promise to deliver his message to the king and not to read the contents of the letter so they can't torture the information from her. If all that isn't ominous enough he tells her to beware the shadow man. Karigan promises to take the message to King Zachary and F'ryan gives her his broach that signifies that he is a Green Rider to others. She also inherits his stubborn too smart to be normal horse she calls the Horse. (Side note I was 100% convinced the horse's name would turn out to be Sundancer or something because my best friend loves this book and that's what she named her faithful steed [read: car]. But no the horse's name is Condor which is actually way better than Sundancer and doesn't make me bust out into hysterical laughter.)

Karigan gets into a lot of trouble and I truly loved that about the book. She gets waylaid on her journey so many times by so many different things that the only conclusion any reader can come to is that Karigan is a magnet for trouble. When she finally makes it to the castle to give the message to the king the message means absolutely nothing and Karigan feels like an idiot but oh well she did her duty now it's time to go home and face the consequences of being expelled and running away from school. But alas she discovered that the letter to F'ryan's lover she also delivered is that real message to the king warning him that his brother is going to try and usurp the throne. So Karigan once again gets mixed up in all the events all the while insisting she's not a Green Rider.

( )
  oxlabyrinthxo | Jul 10, 2016 |
This is the beginning of a fantasy series with Riders who uses long lost magic and a kingdom on the brink of war. A good start is what I would say.

Karigan was a brave young woman who left her school cos she fought an aristocrat and she was only a merchant daughter. Not fair at all. When she then met the Rider she could have said no (of course the magic urged her on), but she wanted to do what was right and she also wanted an adventure. And that she sure got because on her journey she met funny old ladies, monsters, bandits, and saw the how angry the people in the north are. I liked her because even though it got tough she never gave up. Then we have the evil guys. The king’s brother wants the throne and the Grey Man uses magic to make people do his will. He is an evil killer and he has also made a crack in a wall that separates the badlands from the rest of the world. I liked the Grey Man, as much as one can like an evil guy. He was just a good bad guy. All evil and nothing at all to like about him.

The kingdom has lost its magic. There are still some magic left and the Green Riders uses some of it. I always do like when magic is lost and found again. And these Riders risk everything and still they are only seen as messengers, but they have a calling that they follow.

I have to say that there is a hint about romance. I truly mean a hint, one flutter in her heart, but I have hope for more in coming books.


A good start with likeable heroine who says what she wants to say. There is adventure, wild rides, magic and a race to save a kingdom. I will read more to see what happens next and I do like a fantasy series with a fantasy series that is normal. Not too tough, not soft, but still willing to do what is right.
( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
An entertaining book that has something of a Lord of the Rings feel to it, complemented by Britain's own unique concepts. This is the first of a series. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
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For my parents
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The granite was cold and rough against the gray-cloaked man's palms.
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Book description
The Magickal Messenger

On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forext called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves, as a galloping horse bursts from the woods the rider slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a "life and death" message for King Zachary.
He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission "for love of her country." as he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of the office, he whispers on his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man..."
Karigan's promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0886778581, Mass Market Paperback)

This fat fantasy is the author's first published novel. Although the typical back cover quotes from Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley overpraise it somewhat--"stunning," "terrific," "classic"--it's a good, highly readable debut. Kristen Britain tells her story at a headlong pace and with considerable charm. Young heroine Karigan hardly has time to regret being expelled from school (for dueling) before finding herself committed to the desperate errand of a murdered Green Rider. The Riders are an elite messenger corps using both horses and magic; the message is a terrible warning. Bad things from bad places are invading this fantasyland, their presence being only part of a devious, sorcery-aided human struggle for the throne. Karigan's wild ride is beset by a variety of enemies, but aided by her own developing talents plus certain strange allies. These include the tormented ghost of the dead Green Rider himself--still pierced by and trying to resist the chief villain's black arrows that ensnare the soul. Delivering the message to a suspicious court is only half Karigan's job: can it be interpreted in time? The pages turn fast, the heroine is likeable and the villains hissable, and all ends as it should. Nice one. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:50 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Heading home from school, Karigan G'ladheon encounters a dying "Green Rider", one of the king's messengers, who begs her to complete his mission. She reluctantly agrees and finds herself caught in a world of dangerous magic and even more dangerous enemies.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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