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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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1,981453,409 (3.97)75
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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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

"Ride, Greenie, ride!"

Karigan G'ladheon, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, has been kicked out of school because she beat up the son of a nobleman. On her way home she crosses paths with a Green Rider, one of King Zachary’s messengers. The Rider has two black arrows in his back, but before he dies he coerces Karigan into promising to take a sealed message to the king. Reluctantly, Karigan sets out to fulfill her vow. Along the way she meets allies and enemies, fights battles with creatures out of nightmare, makes friends with a horse, and learns a bit about magic, and herself, too.

For years I’ve been planning to read Kristen Britain’s Green Rider, which was first published in 1998. I finally decided to take the plunge into this big fantasy epic when Penguin released it in audio a few weeks ago. Pleased with the story and the audio performance, I listened to the entire book in just a couple of days. Penguin Audio’s version of Green Rider is read by Ellen Archer, who was new for me. She has a pleasant voice and had no problem with the diversity and range of male and female voices in Green Rider. She is a good narrator for this series.

The world of GREEN RIDER feels real. In this first story we learn about some of its history, politics, myths, legendary heroes, and games. This is all done naturally and without extensive infodumps. The characters, too, are mostly well done, though the villains tend to be shallow and overtly evil. Karigan is not always likeable, but she’s a willful and spunky heroine who I hope will become less aloof as the series goes on. Karigan is supported by several characters that we can’t help but like, such as her father, the batty Berry sisters and their invisible servants, a few other Riders, and King Zachary himself. Oh, and the horse!

Britain creates a nice balance of tension and leisure in Green Rider. Though murder, treachery, and political intrigue abound, there are several sweet times, too. I foresaw many of the plot’s “surprises,” and the end of the magical battle at the climax of the novel was a bit silly, but that didn’t bother me. Mostly I enjoyed riding with Karigan and living in her world for a time. I will be happy to read book two, First Rider’s Call.

Green Rider is a nice choice if you’re in the mood for a traditional fantasy epic with some familiar elements used in a refreshing, but not revolutionary, way. Those who like Mercedes Lackey’s VALDEMAR series will be especially pleased. ( )
1 vote Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Re-reading! I loved this book as a kid, I remember staying up all night I was so hooked.

-

Finished 12/4/12:
I loved it! There was so much I didn't remember from reading it the first time as a kid and I got to say there's much more for adults here than I had expected. Absolutely brilliant. ( )
  lovelylime | Sep 21, 2013 |
3.5 stars. A good start to a traditional type fantasy series. Nothing new or revolutionary here, just good old hero/quest/coming-of-age fantasy.

This has been on my radar for a while, and I'm glad I finally picked it up. Last month I was looking for an old school traditional fantasy read, but I decided to pick up [b:The Baker's Boy|29137|The Baker's Boy (Book of Words, #1)|J.V. Jones|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1167966079s/29137.jpg|29606] instead of this. I was less than impressed by BB... But I'm happy to say that I found what I was looking for with Green Rider. Like I said, nothing revolutionary.. But I'm looking forward to continuing in the series, and I'm hoping that it only improves with time.

That's about all there is to say about this one.. An unlikely hero, a mission, magic, a battle... Nothing new, but enjoyable nonetheless. ( )
  breakofdawn | Jun 11, 2013 |
Karigan G'ladheon, a merchant's daughter, flees an embarrassing situation at her school and stumbles into a larger than life career change, taking on the role of King's messenger in a dangerous world of intrigue, elves and magic. ( )
  cfk | May 29, 2013 |
Maybe I'm jaded, but a lot of it was silly. Too many characters could have been cut or redone. I realized this book wasn't up to par when the little old ladies came into it near the beginning. Oh, magic is something humans forgot about -- cue little old ladies who just happen to know about magic coming in to explain it to the heroine.

A lot of the dialogue goes on too long. The descriptions are good, though -- vivid but not overdone.

I skimmed it more than read it, and I won't be picking up the next book. ( )
  angevon | Apr 1, 2013 |
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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.
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:35 -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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