Britain, Kristen: Blackveil (Green Rider) (2011)

Cover art by Donato Giancola / Cover design by G-Force Design

Both my son and I agree that Kristen is a cruel, cruel woman. Telling why would be a major spoiler, but keep in mind that Kristen Britain likes to torture her readers. Aaaaargh.

I love the cover that Donato Giancola has painted. Maybe it is a little cheerful for Blackveil, but it is still pretty bleak.

Usually Kristen writes in a manner that makes reading aloud a delight. This time there was one exception. The name “Gerlrand Fiori” was a tongue twister, but that was it. The rest of the words were fun to read.

Our adventure into the world of Blackveil begins with Grandmother and her crew. Blackveil is not a place one would normally venture into as it is filled with messed up magic as a remnant of Mornhavon’s attempt to establish Arcosian rule on the shores of Sacoridia. I consider the Second Empire followers to be nuts, but who knows who of us is?

My 18-year old was disappointed when we began our journey with some one other than Karigan G’ladheon. He likes her character, all of it. She tends to see the world in black and white although she has mellowed a bit after all this time as a Green Rider. One thing that has been difficult for her to mellow out about is her father’s acquaintance with prostitutes and his previous life as a pirate. She intends to challenge him about these two issues.

Children, no matter how adult they think themselves, have a scewed picture of what their parents are supposed to be like. If they have seen you in a certain manner losing that fantasy can be difficult. Let’s just say that Karigan’s confrontation with Stevic was an eye-opening one.

One thing that is certain in Karigan’s life is that her abilities bring trouble her way, trouble she tends to barely survive. Supernatural powers aren’t necessarily a gift.

Captain Mapstone meets up with the Eletians after a visit to an ex-Green Rider. This meeting is fortuitous for Laren Mapstone and perhaps so for the Eletians. Together they travel back to the Castle and King Zachary. The Eletians intend to enter Blackveil at the spring Equinox and King Zachary intends to send some of his people along. We all know who one of Zachary’s people is going to be. They agree to meet at the gap in the wall on the day of the Equinox.

One thing I find problematic with the Green Rider series is this ongoing desperate love between Karigan and Zachary. I guess that would be part of the attraction. In this insane world we live in forbidden fruit is always supposed to be soooo much tastier than the permitted. What I do like is that Karigan and Zachary at least have the good sense to not do anything about their feelings. Poor Lady Estora who is doomed to marry a man that loves another. On the other hand she is realistic enough to know that these are the risks of arranged marriages. I like her. Estora is kind, strong and gutsy. She tries to make the best of a difficult situation in spite of her own pain, and she will have plenty of that in Blackveil.

I’m wondering why Britain added the Amberhill story. To me it seems completely irrelevant and as if Britain has just added him to make her series longer?????

While the Green Rider books are a series, there is also a serial bit to them. You do not have to read the previous three novels to understand the story (I think) but it might help. I have enjoyed them all and enjoyed Blackveil as well. My son and I agree on the excellence of Britain’s ability to write novels that can be read as audio.


My reviews of books 1 (Green Rider), 2 (First Rider’s Call), 3 (The High King’s Tomb) and 4 (Blackveil)


Other blogs:


2012: Finalist for the David Gemmell Legend Award: Best book

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