Tag Archives: Karigan G’ladheon

Britain, Kristen: Mirror Sight (Green Rider V) (2014)

My son and I managed to finish Mirror Sight just in time. We are entering a new phase in our lives with him going off to college. Hopefully this will not be our last story to be read together. Hopefully this isn’t the last book of the Green Rider series either. It did have a sense of closure to it. Except maybe not.

Once again we have enjoyed ourselves immensely. Kristen Britain‘s writing lends itself to being read aloud, something I wish all writers could learn from. She did throw in a couple of tongue-twisters this time but I consider that a chance to laugh together and good practice in getting my mouth around new sounds. Anyways, excellent writing from the oral point of view.

On to content. Let’s take my son first. He loved this story about Karigan and her journey into the future. When Blackveil ended with Karigan trapped in the sarcophagus, my son wanted to write Kristen an extremely irate letter stating how cruel he thought she was toward him as a reader. Not so this time. He seemed to enjoy himself very much. There were a couple of spots that both he and I found funny. One was when the professor caught Cade and Karigan fighting. We also very much enjoyed the interactions between Miriam and Karigan and the meeting of the Riders underneath the glass ceiling. Another funny incident was the table Cade, Karigan and Silk were sitting at during Silk’s evening of entertainment. Neither of us enjoyed the way Stirling treated Cade nor the way he and others had treated Yolandhe. But we found Silk’s animal encounter in the museum satisfying and also Yolandhe’s way of getting back at both Silk Sr. and Stirling. Very satisfying. He was impressed with Ms. Britain’s background information at the end of the book about her time as a guide. We are both people who like details like that. When we were finished my son wanted me to find out if there was to be another book in the series.

In the past I used to ask myself a lot of “What if?” questions. Perhaps all of us do. Kristen Britain must have done so herself at times, as Mirror Sight is very much about what could be given certain choices or events. While we never discover what could have happened in real life, Karigan has the chance to see what might be if certain events take place. The future she lands in isn’t a pleasant one but in many ways it reminds me of the one many of us live in.

Sometimes I wonder if we humans see how destructive we are with our inventive abilities. While all species on this planet consume and procreate without a thought for balance, we seem to have taken things up several levels from the other races inhabiting earth. In that sense Karigan’s future is very similar to our own present.

Women’s place in society had been extremely curtailed in the time Karigan landed. Karigan’s real time seems somewhat like my own space in time and the opportunities women have here in Norway. The future she lands in is much more like the lives that women of Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman, Quatar and so on are living. In Mirror Sight their only role is to bear children (sons) and be property. Servants are somewhat freer (but way poorer) and slaves, well they are slaves and treated as such. I believe my reaction to suddenly having to live a life like that would be much like Karigan’s to having to adjust to her experience. But in addition to having to adjust to being a woman in such a place, Karigan has to figure out a way to get back to her own time. Britain hasn’t made life any simpler for Karigan by doing this to her main character.

Oppression is very much a part of the life Karigan lands in. Eastern Germany, the Soviet Union, Russia today, Egypt and increasingly the US are only some countries that come to mind when the propaganda of the government and the curtailing of people’s rights of Karigan’s future are shown.

As entertainment Mirror Sight is a wonder. From her first story about Karigan G’ladheon, I have been enchanted with Kristen Britain’s writing and was happy when my son shared my enjoyment. These are fun, interesting, informative stories that help me question my own version of truth.


Reviews:


Mirror Sight available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Penguin

Available in audio at: audible, iTunes


My reviews of:

  1. Green Rider
  2. First Rider’s Call
  3. The High King’s Tomb
  4. Blackveil

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

Britain, Kristen: The High King’s Tomb (Green Rider) (2007)

Cover art by Donato Giancolo

Once again my son and I enjoyed reading Kristen’s work together. As I have said before, Kristen Britain’s writing makes reading aloud a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Her prose flows through my eyes and out of my mouth with no effort on my side.

We are both fans of Karigan G’ladheon’s adventures however unlikely they might be. In The High King’s Tomb you will find plenty of action and political scheming. It is always interesting to see how two sides can be equally certain of how right their points of view are. Following along with Grandmother’s fight for the Second Empire is an excellent lesson in just that. Both the followers of the Second Empire and Sacoridia are certain that their way is the right way. I am on Karigan’s side, of course, as she is the one I have followed all along. But it is easy to see how it could have been the other way around if Grandmother/the Second Empire had been the ones whose story had been told as a fight for the right side.

Another new player is the Raven Mask. Noble-women swoon and wish for a visit by him in their budoirs or bedchambers. But he is a thief, a thief who is going to have his values challenged.

I love Karigan’s teaching experience with Fergal. Two stubborn people travelling together makes for funny situations and lessons in patience for them both.

Alton is another person who has had his patience tested. Getting into the Tower just isn’t working for him and he is getting more and more frustrated. All of the effects of the poisons of Blackveil have not worn off yet. Thankfully he gets Dale Littlepage (another Rider) up by the wall. She gets him out of his self-pitying funk.

It is strange how some writers manage to give so much to their readers. Kristen Britain has a talent that has given my adult son and me the opportunity to spend some fun time together.


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

Britain, Kristen: First Rider’s Call (Green Rider) (2003)

Behind the Wall by Special-Sari

Deviant Art has tons of fan-art for Kristen Britain. I found this gem depicting Alton’s struggle.

I just finished reading First Rider’s Call out loud to my son. Like Green Rider, First Rider’s Call is audio-friendly. Kristen Britain writes in a manner that makes it a delight to read aloud.

First Rider’s Call begins with the Journal of Hadriax el Fex. My son felt it would be more appropriate for him to save that story until its natural place in the book. It worked out well for him.

Leaving Hadriax el Fex’s journal for later had us starting the tale at chapter two. Karigan gets her call to return to the Green Riders, a call she has been resisting for a year. The manner in which she responds is well-thought out by Ms. Britain. From there on Karigan is thrown into one life-threatening situation after the other. I am so glad I am not Karigan. Along the way she is helped by Lil Ambriodhe – the First Rider. In Green Rider we saw Karigan interacting with ghosts and matters have not changed much in First Rider’s Call.

Blackveil wakes and sends its tendrils of magic into Sacoridia through the breach waking creatures better left sleeping. With this awakening we find the abilities of the Green Riders becoming unreliable. In Captain Mapstone’s case that causes trouble for the whole of the Green Riders. What will they do????

Like Green Rider, First Rider’s Call deals with a lot of loss and grief, but also with hope and friendship. Having to face their fears makes a difference in who various characters become. Realizing how far loved ones will go and deciding how to deal with them leads to difficult choices.

Life is like that. Yet, like many of the characters in First Rider’s Call, all we have to do is dare see ourselves for who we are. We might not be pleased with the result, but it does open up doors to new worlds.


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

Britain, Kristen: Green Rider (1998)

I just finished reading Green Rider to my youngest son. When you have a dyslexic audience, reading to them is always IN. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be to love literature, yet be so hindered by something that I take so much for granted. Maybe it is somewhat like my need for a wheel-chair.

Anyways. Back to Green Rider.

green_rider__cover_art_by_pallanoph-d3j5tne

Check out this cover illustration for the UK edition of Green Rider by April Schumacher. WOW! It catches the spirit of the novel perfectly.

As I read this book out loud, there are a couple of things I want to point out. Kristen writes beautifully. Names like Karigan G’ladheon just roll off my tongue. Reading was a delight. Tension, fear, beauty and humour came through the translation from page to mouth. Wonderful! What a gift.

Karigan G’ladheon is a typical hero character. She is conflicted about the many challenges that come her way, but she desperately wants to do what is right for her country. Danger is drawn to her, or perhaps Karigan is drawn to danger. Action is practically thrown her way. Thank goodness Karigan seems to have a gift of getting out of all of the life-threatening situations. Like Captain Mapstone claimed. Karigan seems to survive due to sheer spunk. Gritting her teeth, Karigan gets on with whatever comes her way. Gray riders, militia, dangerous creatures or spirits is just part of what Green Rider has to offer.

The plot is easy to understand. Someone is out to take over the country of Sacoridia (they think). Someone else has another agenda. Karigan supports the throne and stability. Battle ensues between the “good” and the “bad”. Presentation is everything and Kristen Britain Excels at this. Good job. In fact, excellent work! Enjoy.


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


Fanart: