Tag Archives: King Zachary

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)


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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: 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)


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