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Green Rider, by Kristen Britain
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Published: 2000
Review Posted: 7/9/2014
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Green Rider, by Kristen Britain

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

This is the first book in Kristen Britain's Green Rider series from DAW Books and I'm not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading it.
Karigan is a student at a school for the wealthy and elite because her father is a successful merchant.  But after a sword fight with another student--an aristocrat's son--where she humiliates him, she finds herself in hot water . . . so she runs away.  Or rather, she runs from the school, intent on returning home.  However, as soon as she leaves she stumbles over a Green Rider, one of the messengers of the king, who's near death.  The Rider charges her with getting his messages back to the king, directly into the king's hands, and before Karigan knows it, she's one the Green Rider's horse, fleeing those who killed the Rider and are intent on stopping her from delivering the messages no matter what.
That description pretty much covers only the first few chapters of the book, so as you can imagine, the rest of the book is what Karigan runs into on her adventures to find the king.  But even that isn't the end of it, because there are consequences once the message is delivered.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.  Karigan is a young protagonist and the adventures she has were engaging.  This is Kristen Britain's first book and it does suffer somewhat from that "first book" syndrome in that the beginning felt a little rough (her running into the Rider and accepting the charge of delivering the message felt a little awkward).  Also, some of the adventures after that also felt a little random and rambling, not as focused as I'd expect.  I also expected the bad guys to play a more significant role in the first half of the book.  Instead, they appear occasionally, are made out to be extremely powerful, but then don't really come into play until the latter part of the book.  I would have thought the first half would have been more focused on the bad guys attempting to capture Karigan.
But that said, the world was interesting and it's obvious that there is more story here to explore.  I've been told that some of the issues I listed above are fleshed out in more detail in later books, so I'll have to see if they have satisfactory explanations when I get to those later books.  Overall an enjoyable read, perhaps a little rambling, with some characters and choices made that didn't seem quite right or were a little too oblivious and unreasonable given the circumstances.  But I expect that the story and writing will grow appreciably in the follow up books, which I will, indeed, read.
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