Kiaras Festivus Green Rider Guest Review & Blackveil GIVEAWAY

A Note From Kiara: This review & giveaway is written and sponsored by one of my dear friends who posts as Spragujs and has been cross-posted with the author’s permission from The Double Phoenix blog. Please stay tuned for the giveaway at the end of this post!

To celebrate Festivus Kiaras, Kiara has asked for some guest reviews.  In honor of my friend’s birthday month and the release of one of my favorite author’s newest books, I’m doing a reread review of the associated series as well as a give away of the newest book.  It will be a hardcover copy that I’ll have read before sending it out, so it’ll be slightly used and you won’t get it in time for the release, but maybe if you haven’t read any of the series yet, this give away will entice you to go out and give the others a shot.  :)  And with no further adieu…

I recently finished rereading Green Rider, the first book in Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series, in preparation for the fourth book, Blackveil, which is coming out today. The blurb:

Karigan G’ladahon has fled from school following a fight which would surely lead to her expulsion. As she makes her way through the deep forest, a galloping horse pounds up to her, its rider impaled by two black-shafted arrows. With his dying breath, he tells her he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary magical messengers of the King, and makes Karigan swear to deliver the message he’s carrying, giving her his green coat, with its symbolic brooch of office. This promise given to a dying man changes Karigan’s life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, she unwittingly finds herself in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wish more of my friends had read these books.  I remembered the stories very vaguely as feeling very otherworldly, which was pretty funny to me after reading an article about the upcoming release party for Blackveil, that ”while the stories are fantasies, the characters and settings are not fantastical or otherworldly.  There is an appealing familiarity about them, and they are so convincingly drawn that they could be real.”  I agree, but at the same time still stand by my statement.  The world is extremely vivid and easily imagined.  I think it’s the layer of magic that blankets everything combined with the very easily imagined setting that gives me the otherworldly feeling.  It should feel extremely familiar, but the magic also makes it very different.

Green Rider introduces the reader to the world of Sacoridia and its surrounds, to the characters of the story, and to the idea that there’s a very big story arc coming up in this series.  The characters are great, and even if they do tend to fall to the black and white, they’re still individuals with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.  I’m always impressed that Britain has made me feel for even the briefly mentioned characters when things (often bad) end up happening to them.  Very brief descriptions bring them fully to life.  I will say that her attempts at romance in this novel were a little less than fully developed, but that’s really the only complaint I can think of at this point.  With more novels out, there’s plenty of time for them to become more believable.

I also think that Karigan may be one of the few protagonists I’ve run into that I can remember that wasn’t whiny.  Yes, she starts out pretty spoiled and of course she complains about a few things and makes wishes about others, but not to the point where I’d describe it as whiny.  Just in case that’s a pet peeve for any interested readers out there!  ;)

Check The Double Phoenix soon for a review of book 2, First Rider’s Call!

Another note from Kiara: If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a copy of Blackveil, please leave a comment on this post. Giveaway is open to International readers and will close February 28th at midnight EST. One entry per commenter, regardless of the number of comments left. Winner will be drawn at random.