I have to admit The High King’s Tomb, book 3 of Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series, is not my favorite of the three I’ve read so far. For example, again with only the mentions with Stevic G’ladheon. Also, Karigan actually gets a bit whiny in the first half of this book, where as I specifically mentioned she doesn’t get there for me in the other books. However, as usual she’s too busy to be whiny in most of the second half! 😉
Karigan and a Green Rider trainee are sent on what seem to be mundane errands for the king of Sacoridia and Captain Mapstone, and which end up being anything but. Attempts to mend the breach in the D’Yer Wall continue. And the Second Empire continues its no longer secret attempts to overthrow Sacoridia for their ancient leader, Mornhavon the Black. Britain keeps the excitement high from beginning to end, balancing epic magical craziness with the humor and camaraderie of Karigan and her fellow riders.
This novel starts out much more sedately than the first two books, which is actually something I quite like. I like to read about “normal” in these long series. The first couple books were separated by two years, but it wasn’t something that the reader actually gets to experience.
I think I’ve figured out why this novel isn’t sitting the same with me as the first two. The villainess introduced in this book has a mission. She also has a side mission. A huge, horrible side mission that potentially affects the universe, but still only feels like a side project and unimportant to the story. Maybe as the series goes along this side mission will be shown to have had more impact on the story than I could see.
And just a couple of random comments to add: I’ve read reviews that mention how Britain likes to use all the fantasy tropes you can think of, and I can’t disagree with that. However, a lot of them seemed pretty fresh uses to me. There are also definite parallels with Tolkien’s work, beyond the very black and white nature of the characters, but that’s almost hard to not do these days. I would definitely have to agree that Green Rider’s parallels are stronger than those I’ve read in other novels lately. On the other hand, it’s a bit like coming home in that sense.
And apparently my blog has been found at least once by people searching to see if you can read the Green Rider novels out of order. In this case, it’s something I’d definitely not recommend. I may be biased however. Even with series that aren’t necessarily connected (Terry Brooks, Brian Jacques, L.E. Modesitt, Jr.) I like to read them in order. On the other hand, thinking about it, the stories are fairly self contained. I just can’t say personally whether they work out of order, since I’ve never read them that way. One would definitely be missing out on detailed background info as a person might assume.