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Green Rider: Book One of Green Rider Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2000

429 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Green Rider Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

This fat fantasy is the author's first published novel. Although the typical back cover quotes from Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley overpraise it somewhat--"stunning," "terrific," "classic"--it's a good, highly readable debut. Kristen Britain tells her story at a headlong pace and with considerable charm. Young heroine Karigan hardly has time to regret being expelled from school (for dueling) before finding herself committed to the desperate errand of a murdered Green Rider. The Riders are an elite messenger corps using both horses and magic; the message is a terrible warning. Bad things from bad places are invading this fantasyland, their presence being only part of a devious, sorcery-aided human struggle for the throne. Karigan's wild ride is beset by a variety of enemies, but aided by her own developing talents plus certain strange allies. These include the tormented ghost of the dead Green Rider himself--still pierced by and trying to resist the chief villain's black arrows that ensnare the soul. Delivering the message to a suspicious court is only half Karigan's job: can it be interpreted in time? The pages turn fast, the heroine is likeable and the villains hissable, and all ends as it should. Nice one. --David Langford, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Britain's first novel is a classic quest tale set in a standardized medieval fantasy world. It begins when protagonist Karigan G'ladheon is expelled from an exclusive school. In a forest on the way home, she encounters one of the magically bound Green Riders, who carries a vital message for King Zachary. The messenger is dying with assassins' arrows in his back, so with more loyalty than caution, Karigan takes over his magic brooch. This also means taking over his mission and becoming a Green Rider herself, an act that flings Karigan into a cesspool of intrigues both magical and mundane, some of them well-handled by the author, some not. Karigan is an engaging protagonist, although the feisty female is now a penny a cartload in high fantasy, and some of the scenes of magic and/or combat rise to a high standard. Britain also makes notable use of class distinctions as motivators, a tact not often seen in fantasy. But, overall, her plot lacks originality; most of her characters (other than Karigan) are, at best, archetypes; and her pacing may be sufficiently uneven to deter readers from coping with the book's standard plot and considerable length. This is a respectable, not outstanding, debut, although Britain shows enough talent to warrant a follow-up. (Nov.) FYI: In its 25 years, DAW has published only one previous first novel in hardcover: Tad Williams's Tailchaser's Song.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Green Rider (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; English Language edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886778581
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886778583
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (429 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Fairportfan on May 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let's say you (or a Young Person of your acquaintance) have finished all the Harry Potter books.
After which you read "Half Magic" and its sequels.
And then you did all five of Lloyd Alexander's "Prydain" books.
And now, though those were very good indeed, you want something aimed at a just slightly older audience, though not necessarily with graphic bloody violence and panting sex scenes.
Well, you've come to the right place -- i have just the thing, my friend. Step right up and cast your eyes on this little beauty.
While somewhat derivative in detail (but what modern fantasy isn't at least a little derivative somewhere?), the elements are stirred nicely into a fairly original story line that avoids the pitfalls of following your examples too closely with nothing new to say that we see all too often in first novels, while still telling a briskly-moving story that the casual reader will have no trouble following but that will not insult the intelligence of a somewhat more analytical reader.
Familiar elements:
(1) The elite messenger/diplomatic/spy cadre, the King's Riders, who wear distinctively-coloured outfits (green in this case).
(2) The young person of Good Family who has, thru impetuosity and rash disregard of consequence, gotten into some minor scrape that seems to loom huge in her life.
(3)The scheming nobleman with the Pretender to the Throne in hand who plots against the Crown.
(4) The mysterious grey-cloaked figure who appears to aid the Villains, but actually has Plans Of His Own.
And So On.
Read more ›
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A. C. H. Bergh on April 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
On the front cover of my edition of this book, there's a quote from Terry Goodkind: "(...) a truly enjoyable read."
That sums it up nicely. There's a certain warmth, perhaps almost an engaging simplicity, to this debut. And as far as I'm concerned, it's very welcome. Britain might well tackle the same subjects as just about everyone else in modern day fantasy, but she does so - for the moment at least! - in a refreshingly unpretentious style. And she does it with undeniable charm.
The best example of the latter comes early in the book, when the protagonist, Karigan, finds herself in a house inhabited by a couple of sisters, Bayberry and Bunchberry (along with a few servants invisible due to the unfortunate dablings in magic by the sisters' father). This is whimsical stuff, more reminiscent of 19th century pastiche than medieval fantasy. Incongruous, perhaps, when compared to the rest of the story - but very welcome nevertheless. And perhaps Britain will be confident enough in the future to add upon such embelishments. (Frankly, she doesn't seem entirely comfortable within the restrictions medieval fantasy imposes anyway: her castles have glass windows, she has cities with plumbing, and people sometimes wear spectacles...)
And with regard to the lack of pretention: Britain shirks the all too common shifting between too many lead characters, the dozens of plots and subplots thrown at you every which way and, in general, the "here's my bigger than big new epic fantasy" approach adopted by a great number of Jordan wannabees. She tells a good (not a very original, as yet, but good) story without clutter.
Bottom line: you could far worse than buying this book. And: this is certainly a writer to watch.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rhodon on May 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fun and fast read. Yes, there are quite a few predictable elements, but Britain's style is enjoyable, descriptive, and leads you from one page to the next - no dragger here! It reminds me of some of the best fantasy I've read with a Tolkienesqe quality - plenty of behind the scenes history that could be explored with a heroine of some quality. I hope that Ms. Britain is up to the task of doing it. I look forward to a sequel. The typos complained of in the hard cover I did not notice in the paperback. If you're a critic, you'll probably not like this book - it is somewhat formulaic (ie, good does triumph over the bad, and truly new fantasy character types are hard to come up with), and the descriptive overkill that some critics seem to like is absent. I recommend this to any reader over 13; it has some violence, none of the obligatory sex scenes, some romance, and colorful but tasteful dialogue. This is Entertainment!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Once again it has been proved to me that an attractive cover IS a good judge of a book. I picked this one off the library shelf in a hurry, inside flap unread, because the cover art caught my eye and I was in a rush because my sis is not known for her great patience. I am happy to say that judging the book by the cover, in this case, did me no harm but a lot of good. It was fun reading! The beginning is harmless and light fantasy stuff, entertaining but hardly gripping, yet as the story progresses it picks up pace, and by the second half I was glued to the pages. That tantalizing hint of romance-to-come in the ending makes me very curious to read the sequel. I am also so glad that unlike a lot of other new fantasies, there was no obligatory excessive gore, no droning on and on about the scenery, but still giving you a fine sense of setting, and even better: decency! Thank God! There has been such a prolific amount of sex rampaging through fantasies these days that I've been despairing of ever finding a "nice", slightly romantic fantasy devoid of all that. But enough of my requirements, let me simply say without further ado, that this was a good book with the key word being "promising" and that I was SO disappointed to find that this is the first-and-only book by author Kirsten Britain. Hope she changes that soon!
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