Series: Green Rider #1
Publisher: Daw (1998)
Paperback (471 pages)
Also by this author: First Rider's Call, The High King's Tomb, Blackveil
Also in this series: First Rider's Call, The High King's Tomb, Blackveil
Reading Challenges: 2015 Re-Reading, Read 2015
On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G’ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount’s neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a “life and death” message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission “for love of country.” As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, “Beware the shadow man…”
Karigan’s promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.
I love this book to pieces! My copy is almost falling apart I have read it so many times. Everyone needs to read this book. That is how much I love it.
I first read this book in seventh or eighth grade and fell in love with it. At that time, only Green Rider and the sequel First Rider’s Call were out. In high school I convinced my friend to read them and we totally fangirled together. My friend designed Green Rider broaches in art class and we both read the third book, The High King’s Tomb, as soon as it was released. Then Blackveil was released when I was in college and Mirror Sight just came out a year ago. Yeah, I am kind of addicted to this series and not at all ashamed of it.
Green Rider begins with Karigan G’ladheon waking on the road after running away from her school, Selium. She ran away because of an unfair suspension which was the result of a fight with an aristocrat. Her plans are just to get home and talk to her father since she believes he can make anything better.
Then a charging horse and rider are upon Karigan. The rider is dying, impaled with two black arrows in his back. He, F’ryan Cobblebay, asks Karigan if she will take a message to King Zachary in Sacor City for love of her country, a message that could mean life or death. Karigan agrees. The messenger has Karigan take his broach and tells her to “beware the shadow man.”
Now Karigan is on an extremely dangerous mission that she is not really prepared for. She is riding across the country with an important message that some want never to be delivered. One messenger is already dead and now they are after Karigan and The Horse.
Along the way to Sacor City, Karigan encounters strange things, things of legend: monsters from Kanmorhan Vane and the Shadow Man for starters. She is chased by more than just Mirwellian soldiers. Karigan needs to rely on every instinct she has for survival if she wants to make it to the king in time.
Karigan is such a strong character. She is a young woman who runs away from school, not exactly someone trained for anything she will encounter. Yet Karigan is stubborn and willing to do anything to keep her promise to F’ryan Cobblebay. She will reach Sacor City no matter what. If there is a way, Karigan will find it.
I love this book to no end. Everyone should read it because there is something for everyone in it. There are horses and monsters. There is magic and sword fighting. There are kind old ladies and those stirring up trouble. There is a spunky girl and a power-hungry man. Really, I think everyone could find something to love in this novel.
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