In Green Rider, our heroine, Karigan Gíladheon, is a feisty and independent soul, perhaps even a bit headstrong and hasty. Expelled from school (unfairly, in her opinion), she chooses to head for home on foot, to face her fatherís wrath, rather than waiting for it to come to her. Along the way, she encounters one of the mysterious messengers of Sacoridia, a Green Rider. Wounded and near death, he beseeches her to take a vital message to the king. Almost against her better judgement, Karigan swears to deliver the message. With this oath, she finds herself set on a strange and perilous journey, aided only by a mysterious talisman, a nameless, headstrong horse and possibly the ghost of the Green Rider. What Karigan doesnít know is that an evil long believed to be vanquished from the land has returned and is now hunting her.
Pursued by unknown assailants bent on preventing the delivery of the message at any cost, Karigan finds help in the unlikeliest of places. In addition to providing assistance, some of the people she meets also contribute a bit of lighthearted humor to some tense situations. Karigan has reason to be grateful for such respite, because she soon discovers that her task will not end with the delivery of the message. In fact, her ordeal has just begun.
Green Rider is Britainís first contribution to the fantasy genre. She uses some familiar plot twists and characterizations, but combines them in a way that seems refreshingly new. There is the requisite Evil, embodied by the Gray One, and a fair bit of magic. There are also devious humans, eager to betray or trample anyone in the way of their ambitions. And, of course, there are the true friends, both magical and ordinary, who stand by Karigan when she needs them most.
Britain has created a strong and likeable character in Karigan. Some of the minor characters are not as well drawn, which is a shame, since some of them seemed quite interesting. Britain also has a great affinity for the land and the environment and much of this shows in her work. All in all, this is a nice, relatively straightforward fantasy. The pace is good, the action is fast and the philosophy is simple. And, perhaps best of all, Britain is working on a sequel!
Reviewed by: Diane
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