Synopsis in a Sentence: In this fourth book of the series, the main character, Karigan Glad'heon fulfills her duties as a messenger to the king by going on a quest to help stop the evil of their enemy, Morhaven the Black.
My Thoughts: I love this fantasy series! I have been devoted to this series since the first book, Green Rider. Unfortunately, while this author is extremely talented, she takes about 3-4 years in between each book...and so sometimes I can't believe I've been reading this series since high school! These books are actually the reason I wanted to begin a book blog because I wanted to share my love of this series with other readers and hear their thoughts on the books.
Ms. Britain's writing reminds me of J.K. Rowling's writing style...which is high praise, indeed! They are both able to not only write a great story, but to actually make that story come alive. As you read this book, you just almost feel the world (Sacoridia) Ms. Britain has created. Reading books is wonderful of course, but sometimes you end with just feeling as if you read a cute story. But when you find a book where you actually feel as if you went on the adventure yourself and that this other world might be real...that is magic! This feeling doesn't happen to me very often...but it happened with this series.
In summary, this series is about a girl, Karigan who through a set of circumstances and a mysterious "calling," gets caught up in an adventure which eventually leads her to the capital and the King. She finds out about the Green Riders, who work as messengers and scouts for the King and each of them has their own special magical "ability." Karigan realizes that her calling is to join them, and she eventually becomes a Green Rider. All four books are her subsequent adventures in helping to quell the dark forces (Morhaven the Black and his comrades) which threaten their land...typical epic fantasy type stuff, but so special and magical as I mentioned above.
Having given the series much praise...I do have to mention one incredibly frustrating subplot to the books, something which many of her fans are driven crazy by, including me! The King (Zachary) and Karigan fall in love, but are not able to be together for a variety of reasons. The romantic tension between them is one of the best relationship plots I've ever read...it's almost unbearable, but highly interesting watching them struggle with their feelings for each other. I would absolutely love to see them eventually be allowed to be together and many fans agree with me (check out Amazon reviews), but others feel as if they are on two different paths and would be better off marrying certain other characters.
Overall, I would recommend this series to anyone. I love the genre of fantasy, but I've been delving into other genres for the past couple of years...this is really the only fantasy I've read since Harry Potter, Twilight and the Inheritance Cycle. I hope to return to the genre soon and really get into it again. I might start with The Game of Thrones as I keep hearing great things about the HBO series they've adapted from those books!
What I loved most: Everything. The author herself is kind of unique as well...I'd love to meet her in person one day. She was actually a former National park ranger who eventually published Green Rider and has since become a full time writer (although this hasn't seemed to help with her getting the books out any sooner!) She's supposedly single and lives in a log cabin in Maine. I'm always checking out her website for updates on future books!
What I liked least: The romance between King Zachary and Karigan is a little bit torturous and it's made worse by the fact that the series is ongoing and there's little hope of it being resolved anytime soon. It's a huge cliffhanger and it sometimes makes me wish I hadn't discovered this series until all of the books have come out!! Ahh!!!!