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08/16/2003 Entry: "First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain"

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Karigan, the heroine, has returned to being a Green Rider after spending a year following the events of the previous book trying to fit back in to her merchant family. Soon afterwards Sinister Things begin to happen; the Riders' magic is behaving erratically, and not all of the damage done to the realm (in GREEN RIDER) can be repaired.

The characters are lively, especially Karigan. She's young and overwhelmed, yet she manages to deal with events without being either stunningly competent or too stupid to live. The plot is dense and generally fast-paced, although parts do drag and the book could have used some pruning. While none of the settings or themes are particularly original (Britain's mining the usual vein of high fantasy tropes), the Green Riders are well drawn and most of her villains actually have a touch of menace to them.

Romance doesn't play much part in the events of this book. Near the end, though, Karigan realizes that her feelings for someone approach love. There are, of course, obstacles in the way, and I'm sure that any subsequent book will cover her relationships in more detail.

I think one of the greatest reasons people find these books refreshing is that Britain doesn't end them on a cliffhanger. All the major plot strands are tied up, while still leaving (obviously) room for sequels. In these days of doorstopper fantasies and gazillion-volume series, that's unusual enough to garner a lot of positive attention.

In short, while not a fantasy classic, this is a decent, entertaining read. In terms of our system I'd call it a mild recommend. I'll look for the next book in the series (which might take a while, given the 5-year gap between these books), but I'll take it out from the library or wait for pb rather than buy it in hardcover.--Danielle

Replies: 1 Comment

I had been waiting for this book for the past two years. I love the first book. This book is great too, even though i love romanace in my books. This book dose great without it. Some things that have happened i wished they didnt. Hopefully we dont have to wait so long for the next book, i did buy this book in hardback and i hope it was worth the money when the next one comes out. also hopefully things will be resolved.

Posted by Mel @ 08/19/2003 07:20 PM ET

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