Green Rider, Book 1
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I had heard a lot of good things about these novels and I must admit that seeing a new release of this first volume, I was very intrigued to finally discover the history. I know that I do not read a lot of fantasy, but it’s always nice to have one handy from time to time.
We discover Karigan, a young girl freshly expelled from her school for an act which, however, should not have had so many consequences. That’s why she now wants to go see her father to tell him what has actually happened. But her return will be completely turned upside down when she will cross the path of a green rider seriously injured and who asks her on his deathbed to bring the message due to which it was pursued. Embarking on a new adventure where she does not really understand the ins, Karigan will have to survive to the events that will continually stand in her way. All this with the help of Horse, she will try to reach the goal she has set to finally return to her father.
Nothing will be simple for our heroine and she will use all her resources to move forward and not give up on her mission. She will thus discover some brand new abilities and creatures she thought being a myth and it was very interesting to see what the author had in mind. Karigan will find herself in a role that she did not want and that everyone wants for her, but can she then escape when the mission is over?
It was a great find and although it essentially follows the girl, we also see from time to time her father, or the villain of the story and a few other characters that are changing little by little over the chapters. Indeed, the novel was a good introduction and I am curious to learn more.