Monday, May 11, 2009

The High King's Tomb

Title: The High King's Tomb
Author: Kristen Britain
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2007
Series: The Green Rider Series (Book 3)

Karigan G'ladheon didn't want to be a Green Rider, one of the King's own messengers. She wanted to be a merchant, like her father, and take over the clan's textile empire when he died. But we've had two books since her inadvertent entry into the service, and she's learned to deal with it. Besides, being a Green Rider is far more interesting. Possessing small, but hidden, magical talents, the Riders carry the King's missives across Sacordia and deal with all manner of trouble along the way. And Karigan seems to run into more of it than all her fellow Riders combined.

Plagued by lingering romantic feelings towards her sovereign, unpleasant bouts of swordplay with her Armsmaster in full court regalia and the running of the Rider account books, Karigan is more than happy to set out on a message errand to the far corners of the kingdom... until she finds out she has to take a trainee along with her. They are off to find a book, that may or may not exist, which tells how the D'Yer Wall was created Ages ago to contain the evil within Blackveil Forest. Without it, they may not be able to repair the breach, and Sacordia may fall.

The High King's Tomb picks up where First Rider's Call left off, and fortunately there are many more Riders now that the extra broaches have been found. But hardly any of the main plot lines are moved forward in this installment. Karigan and King Zachary do not settle the feelings between them. The Wall doesn't get repaired. Alton is still mad at Karigan. Mornhavon the Black does not return. This entire book seems to exist only to add bunches of new characters to the playing field and to provide back story. (We do get to learn a lot more about the D'Yer wall, which I've always found fascinating.) Couple that with writing that was far below the standard set by the last book, and over all it was a downer for the series.

The Green Rider Series is told from third person omniscient and bounces back and forth between a number of important characters.

My Thoughts:
I was very excited for this book when it came out, but felt let down after I finished it. The writing didn't stand up to what I had come to expect after First Rider's Call, and the plot went almost nowhere. I felt many scenes could have used some heavy editing or even be cut altogether. Even scenes with the Wall, my favorite character other than Alton D'Yer (yes, his ancestors built the Wall), were repetitive. Karigan's troubles with her trainee take a lot more words to deal with than they should. Most of the scenes with Lady Estora and the Raven Mask were flat out dull and usually lost my attention entirely. Over all, this was a significant disappointment in the series, and I would recommend finding an abridged version or the cliffsnotes. I really hope that the next book is better, because the series has so much potential. Even if you don't pick up this one, do read the others in the series.

Favorite Scene:
I really enjoyed Karigan being solicited by a lady in the brothel "The Golden Rudder". It was pretty funny. It's a toss up between that and Alton reading his letter.

Who this book/series is best for:
Kids in high school or advanced readers in 7th or 8th grade could enjoy this series, despite it being shelved in the Adult section.

Violence: 3 of 5 for battle scenes and torture

Stars: 2 of 5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent - thank you