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#33 First Rider's Call by Kristen Britain

The cut is due to spoilers for the end of Green Rider. There are no spoilers for First Rider's Call

At the end of Green Rider, Karigan did the unexpected. She turned away from her destiny as a rider and left Sacor City. Unfortunately the call is persistent, and although she does her best to ignore it, by chapter two Karigan G’ladheon is once again in green and working for the King’s legendary messenger service. As anyone that has read Green Rider can tell, it’s not going to be easy for her. During First Rider’s Call, the magical abilities of the riders are beginning to either weaken, or strengthen in unexpected ways. A rider that could foretell the weather finds that her gift is lost, while one that has enhanced hearing finds it amplified to uncomfortable amounts. Laren Mapstone’s ability to detect falsehoods abandons her, resulting in her making a decision that results in the loss of lives. Karigan finds herself not just slipping into invisibility, but slipping back and forth in time, taking her back to the time of the First Rider Lil Ambriodhe. Meanwhile, Alton D’Yer has been sent to the wall to repair the damage made from the Eletian, Shawdell, only to find a dangerous presence that has been sleeping for millennia, a presence that has the ability to destroy Sacoridia.

Green Rider was a strong fantasy debut. First Rider's Call takes the potential planted in book one and develops in ways that are very impressive. Characters that were introduced in Green Rider, such as Captain Mapstone and King Zachary, develop into interesting and complex character. The setting of Sacoridia is fleshed out quite nicely. Through Karigan’s trips to the past the readers gets to learn a fair amount about its history and the people that created it. This is supplemented nicely by the journal entries of Hadriax el Fex, an important figure in Sacoridia history, that are scattered throughout the story. The pacing is impressive. Although this book is over six hundred pages, it reads smoothly and comfortably. Karigan remains a likeable heroine who, despite her heroic acts, remains human and relatable.

First Rider’s Call is a great sophomore effort by fantasy author Kristen Britain that I enjoyed rereading. I’m looking forward to cracking open The High King’s Tomb for the first time.

Rating: five out of five stars
Length: 639 pages
Source: shelf
TBR Pile: 148 books
Similar Books: If you’re looking for second books in a fantasy series that do not suffer from sequel syndrome, check out The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien, Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling, Lireal by Garth Nix, Rebel Angels by Libba Bray, Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (my review), Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, and Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling.
Other books I've read by this author: Green Rider (my review)

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