Thursday, October 11, 2012

Audiobook Review: Green Rider

Green Rider (Green Rider, 1) by Kristen Britain, read by Ellen Archer, February 16, 2012 (originally published in 1998). 16 hours 7 minutes. Published by Penguin Audio. Source: publisher.
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.
First Sentence:
The granite was cold and rough against the grey-cloaked man's palms.

Green Rider is one of my all-time favorite fantasy reads, and has been since I first discovered it years ago. So when I had the chance listen to and review the series I could not say no. Did the audio book do the book justice? Yes, I believe that it did.

I am at a loss on how to explain why this book stands out for me, but by golly I'm going to try.  I know I already told y'all that Green Rider is a favorite of mine, but what makes it such an interesting book is the world that Kristen Britain has created and how easy it is to get pulled into the story.

So much intrigue. While I loved the characters in Green Rider, especially the riders themselves. I liked that the author was able to tell the story from both the protagonist and antagonist side. It definitely helped that as you read you were able to see what was happening with Karigan and the danger that is pursuing her through the Green Cloak; as well the subtle plans that the Gray One set into motion by disrupting the barrier that stands between the forests of Kanmorhan Vane.
Green Rider is definitely one an exciting read because it seems that the world is against Karigan and trying to prevent her from making it there in one piece.

One of the things I found intriguing about Green Rider would have to be the general view of the characters when it came to magic, and how they didn't think too highly of the Green Riders' gifts.
When I first read it, I was perplexed until I got further into the story and you came to know why the people of Sacoridia turned their back on what they once possessed the ability to do, and how that gesture will play into the struggle that they are now facing.

One of the reasons I like Karigan so much is that you can see her maturing from a rash, impetuous girl to a young women filled with determination, strengthened by the ordeal she's been through. I really liked that the author made her flawed, yet had her learn from the mistakes she made by taking her experiences and not repeating them.

What I loved most in Green Rider would have to the "wild ride", where Karigan is assisted by Green Riders of the past. The reason I like this scene so much is because the 'wild ride' makes me think of tessering with the way that Karigan travels such a long distance in a very short span of time. It's also a favorite of mine because its' thrilling to see if she'll be able to outrun the danger that is trying to prevent her from reaching the king to deliver the all-important message.

Even though Green Rider is one of my favorites, it does have its faults...not many, maybe one or two. The only flaw to this great story would have to be that at times Karigan can be a little irritating. Now don't go getting me wrong I love this book, but have little patience for characters that have trouble admitting that they were in the wrong and who act immature at times. Being immature has its times and place, but can only be tolerated for some long by me. While I was at times irritated by Karigan, I still enjoy her as a character especially in later books.

As far as I can recall, Green Rider is the first audio book that I have listened to that was narrated by Ellen Archer. When I started the first track, I was not sold on her and was completely unsure if she would be up for the task of voicing Karigan, one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite series.

Was Ellen Archer able to please me with her narration of Green Rider and Karigan? Surprisingly enough, she did. While in the beginning I feared that she would be unable to do Karigan justice and that she would end up making her sound older than her years, I thought she did a great job.
I really enjoyed how she kept the tone even and didn't rush Karigan's lines. I know that seems a weird thing to like most about the narration, but Karigan never seemed like a motormouth to me when I read the book, so I was happy with the way Ms Lisanti treated the character in her narration.

The only thing that was not to my liking in the narration of Green Rider would have to be the chapter with the Gray One. While the narration wasn't horrible, it just did not match up with the way I had imagined the Gray One to sound. But on a whole it was good.

Final Verdict: Green Rider an epic fantasy of action and adventure not to be missed.

Green Rider earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.


  1. I love Karigan and her series is one of my all time favorites. I didn't know about the audiobook version and I'm curious to listen to it now. Thanks for your review.


    1. This series is one of my favorites, so it's always nice to hear from other fans.

      I would definitely recommend the audio version of the book. I thought it was quite good.

      Thanks for stopping by. =)


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