Tag Archives: epic

Book Review: Green Rider

612bs3ckalpl-_sx307_bo1204203200_ Green Rider by Kristen Britain

Summary:

Karigen is suspended from school and running home when a Green Rider dies on her path and forces her to swear an oath to deliver an important message to the king.

Karigen rides to the palace stopping at a magical house, confronting a dark creature, and sneaking through a hostile town while being chased, kidnapped, and eventually escaping those who would stop the message from being delivered.

My rating: 4.5 stars

My thoughts:

First, I’ve been on an epic journey kind of mood recently. (See my reviews on Kings of the Wyld, Wraith, and The Dwarves.) I’ve been enjoying these stories a lot. This one hit all the things I wanted in an epic journey. The hero starts at a low point, being suspended from school for starting a fight. She encounters strange new people, including magical sisters in a disappearing house, horses that are more than normal, bards, and tomb keepers. She battles a strange beast, and her skills for battle progress, particularly after being inhabited by a sword master ghost who helps her defeat a kidnapper. There are multiple story lines running in tangent; the political intrigue of two brothers fighting for the crown, the intrigue of a feudal lord who wants to be the power behind the crown, her father who is trying to find his lost daughter, the green riders who are trying to stop war, and a elven man trying to control it all.

Second, this is a book in a series, but it truly ends. I was completely satisfied. The battle for the crown was settled. Her father found her. She delivered her message. The issue of her being suspended concluded.

I took a half star because the story focuses on a board game similar to chess and stratego called intrigue. The game has three factions: two who battle each other directly and a third who acts as an unpredictable force. Karigan plays the game three times in the book. She acknowledges that she never wins the game. She doesn’t like the game. She clearly does not view the game as the actions of the other people in the story until the final game play. She misses the significance of the game in her own life and as representation of the political intrigues happening. Her lack of insight on this game made Karigan come across as slow and a bit dimwitted when she is touted as being clever. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a bit each time the game board came up.

I would recommend this one though. I enjoyed it.

Book Review: Kings of the Wyld

51rhtjxnhtl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

Summary:

Golden Gabe’s daughter has run int battle and is trapped in a besieged city. His only hope to save her, is getting his band (read group of mercenaries) back together.

Clay “Slow Hand” Cooper leaves his family and home to help his friend out. Together, they must steal back the magical sword Velacor, kidnap a cuckolded king, and turn a stone statue back into a man. All the while, a horde of demons threaten Gabe’s daughter, a manhunter is on the trail of the kidnapped king, denizens of the Heartwyld forest want to kill them, and their old glory days have brought out old enemies.

My rating: 5 stars

My thoughts:

Ever seen the movie Red? Old assassins come out of retirement for a final gig that only they can pull off? Yeah, well, this is the fantasy version, and I love it. Clay, Gabe and the boys hit their prime, raised hell, and got out of the game. They settled down with women and homes of their own. Clay is a city guard, avoiding the bars to avoid tales of the old days. Yet, when they need to, each one of the old men comes together and charges into battle.

The story has a lot of humor to it. This isn’t a fancy polished tale full of the pure glory of these men. Instead, it is full of dark humor like the band’s horrible misfortune with bards and gritty details like the putrid smells of piss puddles outside the tavern. I’m not going to lie, there were times when references to wenching or phalic phylactories made me roll my eyes and want to skip a few words, but I never wanted to skip more than a few words or I might miss something important.

As far as characters go, there wasn’t much of the standard character arcs. No one grew tons wiser during the journey. Clay did not magically find a new goal because we knew from the second chapter that his only goal was to get back home to his wife and that Gabe’s only goal was to find his daughter. There was more typical character development in the side characters than the main ones, yet Clay is my favorite. It is his story after all.

I enjoyed most of the world building as well. There is lots of lawless mercenary camps and men voluntarily throwing themselves into the gladiator pits. The men travel through the typical fantasy environs of forests, cities, and mountain passes. The swords, armor, and other sundries are magical. The standard monsters like trolls, mermen, cyclopes, and wayverns are there, but so are new and interesting beasts. Of course, there are air ships to battle the flying monsters.

Then there is the mixture of fighting mercenaries and bands. They are getting the band together and going on their final tour. They run into their own booker, who gets a cut of band business. Bands have screaming fans and act as headliners in arenas. There is definitely a cheeky feel to some of the comparisons, but I didn’t mind.

I really liked this one. It was a good mix of funny and fun. The characters were wild but believable. The world gave me the old standards I am used to but expanded into new territory. I definitely recommend this one.