October 07, 2011

High King's Tomb by Kristen Britain

An amazing story, but still not as good as the first in the series. While it had all the wonderful characters of the first two (and the addition of a few more) the plot line was hard to follow and somewhat confusing.

As a recap (and possible spoiler) of the first two books, Karigan has been kicked out of school and on her way back to her father's city she encounters a Green Rider who is mortally injured. The Green Rider's are the King's personal messengers and as part of this service, they obtain small magical powers. Karigan agrees to take up his message and deliver it to the King at all costs. She succeeds, despite many trials, and then later has to help him fight for his throne as his evil brother tries to take it from him.

The next book has Karigan returning to the Green Rider's to join permanently as she can no longer resist the call. On an expedition, her party releases a wraith who intends to do harm from the realm along with Mornhavon the Black, an evil sorcerer who dwells behind a magical wall. The wall is starting to fall apart and the rider's magic is starting to fail them. Despite this, with the help of a ghost, Karigan is able to send Mornhavon into the future so they can develop a plan in the present to defeat him.

Which leads us to this book. New riders are joining the ranks everyday and Karigan finds herself accompanying one of them to train him on a three part errand run. She is in search of an important book that will help heal the wall, has to obtain new horses for the riders, and must go in search of a missing rider. If that weren't enough, she encounters plenty of danger and intrigue along the way as well. Most prominently featured is Salvistar, the horse of the death god, who has taken an interest in her despite her wanting nothing to do with him.

This book also covers the story of Alton, one of the D'Yer's whose job is to fix the wall and keep it maintained. Blocked from the wall by a vengeful cousin, he can only rely on third hand knowledge to try and save it. In addition to this he must overcome his feelings of Karigan and the "betrayal" she enacted upon him.

There are some other side plots as well, but honestly, I could have done without them. I feel they took away from the plot and while its nice to see the view of the enemy, it just didn't seem necessary for this story. The same goes for the subplot of the King's betrothed as well. While it was an integral part of the story it would have been fine just to mention it rather than show her point of view. Because of all these different point of views, the book was hard to follow and I found myself getting lost as the chapters would go three in a row of one person, one of another, two of another, and etc. There was no reason to it or even a pattern to rely on.

The characters were better described in this book as compared to the second. I was able to get a better description of Karigan and have a vague idea of what she looks like now. In addition, Alton is described remarkably well and it is easy to see his progression from shabby to not so shabby. The rest of the book had plenty of description as well. As far as squeamishness and vivid writing, this book did not contain as much violence or battles and so was easier to read in that aspect. There was not much bloodiness at all.

I grew to love Karigan even more in this novel. She seems like a real person and not just a perfect heroine. She has doubts and second thoughts but still manages to pull it all together and do the right thing. This book also introduced two characters I absolutely loved. Damien and his Lady, the horse sellers of the Rider's steeds. These two are so darn cute that I couldn't help but smile when they were talking to each other. Britain does a good job of letting the reader see just how much Damien loves his woman. This book also brought back the characters of Miss Bay and Miss Bunch. They were barely mentioned which was somewhat disappointing, but at leas they were there.

Overall I was pleased with how this novel turned out. It describes a great bit of plot and continues the story well. It does leave a lot unfinished however, and before reading I hadn't realized that there would be more than three books in this series. It appears the next one will be out early 2011 and I can't wait to see how the story continues!

The High King's Tomb
Copyright 2007
679 pages

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