(trade paperback, November 2008)
(mass market paperback, April 2000)
(hardback, November 1998)
Also available in eBook editions.
DAW Books, Inc., New York
Artwork © 1998 Keith Parkinson
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 lay 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.
The Wild Ride
Ride! the voice commanded.
Karigan dared not disobey. She squeezed The Horse’s sides just as the first arrow was loosed. The Horse leaped into a gallop. Blue of sky, green and brown of wood, rushed by in streaks. The buildings of a village were a smear they left behind. Two arrows, she knew, sang behind her and would not stop till they found their mark.
Wind buffeted her, loosened the braid in her hair. The rhythm of The Horse’s hooves pounded through her body, but for all she knew, they flew.
There were other pounding hooves, other riders abreast of her, filmy white and transparent. Trees and buildings did not hinder them, they traveled right through. They called to her with far off voices in what was like a battle cry: Ride, Greenie, Ride! It’s the Wild Ride!
Cold arms slipped around her waist from behind. Ride, the ghost of F’ryan Coblebay whispered. It’s the Wild Ride.
“A fresh, well-organized fantasy debut, with a spirited heroine and a reliable supporting cast.” – Kirkus
“GREEN RIDER is a stunning first novel for what I hope will be a long career of story-telling and suspenseful intrigue. You’ve a really talented new writer here.” – Anne McCaffrey
“The gifted Ms. Britain writes with ease and grace as she creates a mesmerizing fantasy ambiance and an appealing heroine quite free of the normal clichés.” – Romantic Times
“GREEN RIDER is a wonderfully captivating heroic fantasy adventure. Kristen Britain’s fast paced plot kept me eagerly turning pages. This is the rarest of finds: a truly enjoyable read.” – Terry Goodkind
“Karigan is an engaging protagonist, and the scenes of magic and/or combat rise to a high standard.” – Publishers Weekly
“Sure to join the ranks of the genre’s most popular fantasy authors. Look out Lackey and Rawn!” – Jennifer Roberson
“This captivating fantasy is filled with adventure, action, and heroes. Karigan grows tremendously as a person and in the end finds her own place in this world. The characters, including minor ones, are well-developed and the plot is complex enough to get the reader thinking. This is a real page-turner.” – Voya
“GREEN RIDER is a lively fantasy. The narrative clips along at a good pace, and there’s plenty of adventure and magic to keep the reader turning pages. Minor characters are nicely drawn, and major ones are very appealing, especially Karigan. Refreshingly, the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but neatly ties up all its story threads for a satisfying ending. Plenty of room is left, however, for a sequel. I’m already looking forward to another installment in this series.” – SF Site