Green Rider

Green Rider

Book - 1998
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
After an unexpected confrontation with a dying knight, Karigan G'ladahon becomes the unlikely bearer of a vital message to the King, on a mission during which she faces assassins and other deadly dangers in a world of complex magic.

Blackwell North Amer
On her days-long journey home, Karigan Gladheon trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. She is leaving school, or, more accurately, she has been asked to leave. "Suspended indefinitely," the dean said. And for what? Challenging and thrashing Timas Mirwell in the practice ring. Karigan felt no remorse when she stood over the heir of the lord-governor of Mirwell province, her wooden practice sword at his throat. He had humiliated her, the daughter of a "mere" merchant, since the first day of school. But now, as she faces the long road home, hoping to arrive in Corsa before the dean's letter does, she wonders if she should just hire herself out on a merchant barge as her father did and stay away for good. She has too much pride, too hot a temper, and a penchant for danger - a life of travel, adventure and commerce will undoubtedly suit her just as it has her father.
But before Karigan's ponderings can become a definite plan, her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves, as a galloping horse bursts from the woods in an explosion of branches, the rider slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young rider 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 in his horse's satchel. 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 deliver the message "for love of her country." As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, she seems to hear the ghostly sound of great wings beating the air, of silver-shod hooves galloping...and of invisible lips murmuring, "Welcome rider..." But beside her on the road, the messenger only whispers, "Beware the shadow man!" with his dying breath.
This promise given to a dying man changes Karigan's 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 - the magic of this office transferred to her with the original rider's brooch. But what is happening in her land that requires a life or death message for the king? What does the message contain that is so vital someone is willing to kill for it? And who is "the shadow man?"

& Taylor

After an unexpected confrontation with a dying knight, Karigan G'ladheon becomes the unlikely bearer of a vital message to the king, on a mission during which she faces assassins and other deadly dangers in a world of complex magic

Publisher: New York : DAW Books : Distributed by Penguin Putnam, c1998
ISBN: 9780886778248
Characteristics: 504 p. ; 24 cm. : ill


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 11, 2014

I loved this book! It's so well written and the characters and setting are well thought out. Kristen Britain has put a lot of imagination into it and it was enthralling to read. I even read it while feeding my baby because I couldn't put it down. Karigan is a really great main character. I am excited to read the rest of the series. I feel like more people need to read this book, especially people who like fantasy.

chibislayer Jun 06, 2014

This is a seriously underrated series. I can't believe it's not as popular as Harry Potter! You really get to know all the characters in these books, and there's so much world building - it's like you're right there. Kristen Britain's my new favorite author. I can't recommend this series enough!

Oct 06, 2013

This is a great beginning to the series. The main character is interesting with her own personality and I enjoyed the story line.

May 20, 2013

First chapter or so I did not like this book. The main character is a "Mary Sue", an ordinary girl who is undervalued but in who key people see extraordinary abilities. Magic brooches chose her, (basically) fairy godmothers care for her and give her magic presents, noblemen and kings fall in love with her, It is all rather gag-making.

I was about to give up in disgust but the world building was beginning to intrigue me. There are some excellent ideas and the writing gains depth as the story goes on. The main character is still one-note but the story was told well enought that I am now about to read the next in the series.

forbesrachel Apr 01, 2013

Karigan is thrust into a world of dark beings, and secret politics, but is such a strong character that she perseveres with some help. Chief among her supporters is Condor, her horse, whom is canny and able to help her avoid danger. In the following books, bonds continue to be made and broken, making the idea of bonds a strong theme for this series.

Jul 08, 2011

A world unto it's own. A great read that will take you far away and on an unexpected adventure with evil, magic, and a touch of romance.

May 27, 2011

A fantastic book! The start of a wonderful series.

May 25, 2010

This book is so good! It's now one of my favorite series. I love the storyline and the characters.

May 24, 2010


Sep 15, 2009

Book 1 of a continuing fantasy series. A fairly light read, and a bit more fast-paced than the later novels.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

May 20, 2013

nerowolfgal thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 16, 2010

hur74Vety thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 15, 2009

Reiner thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary

Sep 15, 2009

Karigan G'ladheon was running away from school after being threatened with expulsion when she's suddenly kidnapped... by a horse and its ghostly owner, a Green Rider (a king's messenger). Now her only way home is to deliver the rider's final message before she's caught by forces of frightening nature.


Add Notices

Jul 16, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings

SPL owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top