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book finished: First Rider’s Call

I just finished #2 First Rider’s Call by Kristen Britain. I rate it an 8. Karigan G’ladheon was a Green Rider, one of the kings of Sacoridia’s elite magical messengers. A merchant’s daughter, she had come across a dying Rider on the road – impaled by two black-shafted arrows – and had agreed to carry his message for love of her country. But this action proved to be far more than a simple promise given to a dying man. For by agreeing to carry his “life and death” message, Karigan had become a Green Rider in truth – the magic of that office transferred to her with the golden winged horse brooch of the dying rider.
Being a Green Rider was more perilous than Karigan had ever imagined, for Shawdell – a rogue magician and a member of the mysterious, immortal Eletian race rarely seen by humans – had cracked the magical D’Yer Wall. This wall had protected Sacoridia for a thousand years from the evil influence of Blackveil Forest – the arboreal prison of Sacoridia’s ancient enemy Morhaven the Black – and Shawdell’s destructive act had brought the threat of dark magic back into the land. In the messenger service Karigan had been caught up in a world of deadly danger, sometimes in magical realms she never knew existed; and played an essential role in saving the king’s throne, she had nevertheless been tainted by wild magic.
Exhausted in body and spirit, and determined to be the mistress of her own destiny, Karigan had returned to Corsa to finish her schooling and join her father’s business. But Karigan’s determination was no match for the Rider’s Call, as ghostly hoofbeats beat a rhythm in the deep regions of her mind, heralding visions of the freedom of the ride. She even tried ridding herself of her messenger’s brooch, but whether she hid it deep ina drawer or buried it in the woods, she inevitably found herself wearing it by day’s end without memory of having pinned it on. She would awaken some nights sweating and feeling as if she must saddle her horse immediately and heed the call to ride. And when she awoke to find herself on horseback – in her nightgown – halfway to Sacor City, she finally gave in.
The passage of time had not improved life for the Green Riders. Though Shawdell was dead, the mighty D’Yer Wall could not be repaired, for the magics which built it had been lost to the ages, and though Clan D’Yer, descendents of the original builders, labored night and day, the breach continued to widen, allowing all manner of unnatural creatures into Sacoridia. And deep in the heart of Blackveil Forest a sentience was awakening and reaching out to the world around it – questing, questioning, and calling for its minions.
Back at court Karigan found the Green Riders weakened and diminished. Veteran Riders had been killed yet few new Riders had heard the call. Rider magic was becoming unreliable, and strangest of all, Karigan was having ghostly visions – visions of a strong woman with wild flowing hair and a blue and green tartan draped across her shoulder, pinned with a golden brooch. This woman was no stranger to Karigan nor would she have been to any Green Rider, for she was Lil Ambriodhe, First Rider, and founder of the Green Rider corps. But why was she appearing to Karigan? And how could Karigan seek the help of a woman who had been dead for a millennium?

I'm currently reading #3 The Firebird's Vengeance by Sarah Zettel which I hope to finish tomorrow, or Wednesday at the latest!

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