Blurb: More than a thousand years ago the armies of the Arcosian Empire, led by Mornhavon the Black, crossed the great sea and tried to conquer the land of Sacoridia using terrible dark magic. Eventually Mornhavon had been captured, and his evil spirit imprisoned in Blackveil Forest, protected by the mighty D’Yer Wall; and in the centuries since the war’s end, knowledge of the working of magic had disappeared from Sacoridia.
Karigan G’ladheon was now a seasoned Green Rider—a member of the magical messenger corps of the king. But during her first year as a Rider, a rogue magician had cracked the D’Yer Wall. The spirit of Mornhavon, sensing the weakness, had begun to wake, seeking vengeance. Karigan had managed to transport the spirit of Mornhavon into the future, buying valuable time for her king and country. But how far in the future was Mornhavon now? There was no way to tell.
And though Karigan and her fellow Riders scoured the land searching for lost magical knowledge, they were unaware of a threat to their kingdom that lay far closer: the descendants of ancient enemies had spent generations honing their powers of dark magic—a force against which the Sacoridians had no defense.
Review: It took a little longer for things to start really going in this book, at least for Karigan. Once it did, though, things really took off. Despite the slowish start, this was just as good as the other two books in the series.
Karigan’s character does a whole lot of growing up in this book, having to face the fact that life isn’t always what you wanted it to be, nor are the people in it. She still has her moments that show a less mature side, but that is part of the growing up process. It doesn’t happen instantly.
We see a side of Estora in this that I wasn’t a huge fan of. She seems to get wrapped up in herself and her own desires an awful lot, not taking into consideration the impact that might have outside of herself and that doesn’t bode well for a future queen. At one point, I thought she was also going to undergo a forced maturation by being tossed into the fires of real life. There were definite indications that she was also being forced to see many of the same lessons that Karigan was, but towards the very end, we kind of see that same attitude from the beginning of the book peak back out so it is hard to tell if those lessons stuck.
I’m conflicted as to how I feel about Karigan’s relationship with the king. So many times, especially in fantasy, when you have an impossible to come to fruition romance because of class lines between nobility and commoner, you usually end up getting some solution that ends up allowing those characters to come together. Most of the time it is some discovery of some previously unknown heritage getting revealed so that the commoner isn’t so common after all. Whatever it is, it is usually one of those way too perfect to be believable situations. So far, this hasn’t happened in this series and I’m not sure that I want it to. I also don’t want there to be a new potential romantic interest for Karigan in every other book or so. I’m anxious to see if this is going to continue to be really good or if it is going to start going off the rails into the ridiculous. I’m leaning towards the really good, so I’m really interested to see how that is managed and what direction the story is going to take from here.