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Winterlight

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This seventh novel of the Green Rider series follows the adventures of messenger, magic wielder, and knight Karigan G'ladheon as she fights to save king and country from dark magic and a looming war. After her capture at the hands of Grandmother and the Second Empire, Karigan G'ladheon is making halting progress towards recovery. Karigan takes on increasingly dangerous miss This seventh novel of the Green Rider series follows the adventures of messenger, magic wielder, and knight Karigan G'ladheon as she fights to save king and country from dark magic and a looming war. After her capture at the hands of Grandmother and the Second Empire, Karigan G'ladheon is making halting progress towards recovery. Karigan takes on increasingly dangerous missions, haunted by the specter of her torturer, Nyssa, and sinking ever further into the mire of her recollections of the past and the losses she's sustained. Meanwhile, the forces of the Second Empire are moving on Sacoridia and their primary target is a vulnerable garrison that guards a crucial mountain pass. Faced with new fatherhood and a country on the verge of war, King Zachary sends a contingent of soldiers and Green Riders to the pass--but his own recovery from the events of the north is not yet complete either. Reunited with her fellow Riders at the pass, Karigan takes on a leadership role, but quickly finds that the Riders are not as she last left them. As tension mounts and war draws ever closer to the heart of Sacoridia, Karigan must discover what it truly means to be a Rider and a hero of the realm--and what sacrifices must be made to truly heal from her past.


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This seventh novel of the Green Rider series follows the adventures of messenger, magic wielder, and knight Karigan G'ladheon as she fights to save king and country from dark magic and a looming war. After her capture at the hands of Grandmother and the Second Empire, Karigan G'ladheon is making halting progress towards recovery. Karigan takes on increasingly dangerous miss This seventh novel of the Green Rider series follows the adventures of messenger, magic wielder, and knight Karigan G'ladheon as she fights to save king and country from dark magic and a looming war. After her capture at the hands of Grandmother and the Second Empire, Karigan G'ladheon is making halting progress towards recovery. Karigan takes on increasingly dangerous missions, haunted by the specter of her torturer, Nyssa, and sinking ever further into the mire of her recollections of the past and the losses she's sustained. Meanwhile, the forces of the Second Empire are moving on Sacoridia and their primary target is a vulnerable garrison that guards a crucial mountain pass. Faced with new fatherhood and a country on the verge of war, King Zachary sends a contingent of soldiers and Green Riders to the pass--but his own recovery from the events of the north is not yet complete either. Reunited with her fellow Riders at the pass, Karigan takes on a leadership role, but quickly finds that the Riders are not as she last left them. As tension mounts and war draws ever closer to the heart of Sacoridia, Karigan must discover what it truly means to be a Rider and a hero of the realm--and what sacrifices must be made to truly heal from her past.

30 review for Winterlight

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bob/Sally

    It feels strange to be talking about the penultimate book in a series arc after 23 years, but Winterlight is the 7th Green Rider novel by Kristen Britain and what's planned as the next-to-last story in the current arc (no worries, she's promised there will be more Green Rider books, just a different story arc). While I didn't necessarily love Firebrand, I loved a lot about it, and I appreciated the way Britain explored the emotional toll that Mirror Sight left on Karigan. Well, no spoilers, but i It feels strange to be talking about the penultimate book in a series arc after 23 years, but Winterlight is the 7th Green Rider novel by Kristen Britain and what's planned as the next-to-last story in the current arc (no worries, she's promised there will be more Green Rider books, just a different story arc). While I didn't necessarily love Firebrand, I loved a lot about it, and I appreciated the way Britain explored the emotional toll that Mirror Sight left on Karigan. Well, no spoilers, but if you read the 6th book, then you know it didn't just leave poor Karigan with an emotional toll, but with psychological and physical ones as well, and all of that weighs heavily upon the story of Winterlight. What's important is that this isn't a book that wallows in sorrow. Where I found that aspect of Firebrand to be tiresome, even if it was realistic, here the story is one of perseverance, healing, inner conflict, and surprising growth. With a divide-and-conquer plot, one that sees Sacoridia threatened by the remnants of the Second Empire and the reborn Darrow Raiders, while the dark forces of Mornhavon the Black stir and Lord Amberhill threatens to fulfill his dark future, there's a lot going on here. There are sieges and battles aplenty, not to mention some threats both monstrous and magical that put even more of an edge on the story. The story takes us across the realm, with more settings than I think we've seen in a single Green Rider novel to date, and all of it advances the main plot, leading up to that promised story arc resolution in the next book. The story of Karigan, Zachary, and Estora gets significant attention here as well, with Britain finally putting all the cards on the table and forcing an awakening, if not a reckoning. There are some fantastic surprises involved in their triangle, including a final sequence that is one of the most emotionally rewarding she's ever written. There's a rather shocking change in Karigan's fate that plays into all of that - all I'll say is that Winterlight means something - and it sets up some interesting questions to be resolved in the next book. It's not all their story, however, and I liked that other Riders, Ash especially, got their chance to lead the charge, take center stage, and advance different aspects of the story. While there is some divine intervention involved in the story, it's mostly in pursuit of the mythology and character building. Unlike the last book, it's not used to drive resolutions or save the day. It's the Riders, Weapons, soldiers, and common people who drive the story, who take responsibility for the conflict, and who tip the balance in the end. The climax has so many threads, so many fantastic developments, it's one of the most satisfying in the series. It feels like there's still so much to be resolved, too much for one more book, but I'm looking forward to the next book as much as ever. Green Rider is a series I discovered and the forgot about with the 5-year gap between the first two novels, but rediscovered a few years back as an unabashed standard of 90s epic fantasy and binged my way through the next 4 books before catching up with Firebrand just as it hit mass market paperback. I love this series, I love the style, I love the narrative, and I love the characters. It's one that sticks with me, one of those rare series where I can pick a book up after a few years and still remember everything significant that happened. The more I've become reinvested in the series, the higher my expectations have become for each book, but Winterlight was damned near perfect. https://beauty-in-ruins.blogspot.com/...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    I can't begin to tell you how much I look forward to these Green Rider books. It's so hard to wait 3 to 4 years between them, but also so worth it! So of course I was thrilled when I received an ARC of this seventh book in the series. After the events of the last book I was eager to find out what was going to happen next. Honestly it's like that after I finish every one of these books, and I was happy the book pretty much got right into things. This is supposed to be the second to last book in t I can't begin to tell you how much I look forward to these Green Rider books. It's so hard to wait 3 to 4 years between them, but also so worth it! So of course I was thrilled when I received an ARC of this seventh book in the series. After the events of the last book I was eager to find out what was going to happen next. Honestly it's like that after I finish every one of these books, and I was happy the book pretty much got right into things. This is supposed to be the second to last book in this story arc that's been going on for 7 books now, and it feels like there is still a lot left to be done in book 8. I'm curious to see how the author wraps things up. And don't worry, book 8 will not be the end of the series, just this story arc. I was very happy that some conflicts got resolved in this book, but we are still waiting for what will happen next with Mornhaven, although some set up was established for how they will deal with that conflict. I really can't wait to see how things will play out, especially now that dragons have been introduced into the world. This book had me biting my nails a few times wondering what was going to happen to some of these beloved characters. There were several points of view covered in this book and some of them got a lot more attention than others, but that didn't bother me. I did really want to know more of what was happening with Captain Mapstone though! Obviously the next book will be more about that, but it's hard to wait. There are also a couple of points of view that didn't seem too important to the story line in this particular book, but I feel like the author is probably setting up some threads that will have something to do with the next story arc down the road. There were a couple of nice surprises in this book. I didn't expect the story to go the way it did regarding King Zachary and some of the choices he made involving Karigan, and I'm not talking about relationship stuff exactly, but just certain things he has her do in the book before and during the battle. I really loved seeing them fight together and I looked forward to their interactions throughout the book. I also really enjoyed how some of the relationship stuff played out, but I also have some mixed feelings about how it's being handled. (view spoiler)[I would definitely prefer it if Estora was just completely out of the picture. There was ample opportunity for her to die, but that would have also been the easy, predictable way out. I'm not a fan of the whole mistress thing, even if it is with Estora's blessing, and their marriage was just a contract to begin with, they are still married and I would rather Zachary wholly belong to Karigan. (hide spoiler)] Overall this was my favorite book I've read this year, probably because I love this series so much. It included heartbreak and sorrow, and love and triumph, just like all the previous books, but this one, I felt ended on a lighter note than most of them. There was no huge cliffhanger, we know where the story is headed, even though there are a threads that are left dangling that involve some important people. But for the first time since I began this series, I didn't feel like Karigan was a complete punching bag. I was thrilled that despite all the trials that she has endured, some good things actually happened for her in this book and that made my heart happy. I desperately want to include quotes from the book in this review, but because it's an ARC I can't until I check them against the completed version of the book, so I may come back and tweak this review later. Thanks to NetGalley and DAW for providing me with an ARC of this book. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader.

  3. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    Hmm. I'm not sure how I'm going to find words for this one. My thoughts are all over the place. However, on one thing I am absolutely certain: I needed at least 50 more pages of Fastion. Full RTC. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review Hmm. I'm not sure how I'm going to find words for this one. My thoughts are all over the place. However, on one thing I am absolutely certain: I needed at least 50 more pages of Fastion. Full RTC. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    4.5 stars. I received this arc from DAW on Netgalley and was thrilled as a long time reader of this series to be able to finally get to read the upcoming new book slightly ahead of schedule. Seriously thrilled, this is one of my favorite series of all time. That being said, it took a bit to get into the book. In the past several tomes, Karigan has gone through a lot of trauma and Kristen Britain doesn't take the easy way out by making it immaterial. The tension between "needs must" reactions to r 4.5 stars. I received this arc from DAW on Netgalley and was thrilled as a long time reader of this series to be able to finally get to read the upcoming new book slightly ahead of schedule. Seriously thrilled, this is one of my favorite series of all time. That being said, it took a bit to get into the book. In the past several tomes, Karigan has gone through a lot of trauma and Kristen Britain doesn't take the easy way out by making it immaterial. The tension between "needs must" reactions to realms business and both physical and metaphysical healing being necessitated actually built a kind of weariness and adulthood that remind me that the cost of service does actually put paid on a body. Though it took a (short) while to really get into the book, the adventure caught me and I think this book might be the fantasy tale above all others that resonates at this particular moment of history. Because while Karigan hasn't weathered our particular pandemic, and I haven't weathered the myriad of much more severe trials she and Sacordia have endured, I recognized her weariness. And though theoretically she has become much younger than I in the years I've been reading her story, I think she feels the weight of age about the same as I do in our separate darker moments. Of course I care about the realm and the war and the fear of the Darrow Raiders and Second Empire and others Of course, for such is the stuff upon which epics are built, and the outside forces as enemy and foil do not fall short of their fearsome potential. However, the biggest surprise is how this novel, which has been germinating for the past few years managed both to be the exact right next point in the series and to meet me exactly where I am. I know Kristen Britain also went through 2020, but her skill at translating whatever that meant to her into a story that has nothing to do with the last century (in purely timey-wimey the-last-year-and-a-half-has-been-forever aspect) of our lives but really has everything to do with it is astonishing and makes me glad I've waited around for books that take possibly slightly longer to finish than my impatient super fan heart desires. Dang it if authors aren't real people after all.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annette Summerfield

    I can't rate it as it is coming out in September 2021. At least I know another book is now on the way. It is a long time yet to wait. I wish I hadn't even looked to see if another book was out in the series. Ackkk...September 2021 is a ways away yet. I can't rate it as it is coming out in September 2021. At least I know another book is now on the way. It is a long time yet to wait. I wish I hadn't even looked to see if another book was out in the series. Ackkk...September 2021 is a ways away yet.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    Oops, I kinda forgot I still needed to post the full review "Yes. At this point, I believe we must address the difficulty that is Rider G'ladheon, don't you agree?" Rating: Really Enjoyed It First off full disclosure: I requested this eARC from Netgalley when I was on book 2 or 3 and absolutely 100% in love with The Green Rider series. Then I read Mirror Sight and Firebrand. I was devastated because I felt like the books and the storyline were heading a direction that I did not at all enjoy or appr Oops, I kinda forgot I still needed to post the full review "Yes. At this point, I believe we must address the difficulty that is Rider G'ladheon, don't you agree?" Rating: Really Enjoyed It First off full disclosure: I requested this eARC from Netgalley when I was on book 2 or 3 and absolutely 100% in love with The Green Rider series. Then I read Mirror Sight and Firebrand. I was devastated because I felt like the books and the storyline were heading a direction that I did not at all enjoy or appreciate. I was so nervous to go into Winterlight, knowing my issues with the previous two books. BUT it regained some of the old glory of the first several books, and I loved it. It's hard to discuss much of this book without getting into spoilers, but this book picks up soon after the events of Firebrand. Karigan is making her way back to Sacor City on her own when she comes across a merchant who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. This marks the resurgence of the Darrow Raiders, a group that had terrorized the realm in the time of King Zachary's grandmother. Events of the book unfold from there, unsurprisingly resulting at some point in the story with Karigan being captured and held captive AGAIN. This was my biggest complaint with the book. I feel like Karigan as a captive at this point is a tired storyline, and there isn't a single book that does not have this event in it (except maybe First Rider's Call?? I can't recall anything with that one specifically at least). I was frustrated and just ready for that storyline to resolve. Apart from this storyline, which doesn't account for too large a percentage of the book, I very much enjoyed this one. Along with the Darrow Riders, the conflicts between Mornhavon the Black, and Second Empire continue to develop and progress through this book. We also get to meet some old friends, make some new friends, and just generally have a good time. What I liked: * The return to the tone/feeling of the books pre-Mirror Sight, was my biggest relief and the thing that I appreciated most about this book. * We got to check in on some characters throughout that I wasn't expecting to see much of * Ripaeria the Green Flyer is a gem, and one of my favorite new friends. * I felt like this story progressed logically and Karigan was finally in her proper role as Rider G'ladheon. I felt like the previous book she was very much acting out of character, even with the trauma that she endured travelling between times in Mirror Sight. Even as she healed and recovered from the trauma and the injuries she had sustained in Firebrand, she felt more like Karigan than I have seen since The High King's Tomb. * I was nervous to see how Karigan's injuries from Firebrand were handled because debilitating injuries are often magically healed or are made out to be absolutely horrible because the person isn't "whole" anymore and is now seen as "less than". However, I felt that the injuries to both Karigan's body and mind were handled in a respectful manner that didn't raise my ire as happens so often in fantasies. Even though there is magic at work within and around Karigan, she still has to work through the bodily injuries as well as her trauma. The mental trauma was perhaps not focused on quite as much as I would have liked, but I appreciate that it was acknowledged and put on the page. * Overall, I feel that I can now see the series drawing to a close. In the previous two books, it felt like there was absolutely no end goal in mind, but in this book we see advancement of some plot lines, resolution for some plotlines, resurgence of some old loose ends, and it just overall felt a lot more hopeful. I desperately hope that this continues on to the end. What I Didn't Like: - My biggest gripe was the previously mentioned storyline that always occurs for Karigan. - I'm not sure if I like the way that the ridiculous love triangle was advanced towards the end of this book, but I am choosing to remain hopeful and see what happens in the next book. - I feel like the author's writing style has not improved or advanced as I would have hoped over the course of 7.5 books. This wasn't as big of an issue for me as it was in the previous two books where my aggravation over the storyline just drew attention to the pieces of the writing that I don't particularly love. We still see telling rather than showing in a lot of places as well as heavy repetition of those things that are told to us. Overall, I appreciate this book very much. It has resolved the bitter taste that was on my tongue for the way I thought that this series was headed. I am re-placing my pre-order for Winterlight, and I look forward to a reread of the series whenever book 8 comes out. I would like to thank Negalley and DAW for the eARC copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. Winterlight releases on September 14, 2021. A full review will be posted to Goodreads and Instagram in the week prior to publication per publisher request. All quotations are taken from an advance copy and may differ in the final work. ______________ Rating: Really Enjoyed It Overall, this book was such a relief. It definitely makes up for my distaste of the prior two books. I feel like the series is returning to it's former glory in my opinion. Everything feels back on track and heading a good and exciting direction. I am now settling in for the wait for book 8! I will be posting my full review in the week prior to publication per the publisher's request. Thank you to Netgalley and DAW books for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Camille

    Please let this be the last one. Please, oh please! I have been reading this series since the beginning in 1998 and while I once loved it needs to be done. The plotline is dragging on. The first three books were great but the last two books have been iffy. It is sad because it was such a promising series in the beginning. Then it went downhill. It started to take a turn for me with the 4th book, which was okay, I just didn't love some of the plot elements and even hated a few messed up things th Please let this be the last one. Please, oh please! I have been reading this series since the beginning in 1998 and while I once loved it needs to be done. The plotline is dragging on. The first three books were great but the last two books have been iffy. It is sad because it was such a promising series in the beginning. Then it went downhill. It started to take a turn for me with the 4th book, which was okay, I just didn't love some of the plot elements and even hated a few messed up things that happened to some of the main characters. The 5th book was pretty awful, so awful that I wanted to burn my copy by throwing it in a dumpster and lighting it on fire. Book 5 felt like it didn't even fit with the rest of the books. The 6th book was okay, even though Karigan spent way too much time depressed about a guy she knew for what seemed like a day. Honestly, I really hope this one is better, but from the description, it looks like Karigan is depressed and moping again, so I don't have a lot of confidence. I am crossing my fingers that this is the last book and that it is good because I don't know if I can take this anymore. Haha. Good Luck to all the faithful readers who have stuck this out for the last 23 years. *My rating is for the series overall. I would give it two stars, but I loved the first three books so much that for their sake the rating is three stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate (BloggingwithDragons)

    I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Winterlight is the latest and penultimate entry in the Green Rider series. After really enjoying my reread of Firebrand, which I thought showed a substantial improvement in writing, I felt that Winterlight, though enjoyable to the point that I stayed up until 4am reading my ARC, was a step backwards. Winterlight doesn’t feel as well thought out to I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Winterlight is the latest and penultimate entry in the Green Rider series. After really enjoying my reread of Firebrand, which I thought showed a substantial improvement in writing, I felt that Winterlight, though enjoyable to the point that I stayed up until 4am reading my ARC, was a step backwards. Winterlight doesn’t feel as well thought out to me as earlier books in the series, and again falls victim to the author’s “telling” style of writing, and suffers from other odd narrative choices. I have trouble picturing how the series is going to wrap up in one more title, and sort of lament that it’s going to attempt to do so. I thought it an odd choice to have Captain Mapstone kidnapped by people from a country that I don’t recall ever hearing of in the Green Rider universe—it just felt incredibly random and like an unnecessary addition to the already numerous conflicts in the story. I remember the lands of Eletia and Rhovanny, sure, but never this third country, Varosia, which apparently treats their women as objects, with no rights. I feel that Karigan would have at least thought of this or broached a comparison when she was trapped in the dystopian future of Sacoridia. It certainly would have been a natural comparison to make, but this country was never referenced. If it was referenced, it was definitely only in passing, as part of Stevic’s business, and I didn’t remember the country at all until Captain Mapstone was being taken there against her will. This is not the best foundation work. And to put it quite bluntly, I just thought this storylines with the Darrow Raiders, which have actually been mentioned multiple times in other novels, and this other country, just felt like filler added in at the eleventh hour. There were already more than enough conflicts going on in Winterlight without the old enemies with a grudge again Captain Mapstone reappearing to get revenge. Perhaps the author felt the need to get Captain Mapstone and her meddling out of the way so Karigan and King Zachary could finally be together, or for Karigan to take on more leadership in the Green Riders, but at this point, that remains to be seen—especially with Captain Connoly treating Karigan like a thorn in his side. Another thing that really bothered me was that what little improvements had been made to get rid of the rampant “telling” writing style in Firebrand seemed to have gone out the window in Winterlightonce more. I was pretty disappointed, as many moments that should have rendered a big impact or at the very least, a racketing up of tension, landed flat due to how readers learned of them. For instance, we learn that a major player in the series is "bespelled," out of nowhere with almost no lead up, due to Fergal waking up Karigan and simply telling her that he witnessed it with his magical Green Rider ability. There is narration from Fergal’s perspective when he realizes this potentially extremely damaging information, which I lamented. I could only imagine the tension and drama this would’ve added to Winterlight if we had read of this discovery from Fergal’s point-of-view, and revisited his worrying over how to proceed with the knowledge throughout the large novel. Unfortunately, these weren’t the only times Winterlight went in directions I didn’t understand and care for. There is a character death that really saddened me, as I felt that that character’s full potential in the series had never been fully realized and that the character’s death happened far too quickly for my liking. In fact, I had to reread the section where it happened because I was quite literally shocked that it had. Likewise, I was disappointed that the novel seemed to struggle to implement the full cast of characters from the series—Estral is barely present at all, Alton, blessedly only has a few chapters from his perspective—and likewise, Captain Mapstone only has a handful of chapters. There seemed to be very little balance in between these perspectives, and Winterlight fails to include all of its cast of characters, meaning it mainly relies on telling us, mostly through hearsay, what other characters are doing. And when it’s not focusing on Karigan, Winterlighttends to focus on newer characters to the series, like Enver and Anna Ash, instead of many of our old favorites. I was also conflicted about whether or not I liked the inclusion of all these new Green Riders, because I found many of them annoying, but also thrilled at the fact that there were so many new Green Riders being called to the magical organization. It was enjoyable to encounter Melry again, the first friend Karigan made in the Green Riders, but it had been so long since her last appearance that I felt I barely knew the character, and just wasn't as attached to her. "'After being among your people by the mountains,' he replied, 'I found the eyrie dreary and boring beyond belief, and so I talked Ripaeria into bringing me here.' I am in very big trouble the eagle said. She sounded very pleased with herself."* Despite this, I really enjoyed the introduction of two new characters in Winterlight— Scorch the Dragon and Ripaeria the Eagle. One thing that Kristen Britain consistently excels at throughout the Green Rider series is giving all of her animals or magical creatures big, vivacious personalities. Whether or not these animals are magically able to talk, their personalities consistently leap off the page, and I really love reading about them. Every time the rebellious Ripaeria appeared, I had a huge smile on my face, and can only hope she and Scorch return in the next novel, and don't get killed, which is something that seems to happen to a lot of animals in the series. "Don't feel bad for me," Karigan replied...."It would appear I have enough special titles that one less won't hurt." One of the other things that I really enjoyed about Winterlight was that the novel makes fun of Karigan a lot. It totally recognizes how ridiculous Karigan's Mary Sue-ness is, and just how many titles the girl has at this point in the Green Rider series. I really appreciated the jokes at this girl's expense, as it keeps her human and attempts to drag her down to the level of her ordinary and mortal peers. Though a lot of this effort is undone when Karigan is granted yet another title and made Eletian royalty. I also thought much of the addition of Anna Ash, the only Rider without a magical ability or calling, was undone. The poor girl, who has already proven herself in battle, finds herself publicly questioning her choice to become a Green Rider, after so much was made of her decision to become one in the last novel and what it signified to the organization. I would have gladly given up this whole plot, which felt more like filler than plot, for more chapters from other characters' perspectives, like that of Captain Mapstones, Zachary, Estora, Estral, or Fergal. Winterlightdefinitely sets itself apart from other entries in the series in that its mainly focused on a full scale war as it comes to Sacoridia. I was conflicted on whether or not this was an improvement, as I really am not a big fan of reading descriptions of battle, but was also thankful that the focus was generally off of Karigan’s love life. I say generally, because near the end of Winterlight, we are thrown a complete and unbelievable curve ball in Karigan’s romance with Zachary. I say it’s unbelievable, because what happened seemed completely out-of-character for one of the characters involved compared to what his or her perspective in other novels in the series told us. It also seemed inconceivable that this solution would so easily be suggested after seven other books repeatedly and somewhat overdramatically told readers how huge the ramifications would be if Karigan and Zachary were together. This was a pretty big reoccurring conflict in the series, and for it to just be dealt with so simply and so suddenly, was almost insulting to past developments. "Karigan nodded. Then, because she needed to know, she gathered her courage and said, 'May I ask why you have chosen for me this?' Estora stood very still, her expression unchanging until she lifted her chin and replied, 'I think we both know why.'" I also had trouble suspending my disbelief that the Second Empire suddenly had an entire army to fight Sacoridia with. Throughout the entire series, the Second Empire seemed like a small cult of rag-tag followers led mainly by Grandmother, and suddenly there’s an entire army advancing on Sacoridia, led by the despicable Captain Birch. Though in past entries in the series, we did hear about Captain Birch leading raids on villages in Sacoridia, it never seemed like there were anything more than a small number of these Second Empire forces. I just don’t understand how the series went from the Second Empire being dealt a huge blow by the loss of their leader, Grandmother, to having an army numbering in the thousands marching to strike down their enemy at the front gates of their castle. I was also not thrilled that the final confrontation will have Amberhill at front and center. Throughout the series, I just felt that his character arc has been a mess. Though I initially thought his character would spice things up at Zachary's court, during his appearance in The High King's Tomb, maybe even being a lover for Estora or Karigan, I never imagined him as the main antagonist. Even when he was the emperor of the dystopian future in Mirror Sight, I never really thought it would come down to it, believing that Karigan and the rest of the Green Riders would somehow prevent him from ever getting that far as a villain. As the main villain, I feel that Amberhill lacks emotional impact, as he's never been around enough to form meaningful bonds with the other cast of characters. Instead, he's Zachary's distant cousin who just might destroy the world sometime—his defeat wouldn't make anyone—not the characters or the readers, particularly sad. With all of this and everything else that is going on in Winterlight, I am a little alarmed at the prospect of the series trying to tie up all these ends in the next release. Winterlight definitely felt like it was hurtling to this conclusion at top speed, and in some cases, throwing its character development and the plot it has built up over the series to the winds, while adding extraneous other plots to tie up on top of it. Despite not being the strongest book in the series by far, I'm still interested to see how the series will manage to wrap up in the final entry of the Green Rider series. *All quotes taken from an ARC and subject to change at time of publication. (*EDIT: There was, in fact, an issue with my copy or device when I initially read Winterlight, and I quite literally somehow started reading at about 30% of the way into the book. As such, I have since reread the beginning of the novel and edited my original review.) *All quotes taken from an ARC and subject to change at time of publication.  Read my reviews for the other books in the Green Rider series: For my reread and most recent reviews of the series -- The Dream Gatherer, click here. Firebrand, click here. Mirror Sight, click here. Blackveil, click here. The High King's Tomb, click here. First Rider's Call, click here. Green Rider, click here. For my original review of the series -- Firebrand, click here. The High King's Tomb, click here.  First Rider's Call, click here. Green Rider, click here bloggingwithdragons.com My Book Review Policy Connect with Me: | instagram | tumblr | twitter |pinterest | facebook | email |

  9. 5 out of 5

    A.R. Hellbender

    Thank you to DAW Books and Netgalley for the arc. This just might be my favorite installment in the series so far. Not only do we have the same compelling and well-written characters, witty banter, and amazing worldbuilding, but this book felt so much longer than the previous ones, and not even one short part was in any way slow. Even by the halfway point, so much had happened, that I was amazed that wasn’t the whole book yet. I devoured this book, and loved every minute of it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    So yay, another Green Rider book. But then again, the last two books were pretty disappointing reads for me, so I'm not getting my hopes up too high... So yay, another Green Rider book. But then again, the last two books were pretty disappointing reads for me, so I'm not getting my hopes up too high...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Josefine

    I now have a YouTube channel for Bookreviews and am talking about the Green Rider series here (spoiler-free): https://youtu.be/tXNJTVDH1a8 And a spoiler-free review with spoiler talk at the end of just Winterlight here: https://youtu.be/nMGjoEoq3U8 Thanks to NetGalley and DAW books for a free advanced reader copy. This is my favorite Fantasy series ever and I'm beyond grateful to be able to read it just a bit earlier than I thought I would. Winterlight moves the main storyline of the Green Rider s I now have a YouTube channel for Bookreviews and am talking about the Green Rider series here (spoiler-free): https://youtu.be/tXNJTVDH1a8 And a spoiler-free review with spoiler talk at the end of just Winterlight here: https://youtu.be/nMGjoEoq3U8 Thanks to NetGalley and DAW books for a free advanced reader copy. This is my favorite Fantasy series ever and I'm beyond grateful to be able to read it just a bit earlier than I thought I would. Winterlight moves the main storyline of the Green Rider series forward, a lot. Multiple storylines from the other six books are brought back to the forefront and progress rapidly. Since there is one more book in the series (as far as I’m aware), we know that not all of them will resolve here. So, going into this book, I knew I wouldn’t get the resolution I was hoping for, for many of the story arcs. Winterlight is, in my opinion, the fastest book in the series so far. So much is happening - major and minor arcs - and there is no time to take a break. Especially not for our characters. We move from the emotional time in the North (Firebrand) directly into more our main character has to endure while figuring out everything that happened before. Karigan truly is a remarkable, resilient person. Pros - Kristen Britain’s writing is as beautiful as ever. Her descriptions bring the scenery to life. No sentence, no detail is wasted. They all help with setting the stage and getting the reader into the mood she wants them to be in. Characters - even side characters - are so well described that you know instantly what they are about, how they think, etc. - Her balance of revealing what you need to know vs just enough to make you question what’s happening is incredible. In this book in particular because there is so much going on. - The world has become so much deeper and detailed. I didn’t think there could be anything added to it, but she did it. And all those pieces fit naturally. Cons - That’s one of the cons of this book though. I felt that some of the side stories were unnecessary and got resolved way too easily. Knowing this book was written by Kristen Britain, I wonder if some of them will come back as a relevant item in the last book. But then, some of those didn’t feel relevant. More like they have been added to make the storyline faster. Personally, I would have loved less of the irrelevant side stories and rather more time for some of the main storylines. This also made the book feel rushed at times. Overall, I loved this book. There is no boring moment, which made putting it aside really difficult (in a good way ;) ). The characters develop nicely. Other characters’ story is elevated. We learn more about Sacoridia’s history and believes, and all of it is simply fascinating. Finally, the book includes all the emotions - from laughing out loud to being devastated. And the scene that you see on the cover? Tears…. I want book 8, now!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    fuckn NAILED IT

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shayla

    OH HELLO???? BOOK 7 COMING OUT THIS YEAR???? If you saw me just tear up at the sight of the pub date, title, and cover no you didn't<3 OH HELLO???? BOOK 7 COMING OUT THIS YEAR???? If you saw me just tear up at the sight of the pub date, title, and cover no you didn't<3

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is definitely a book I had to sit on for a while before trying to formulate any kind of coherent thoughts. My biggest critique of the first four books is that the pacing is slow and not much happens in relation to the length of the book, while Books 5 and 6 were ideally paced for me. Winterlight fell on the opposite end of the spectrum from the beginning of the series because it is non-stop, one thing after the next, for the entire book. I’m not sure I’ll fully know how I feel about this boo This is definitely a book I had to sit on for a while before trying to formulate any kind of coherent thoughts. My biggest critique of the first four books is that the pacing is slow and not much happens in relation to the length of the book, while Books 5 and 6 were ideally paced for me. Winterlight fell on the opposite end of the spectrum from the beginning of the series because it is non-stop, one thing after the next, for the entire book. I’m not sure I’ll fully know how I feel about this book until I read the last book. Being book 7 out of 8 (I think), I expected this one to start winding down and wrapping up at least a few plot threads, but if anything, it seemed to end with even more open threads due to how much was packed into this book. There were definitely some answers, but still few enough that I’m not sure how there will be enough time to wrap everything up in the last book. There were definitely a few plot threads introduced in this book that just felt unnecessary when there are already so many other things going on. In terms of ranking within the series, I’d say this one lands pretty firmly in the middle. There were some great moments in this book that I absolutely loved, and as usual, I love just spending time with Karigan and the Green Riders. Thanks to NetGalley and DAW for eARC in exchange for an honest review! original review: i don't even know what to say.....this was WILD. full review coming when i catch my breath

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jwales42

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I want to start off by saying that I love this series. I really like the author and the fanbase is great. Even with my low rating, I would recommend to read it. Generally speaking, the writing and story are well done. But there are glaring issues that I will cover through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I also want to note that if I miss spell everything, its because I listened to the book. I will go back and read when I receive the book, which is in transit currently. Side note: the Voice Actr I want to start off by saying that I love this series. I really like the author and the fanbase is great. Even with my low rating, I would recommend to read it. Generally speaking, the writing and story are well done. But there are glaring issues that I will cover through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I also want to note that if I miss spell everything, its because I listened to the book. I will go back and read when I receive the book, which is in transit currently. Side note: the Voice Actress for the series is amazing. The Good - Introduction of and increase of newer characters: Anna, Riperia, and Duncan were great additions to the series. Anna took a strong role in capturing what made Karigan so likeable from the outset of the GR series, while Riperia was an amusing and fun additions as was Duncan. - Karigan Adoption: There is zero chance I would not have placed the ring and message in the book Blackveil to be handed to Prince Jametari in this book. I also would not have had the trial and all the back and forth across the bridge. That was not good. But in general, the adoption was fantastic. - Eletians: There were some interesting aspects to Eletian culture that were cool. The awakening was great and exciting as was the Eletian King questioning where his daughter was. I enjoyed the Eletians and Enver throughout the entire story. The Bad - The Blanding (itself): At first, I thought it was a white version of Robert Jordan's "The Ways" and I was contented, but bored with the concept. There was nothing overly interesting or different other than the color from the many variations we have seen authors take with "traveling" over the years. That being said, if being boring and unoriginal was the only aspect, I would have not cared and overlooked this. It's what led to "the ugly" why this was bad. - Lack of known character development: While we were treated to new characters, other than certain personality quirks Garth, Dale, Teagan, Fergal, Melrie, All weapons, Estral, Xandis, and Alton were all left out. Developing new characters, typically follows the better development of already known characters that interact with the protagonist. This is either an editor failure, or author dismissal, or both. - Magical/Unique creatures: Eagles can speak with their minds and compose epics but Griffins and Dragons are dogs and cats with special abilities. I realize anyone can create what they like. But this seems...really lacking. I'm not going to go further because there really is no author or editor issue with this other than it seems like they let an opportunity for more pass them by. - Karigan's lack of ability tactics: The entire reason going invisible is considered the best super hero move is because its also the best super villain move. Combine the tactics and you're batman. Unfortunately, Karigan is not batman. There is no scene where she, as a MASTER swordsman, is taking advantage of her rider ability to utterly obliterate and dispatch large quantities of people. There is no scene where she commands her Avatar-ish abilities to do something awesome creating fear for her enemies and inspiring her allies. For a book where a major battle happened, this was really disappointing. Especially considering she essentially banished her torturer by the time the battle happened. - Open ended suggestions that feel like foreshadowing but are not done well: There comes a time in a long series where foreshadowing in a major way becomes alarming. Foreshadowing subtle things is of course still admired, but something like the Black Shields are the reason magic users were killed off is a bit much before the supposed last book. It either means that its not actually going to be the last book. The explanation will be too short to satisfy, or too long and take away from other important aspects of the story that need to be closed out. - Karigan in general: Karigan's growth regarding needing to be retrained physically and also mentally have been fine. But everything else is pretty much the same as it always is. She seems surprised about everything and is a responsible person who doesn't understand why she gets credit. This essentially means she's dumb. Really. It really does. There is no way around this. Karigan not getting it, means she rides the short bus. She may be a beautiful badass warrior tone-deaf ghostseeing unlucky lucky person, but she's also dumb. People realize when they are good at things. They acknowledge it. Then they leverage it. If you are trying to convince anyone that a merchants daughter can't understand the "value" of what she is and has done, then there is a real problem with her. - Karigan (everything happens to her): Obviously many things have now happened to numerous characters. Its just the real crazy stuff only happens to Karigan. Come on. Besides being carted off in the book to another land as Col Mapstone, the series has essentially left us with 1 hero and everyone else who occasionally has a bad day. The Ugly - The Blanding (bad guys): The mist creatures were so badly placed I actually got embarrassed for the author and the editor and had to sort of skim through. They added nothing to the story except another hopeless bullcrap the protagonist needed to endure for virtually no reason. Another rider could have developed some cool ability early on and these so-called-baddies would have been an okay twist, but no. It was Karigan torture time and Karigan kind of get help rescue herself time. It was boring, really bad, and I hope I never see anything so out of place or worthless to the story arc again. - The Blanding (returns): Three strikes and your out. Bringing everyone back and forth was a bad way to move the plot. It was silly and it's still silly. - Character assassination: This one can really kill a series. Originally, when Zachary was acting WAY more passionate to Karigan than ever before, I was alarmed. Then I was okay because they said that there was a spell on his heart I was like "Oh that explains why he's acting different and of course Karigan and then weapons will notice and help". Then that was not the case. This is a clear departure from BOTH Zachary and Karigan of the past and it has nothing to do with character progression. As an example, this is similar to Khaleesi burning everyone in the last season of GOT. Can we say some aspects of Khaleesi character development led to it? Sure. Was it convincing? No. It was bad. It was character assassination's at its finest. One of the big jobs of editors is to make sure this doesn't happen. Authors, falling in love or ideas of their own characters, will often sacrifice basic tenets about characters to "get them together" in a series. If we look at the Eragon series, Christopher Paolini felt he should get his main character Eragon and Arya, the love interest together, but the Editor explained that this would damage Arya's character integrity from what readers knew. So the author invented the possibility and ended it in an open manner instead of bringing them together. I am not saying KB should not have brought Karigan and Zachary together, but how she did it was as bad as the worst romance novel and looks really bad for such an incredible series. - Everything Xandis: Zorro meets Don Juan meets Robin Hood was a really great character until he became two people. Now he is a bad character. Not because he is a bad guy, but because the character is bad. We had an established roguish guy that we generally felt bad for losing his father figure even though he was a thief. His apparent stupidity with calling Karigan as the vanishing girl out was dumb because it's not like magic is unknown and his apparent lack of realization or feeling out the situation was unlike the clever gentleman thief. Xandis is the ultimate series character assassination and even if he somehow stops the people who inhabit him (also really poorly done), it will be a plot device to redeem himself and also likely very expected and boring. - Sea King: See Xansi above. Combined with Mornhaven this is just bad. Bad bad bad. Mornhavon was great on his own merit. Adding the sea king could have been its own book separate from Mornhavon, seperate from Xandis and it would have been fine. Combined? FML. - Col Mapstone: This story arc was poorly done. The timing was weird and it detracted from the other great aspects of the story that were going on. I felt ripped away from good story to something I didn't care about. But...as Col Mapstone is an amazing character, why didn't I care about it? Because it was that badly done in the series. Again, this would have been better to have something leading to this, but she was essentially whisked away as if she's just some nobody who didn't deserve her own part in this book. A cornerstone of this book series relegated to being forgotten about halfway through the book with no real character growth since she came out of her issues with her brooch. Then to add the brooch scene after all this bad plot making...good lord. - Darrow Raider Leader: This is like syphilis. A gift that keeps on giving. At the beginning when they were raiding and first kidnapped the protagonist it was an interesting turn. When the Col told her riders they were going to war cool. The moment Karigan escaped they became a side story easily forgotten about until the next unfortunate time they unexpectedly popped up. By unexpected, I mean they were wrote in very badly for one reason or another. Going to the blanding with them...bad...popping up randomly as if waiting on the battlefield...really really bad. This is the type of "I forgot what I did and need a way to figure out what to do writing" is messy. - The priest: See Sea King above. Terry Goodkind did this with Blood of the Fold in the Sword of Truth Series. The book was okay. Definitely not his best or worst. Castlevania also does this. Adding the priest or church as a bad guy and making it a book is fine. Making it a somewhat side story in a book with many things going on...bad bad bad. Final note: I felt as though the author rushed way to many growth points for many characters or leaving out their deserved stories while adding unnecessary portions of the book like everything in the blanding. This really makes me believe that Kristen had created so much over the years that she really wanted to get them all in by the end and for some reason her editors didn't get through to her of why this wasn't good for the story. The bad guys in the series are bad. Generally, on their own with their own books I'm sure they would be okay. But since Mirror Sight, I feel like the author has gone on longwinded tangents to memorialize everything she has ever dreamed up in her world, instead of focusing on writing a quality story. Please please stop. Just focus on one thing at a time. Develop characters already there. Don't assassinate anyone. Shit, Estora could have gone off with the rogue Xandis with both of them being good guys somehow and that would have been way better than open marriages and kicking Zachary's character to the curb. Mirror Sight could have been a "character tale" stand alone story after the series instead of being the first of three books that really changed readers minds if this was a good series or not. I am not confident the series is going to end well. As with other series and characters, Karigan is too big to remain in her world and Zachary "can't live without her" and there is that poorly written prophesy from the gods about her really losing something that matters as if losing her skin, eye, and friends just can't compare to losing her love. Yeah, Zachary is going to die, and then probably Karigan and then the series will be bad, or someone will save them after death and it will still be bad. Please god...don't.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Excellent. Worth waiting for. Note: This is book 7 of an on-going series and therefore this review may refer to spoilers of earlier books. I highly recommend that readers start from the beginning of the series since it is one on-going tale and a reader may be lost if they just jump right in the middle not knowing what came before. In this book Karigan is dealing with the aftereffects of torture, both physical and psychological. Plus there is some kind of spiritual remnant of Nyssa, her torturer, Excellent. Worth waiting for. Note: This is book 7 of an on-going series and therefore this review may refer to spoilers of earlier books. I highly recommend that readers start from the beginning of the series since it is one on-going tale and a reader may be lost if they just jump right in the middle not knowing what came before. In this book Karigan is dealing with the aftereffects of torture, both physical and psychological. Plus there is some kind of spiritual remnant of Nyssa, her torturer, stuck in Karigan's head and Nyssa always berates Karigan and her ability to do something and basically makes her doubt herself and her abilities. The land is being terrorized by a band of thugs called the Darrow Raiders, who appear out of nowhere and kill the simple country folk, even children and babies, raid their supplies and then mysteriously disappear without a trace. To make matters worse Second Empire has amassed an army at a certain pass between the eastern mountain range, preventing trade. King Zachary gets his army together and goes to the pass to fight them. Karigan accidentally travels to Elitia and is put on trial for tresspass and may be killed. A very surprising development happens there. On the homefront the queen has to rule the realm by herself in Zachary's absence and she is also on the verge of giving birth to twins. Also we read from Rider Anna Ash's POV quite a bit and she has to break in a wild horse and deal with her issues of inadequency as a Rider since she didn't get the Call like all the other Riders did. At the end a very surprising event happens which I would love, love, love to tell you about but I won't because I don't want to spoil things for the readers. Overall a very satisfying novel in the series. Some action, a big battle, but also psychological battles and people just dealing with people problems. Now I start the wait until the next book and I'm trying to still my anticipation because I know it will probably be awhile. Yet I am anxious because of things that happen in this book that are left up in the air, unresolved, and I'm eager to see how that all works out.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Thank you so much to DAW and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book on exchange for an honest review. Wow. I've been reading the Green Riders series since the mid-2000s, so I'm absolutely already a fan. And as a fan. I would be lying if I didn't say that the previous two books in the series were just....okay. Winterlight, though? Winterlight has sucked me right back in. I read the latter 70% of this book in approximately 2 days, if that tells you anything. And in that time I experien Thank you so much to DAW and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book on exchange for an honest review. Wow. I've been reading the Green Riders series since the mid-2000s, so I'm absolutely already a fan. And as a fan. I would be lying if I didn't say that the previous two books in the series were just....okay. Winterlight, though? Winterlight has sucked me right back in. I read the latter 70% of this book in approximately 2 days, if that tells you anything. And in that time I experienced every single emotion possible. Kristen Britain managed to break my heart and repair it so many times in the course of these 800ish pages that it was unreal. Every single character was dealing with all of their fallout from previous books, and the emotional toll it took on them was obvious. This latest installment made me adore characters I loved already even more, and it tore me to pieces when something newly tragic happened. But her writing also had me laughing in the very next breath, or sighing at a sweet moment. A ship I have been wanting for so long....well, I got some great moments out of it, I'll just say that. Several plot threads are starting to wrap up, but so many questions were left to be answered in the 8th and final book of the series. The stakes for these characters are at an all time high, because no one is truly safe and I'm so scared for what she will do to them next. And THAT ENDING. I need so much more and I'm going to have to reread the whole series constantly while I wait for the next installment. Five out of five stars, and Kristen Britain has made this Green Rider fan a very happy camper.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alaina Eckensweiler

    This. Book. Was. AMAZING! This is my new favourite of the series. I couldn’t put it down. All 836 pages of it. I had to pace myself to not read it all over one weekend. It was just so good. I am dying to experience it all over again. I already started listening to the audiobook before I had even finished reading the book. I’m going to be stuck in Sacoridia for quite some time I think. Karigan and Zachary in this book are just perfect. The world building is phenomenal. I can picture everything in This. Book. Was. AMAZING! This is my new favourite of the series. I couldn’t put it down. All 836 pages of it. I had to pace myself to not read it all over one weekend. It was just so good. I am dying to experience it all over again. I already started listening to the audiobook before I had even finished reading the book. I’m going to be stuck in Sacoridia for quite some time I think. Karigan and Zachary in this book are just perfect. The world building is phenomenal. I can picture everything in such detail. Kristen Britain has truly out done herself with this masterpiece. It will have a special spot on my bookshelf forever.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Delacey

    I really enjoyed this story. So much happened. Some I predicted would happen, others were surprising twists. Some emotional ups and downs, that gave me all the feels. While this book did have the multiple storylines and POV's, this story for the most part, really focused on Karigan. If you are new to the series, you really should read from the start with Green Rider, as the stories build on each other, and will give depth and greater understanding to this book. Overall, and excellent instalment I really enjoyed this story. So much happened. Some I predicted would happen, others were surprising twists. Some emotional ups and downs, that gave me all the feels. While this book did have the multiple storylines and POV's, this story for the most part, really focused on Karigan. If you are new to the series, you really should read from the start with Green Rider, as the stories build on each other, and will give depth and greater understanding to this book. Overall, and excellent instalment to the series, and I eager for the next book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachael | Booklist Queen

    In the 7th book in the Green Rider series, Sir Karigan G'ladheon is making her way back to Sacor City after her eventful mission to the North. Although plagued by nightmares and self-doubt after being tortured, Karigan must continue to risk all for king and country as the Second Empire makes a final bid to attack the kingdom. Fantasy isn't generally my genre of choice, but I got hooked on the Green Rider series after the birth of my youngest, reading all six (gigantic) books in about a week. I've In the 7th book in the Green Rider series, Sir Karigan G'ladheon is making her way back to Sacor City after her eventful mission to the North. Although plagued by nightmares and self-doubt after being tortured, Karigan must continue to risk all for king and country as the Second Empire makes a final bid to attack the kingdom. Fantasy isn't generally my genre of choice, but I got hooked on the Green Rider series after the birth of my youngest, reading all six (gigantic) books in about a week. I've heard that this is the penultimate book in the series, and I have to admit that I am just as hooked now as I was when I started. In Winterlight, fans of the series will be pleased as Britain keeps up a constant stream of action while diving into the psychological toll of Karigan's many adventures. While the loose threads from the other books are mentioned, the focus is on Karigan and King Zachary taking on the Second Empire. I received a complimentary copy of this book from DAW through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Sullivan

    There was so much healing in this book for several characters that by the end I sighed in relief! Although I did feel a little whiplash from the many changing points of view, this book definitely is a return to glory for the series and leaves me thirsty for the next!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    My only complaint is that I love this story so much and devour these books within days of release only to have to wait years for another to come out. A truly fantastic piece of literature!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maiju

    Aaaaargh!! Now I've finished and I need someone to discuss this with!! Aaaaargh!! Now I've finished and I need someone to discuss this with!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Seren Irving

    started off a bit unsure as it felt different to the rest of the series but was fully satisfied by the ending - I think the next book is going to be great as Winterlight it seems was full of tidbits and suggestions

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alastair Patton

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay, so unpopular opinion… I truly enjoyed Winterlight and loved visiting Karigan and other favorite characters but… a couple of things have been bothering me Firstly, In my opinion, especially after we witness Karigan and Cade, Karigan and Zachary have no chemistry and I would ship either of them with any other character in the series. Secondly, I think Karigan is probably the most accurate portrayal of battlefield injuries out of every fantasy series I have read. However, I feel as if her injur Okay, so unpopular opinion… I truly enjoyed Winterlight and loved visiting Karigan and other favorite characters but… a couple of things have been bothering me Firstly, In my opinion, especially after we witness Karigan and Cade, Karigan and Zachary have no chemistry and I would ship either of them with any other character in the series. Secondly, I think Karigan is probably the most accurate portrayal of battlefield injuries out of every fantasy series I have read. However, I feel as if her injuries are used to make sure she is not a Mary Sue Thirdly, Karigan is a badass and I need her to recognize her own powerful badassery. The more she puts herself down the more I tend to agree with her… Ahhhhhhhhhhh I truly enjoyed it. Just had some irritations 😆 Also, the battle was AWESOME

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Now, if you are like me, and have been reading the Green Rider series at least since the publication of First Rider’s Call, then you are going to be happy. Ms. Britain does take many years to write her novels, causing fans to cry in the interim and read FanFiction, but boy howdy, this book was worth the wait. Mirror Sight (book 5) threw me for a loop, so I was happy to get back to “normal” in Firebrand (book 6). But my happiness about book 6 was far surpassed by Winterlight, the upcoming book 7. Now, if you are like me, and have been reading the Green Rider series at least since the publication of First Rider’s Call, then you are going to be happy. Ms. Britain does take many years to write her novels, causing fans to cry in the interim and read FanFiction, but boy howdy, this book was worth the wait. Mirror Sight (book 5) threw me for a loop, so I was happy to get back to “normal” in Firebrand (book 6). But my happiness about book 6 was far surpassed by Winterlight, the upcoming book 7. It was as if Ms. Britain heard all of our cries, and was just patiently waiting to release this book. We meet up with Karigan on the road, returning from meeting with the Ph’edrose. Unfortunately, on her way back to Saccor City, she is ambushed and kidnapped by a mysterious group who turn out to be in league with the Second Empire. But Karigan was not the only person who was kidnapped, and together, the captives find a way to escape and warn King and Captain. Warning also involves a great scene between the King and Karigan, as well as the King’s Aunt. From there, the plot centers around Sacoridia fighting the Second Empire and their raider allies and Karigan fighting mental battles with her dead torturer. There are several battles in numerous locations, involving old allies, as well as new. I think one of the reasons this book made me so giddy was that more of our favorite characters are re-united. The trials of the previous books have had Karigan mostly on her own, only contacting other parties as she finds them. In Winterlight, she is around other riders much more. We also finally see progress in the relationship between the King and Karigan, though not in a way I was expecting outside of FanFiction stories *squeals delightedly*. My one dissapointment was that little happened with the Ph’edrose which were discovered at the end of Firebrand. We get Eletians in Winterlight, so maybe book 8 will have more about Sacoridia’s new allies, the Ph’edrose. I guess we will just have to wait and see. 5 stars. Go order it now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    I don't really know what to say here. Is this book actually good? Is it nuanced enough that it would serve well on multiple rereads? I don't know. But I sure as hell enjoyed reading it. There is so much I can complain about in this series. The meandering storylines that never seem to converge or conclude, the casual and unnecessary violence and mentions of rape that seem to pervade all high fantasy books, a horribly dragged out and doomed romance, the ridiculous length of the books, the increasi I don't really know what to say here. Is this book actually good? Is it nuanced enough that it would serve well on multiple rereads? I don't know. But I sure as hell enjoyed reading it. There is so much I can complain about in this series. The meandering storylines that never seem to converge or conclude, the casual and unnecessary violence and mentions of rape that seem to pervade all high fantasy books, a horribly dragged out and doomed romance, the ridiculous length of the books, the increasing number of minor side characters whose only purpose is to die gruesome deaths, etc, etc, etc...And yet. AND YET, there are good things to be found in here, things that are difficult to find in other fantasy novels. And for all of her faults, Ms. Britain has an irritating ability and talent to somehow subvert character tropes that, in the hands of your run-of-the-mill fantasy writer (especially YA fantasy), would have made this series insufferable. Some examples of these subverted tropes in WINTERLIGHT include: (view spoiler)[ The Super Special Heroine: Karigan is larger the life. She is repeatedly doused with special titles after her many heroic achievements, has special abilities beyond everyone around her, has numerous men fall for her, BUT SOMEHOW Britain manages to avoid characterizing Karigan as some sort of goddess who is endlessly beloved by all. Karigan is refreshingly normal, even during the most fantastical adventures. The people around her get angry, irritated, and jealous of her, just as they would anybody else. Britain shrewdly takes time to write about the conflict between Karigan and Captain Connly. Connly, who IMO is well within his rights, demotes her as chief rider b/c she's not present enough to attend to her duties. When Karigan becomes Lady Winterlight, most people aren't bending over backwards for her. They're all pretty exasperated or amused. It's these kind of down-to-earth behaviors from everyone, including Karigan herself, that stop her from descending into what is becoming a really common badass female that everyone loves and adores. It almost reminds me of Harry Potter or Aang from ATLA, who are also very special someones managing fantastical feats as young children, but somehow they retain a sense of normalcy. The love triangle: idk if everyone would qualify the Zachary/Karigan/Estora thing a love triangle, but I do, and normally I discard books that have an endlessly waffling romance. But again, SOMEHOW, Britain handles this in a way that, although super irritating at times, reads as real heartache. It might have something to do with the way everyone behaves with as much honor as they possibly can. Karigan does not go weak at the knees and swoon endlessly every time Zachary drops near. If he makes an advance on her, she steps back, knowing they can't be together. It has been really annoying to watch this dragged out over five (FIVE!!!!) books, but it still works because the emotion is there. Even if you don't ship Karigan and Zachary, it's hard not to feel for them and Estora. That's what I have to say about the tropes. Onto my general thoughts and complaints about this book: Second Empire. They were introduced in book three, and I was happy to see them done with in this book (though I'm irritated that Lala didn't just die). I was never really on board with this enemy. In Book 2, I got the sense that Mornhavon's people were starting to get sick of him, especially after he massacred the Lion regiment, and then Britain expects me to believe that 1000 years after his death, which was enough for everyone else to lose memory of magic and how the D'Yer wall was created, Mornhavon still has a big enough following to create an organized army and start a substantial insurgence? I just never bought the motivation for these people, especially since they were never persecuted in modern Sacoridia. Why are they fighting on Mornhavon's behalf? What exactly do they have to gain or lose by it? It's never been clear, and I always found this part of the series really weak. Much more interesting to me is the original villain, Mornhavon himself, and the lingering sadness at Hadriax's betrayal. Mornhavon has much more clear motivations than Grandmother, General Birch, or any other Second Empire idiot: He first needed etherea to bring back to Arcosia, then he wanted dominance over the land so he could control the etherea, then he had to manage the retaliation from the native residents, and slowly this morphed into just an obsession to discover new monstrous ways to use etherea and gain power for himself. This all made sense to me, and it was all the more intriguing when set against Hadriax, who was slowly pulling away from him. Grandmother and General Birch didn't have half his motives or character depth. 2. I really liked the Connly/Karigan conflict, that Britain allowed time for it in an otherwise totally action-packed book. A very good example of how you can understand a character (Connly) and yet be irritated with him at the same time. 3. I never shipped Karigan/Zachary (I liked Alton and Yates), but I don't dislike how their story played out here. I just hope they get some proper make out sessions and maybe even some sex in the next book, because THIS HAS GONE ON TOO LONG, FOLKS. 4. The Amberhill/Akarion thing is fucking weird. I also found Beryl's death a little anticlimactic. I can see why she died for plot reasons, but because her character no longer had any desires, purpose, or anything specific beyond her Green Rider duties, it just seemed a little trite, as if Britain was like "welp. she's got no more development that I can think of, so time to kill her off!" 5. I don't know why everyone in this fandom hates Estora, but I always liked her, and my opinion of her only rose in this book. She is a badass classy bitch. I like her. I feel sad for her. :'( (hide spoiler)] Overall, I thought this book was far better than its two predecessors. Mirror Sight was just like wtf???? and then Firebrand was both boring and almost a carbon copy of High King's Tomb. WINTERLIGHT, in contrast, was a jam-packed non-stop thrill ride, which is normally not the sort of book I go for, but it worked for me (at least on a first read) b/c we got to spend time with favorite characters. WINTERLIGHT also worked for me b/c I just decided to lower my expectations. If you want a beautifully plotted and perfectly paced & characterized fantasy series, stick with Harry Potter and Megan Whalen Turner (or, barring those series, watch Avatar The Last Airbender). If you want a sweeping epic romantic fantasy series that's simultaneously written with integrity and satisfies cravings for all your favorite romance tropes, steer your eyes towards Sharon Shinn. The GREEN RIDER books are none of these things. Do not come here for well done plotcraft or satisfying romance. Come for the characters, because Britain is genuinely good at writing complex individuals that you feel for, and the green riders are just plain fun to read about. All in all, GREEN RIDER is a roller coaster ride, a massive series that, if you're able to ignore its more irritating and tiresome qualities, does have some awesome old-school fantasy shenanigans and characters. In conclusion: this was a fun book. I liked it. It's probably my favorite after books 1 & 2. I had been considering not continuing with this series, but I'm glad I did.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I was lucky enough to gain access to an ARC of Winterlight and, as with the entire series, I devoured it within a couple of days. I will hold off on posting my full review until it is released, but as with the previous books, this book found me when I needed it most. I can’t wait to reread it when my finished copy arrives.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sheena Sheikh

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book is not as good as the previous books. There is a lot going on and kudos to the author for her imagination and being able to link complex storylines together. Much of it resolves well where necessary but some plots literally get resolved in a few lines ! The tell rather than show elements show a weakness in authorship and the many subplots made the story feel quite unwieldy. The relationship between Karigan and Zachary has been milked to within an inch of its life! Even as a possibility The book is not as good as the previous books. There is a lot going on and kudos to the author for her imagination and being able to link complex storylines together. Much of it resolves well where necessary but some plots literally get resolved in a few lines ! The tell rather than show elements show a weakness in authorship and the many subplots made the story feel quite unwieldy. The relationship between Karigan and Zachary has been milked to within an inch of its life! Even as a possibility arises to offer a way forward it is soiled by guilt. Are there any relationships in this series that are mature , positive and have longevity ? NO! Not one real love affair , just a series of non starters or failures or long distance 😂 it’s actually ridiculous! The K&Z love affair is like a sitcom. I’m beginning to see that by book 7 the author has a ploy to keep readers hooked by keeping those two apart , longing for each other ...jees...but a great author can keep a reader hooked even if the main characters are already together (Wheel of Time for instance ). By book 7 this seriously could have been done here. Karigan by now should really be embracing her power more snd the hints at the deeper supernatural elements could be explored. Although Karigan is deeply traumatised there is still a lack of stability in jer and how she allows other characters to treat her. Her new title doesn’t even get her wondering or the author more than hinting that there is a lot more to her than has been let on so far. A few titles thrown in to tell the reader but a lack of depth and development reign supreme. There is a shed load of potential in the storyline but good and well deserved editorial advice is lacking! I might read the next books in the series but I won’t buy them in the first week - if I do - because I’ve lost faith in the view that the series‘ later books will be worth the £9.99. Hopefully this won’t die a nasty literary death like True Blood did !

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily Elizabeth

    Ok so I was really looking forward to this book. Unlike other readers I enjoyed book 5, though I acknowledge some character issues and that it felt like a departure from the storyline. Book 6 was ok and at least we got some romantic development, but this book felt needlessly long and tedious. There are too many storylines being introduced and all of them felt chaotic. I also am getting a little tired of how stalwart Karigan is. Girl needs to ask for a vacation. Spoilers below 👇 My biggest gripes Ok so I was really looking forward to this book. Unlike other readers I enjoyed book 5, though I acknowledge some character issues and that it felt like a departure from the storyline. Book 6 was ok and at least we got some romantic development, but this book felt needlessly long and tedious. There are too many storylines being introduced and all of them felt chaotic. I also am getting a little tired of how stalwart Karigan is. Girl needs to ask for a vacation. Spoilers below 👇 My biggest gripes are as follows: 1. Who are the Varosians and why do we have to deal with them kidnapping the captain?? Unnecessary! 2. Did Beryl really need to send a message back explaining that it’s dragons?? I feel like they should have figured this out by now! Also, how did she know where to find the shield?? Ghostly knowledge? 3. The first half of the book was all about getting the orb and they didn’t even get to KEEP the orb. Felt like the storyline wasn’t necessary and did we seriously need another evil force (Darrow Raiders) working against them? Not really! 4. Was impressed that Karigan did not immediately recover from some serious PTSD but was disappointed that she didn’t seek some sort of real mental/emotional support. Karigan has always come across as too self suffering and her refusal to ever ask for help seems unhealthy. This felt like a squandered opportunity for growth and, after all, 2021 is all about healthy ~boundaries~ 5. The dragon storyline also seems weird and disconnected. Really wish Amberhill was still just a cheeky thief 6. Look, I like Anna Ash but at this point in the series I don’t need to hear about her helping a servant girl who was mean to her. In general there were just a lot of weird transitions between chapters or clunky storylines. I love these books and still enjoyed this one but I think it’s time for the series to gracefully make its way to a conclusion.

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