Thank you, NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group/DAW Books for giving me a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
THIS is the Green Rider book I hoped for after the last one. Thank you, Kristen! I could not have been more excited to have this book in my hands (well, my Kindle Fire in my hands since I received it as an eARC), and I absolutely could not stop reading this book! After the disappointment that was Mirror Sight, I was eager to get my hands on Firebrand in hopes that everything that disappointed me in Mirror Sight would be remedied, and let me tell you it was. Even if you don’t feel the same way I do about the previous book, you will be thrilled to read this book!
Title: Firebrand (Green Rider #6)
Author: Kristen Britain
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group/DAW Books
Release date: February 28, 2017
Length: 816 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis (from Goodreads): “Green Rider Karigan G’ladheon, not yet recovered in heart or mind from her unexpected trip through time, is assigned a new mission. She must seek out the legendary creatures called p’ehdrosian to renew an alliance of old in the face of dire threats from enemies who seek to destroy Sacoridia using dark magic.
Each step on her journey northward grows more perilous as she faces attacks from groundmites, encounters with ghosts, and, ultimately, the threat of the necromancer and leader of Second Empire, Grandmother, as they approach the enemy encampment in the Lone Forest.
Meanwhile, King Zachary of Sacoridia has been kidnapped by an ice elemental who is allied with Second Empire. Can Karigan free her king from captivity with just two allies by her side?”
Okay, breathe. Let me gather all my thoughts about this book.
Wait, I can’t. Gif required.
But also a bit of this:
Okay, so now to use my words.
Normally, I don’t like the flip-flipping of multiple POVs, especially when there are a vast amount of characters, but I found myself pleasantly surprised by this and actually desiring more POVs for certain characters *coughZacharycough*. It really should be no surprise that I’m a HUGE Karigan/Zachary shipper, so the events of the last book left me crushed. In regards to that, this book tempted and teased you in the best way possible.
World-building: Amazinggggg. As always. I loved the snippets we get into the Second Empire. They make me nervous, and while my nerves were quelled for the time being, I became apprehensive about other things (for obvious reasons). I also liked how we learned a bit more of the mythical Eletians, and how these things that were once thought to be lost forever or just myth have come to pass. It foreshadows so many potential things.
Characters: The thing about this book, there aren’t any characters I don’t like. I may feel…uncomfortable when it comes to certain characters, but I even actually like Estora despite the crap that happened in the last book. She’s kind, and she proves herself multiple times over in this book. I really can’t hate her besides the fact that she’s married to Zachary. *cries* I loved diving deeper into Karigan and Estral’s friendship. #friendshipgoals I love how the two are able to speak honestly to one another, especially as that seems to be a fault of Karigan’s–keeping things to herself. Also, can I have more of Zachary, please? What’s not to like about this guy, really? I absolutely feel for him. He never wanted to be king–or expected to be–so to read about his internal struggle, his conflicting feelings for Estora and Karigan, it hurts my heart! His desire to protect his country and its citizens at all cost is admirable, and I could never bring myself to dislike him.
As for Enver… Well, okay, so I liked him in the beginning, but almost feral-like protectiveness he develops for Karigan disturbs me. I won’t say why, but if you’ve read the book, you’ll understand. Maybe it’s because I don’t like anything getting between Karigan and Zachary but still, lol. I did like how helpful Enver proved himself as an asset over the course of the book, and I’m hoping this “growing” he’s doing will pass with someone else.
I do wonder, however, how much a bigger role Anna will play. She seems like a nice enough girl for sure, but… I’m not sure how I feel about her intrusiveness into the Green Riders. I didn’t mind reading chapters in her POV, as she seemed genuinely to care for the Riders and the queen, but bringing characters like this into the series so late, it makes me skeptical.
I will say, too, that I disliked how attached Karigan seemed to Cade. I didn’t understand their romantic feelings for one another in the previous book, and I saw Cade as an outlet for Karigan’s feelings for Zachary. I do love how powerful Karigan has become, but sometimes I wonder if the way things ended…was too easy. That might seem quite harsh considering what Karigan went through, and I know she would go through it a thousand times over than betray her king. However, I can relate a bit to her dark feelings and how she wanted to give up.
I devoured this book. If you’ve been waiting for something–anything–to happen between Karigan and Zachary, this book won’t disappoint you. If you’re afraid it might be lacking in the way Mirror Sight did, you’ll be glad to read this book. My main concern right now is this: it’s been stated by an Eletian that Karigan is not bound to this world and belongs to no one, but her connection with Zachary is undeniable strong in more than just the physical sense. What does the author mean by teasing is with their romantic feelings, if it won’t turn into anything? Also, I get this strange feeling that Karigan may not make it in the end, if you catch my meaning.
Also, I very much teared up at any scene between Zachary and Karigan, especially in the final 1/4 of the book.
Ah, now to wait a bajillion years for the next book! *dies*