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The High King's Tomb: Green Rider    by Kristen Britain order for
High King's Tomb
by Kristen Britain
Order:  USA  Can
Daw, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The High King's Tomb is the third book in Kristen Britain's Green Rider series. Like the previous episodes, it focuses on Karigan G'ladheon, a spirited Green Rider, and the adventures she encounters in her service to the king of Sacordia.

Where the last book left off, Karigan had sent evil wizard Mornhavon some time into the future. However, the D'Yer Wall was still damaged, where Mornhavon had tried to break through from the Blackveil Forest. Now, it is a race against time to mend the breach in the wall before Mornhavon comes back, but the wall is not making it easy - its guardians refuse to let in the one man who could help rebuild it. Also, the breach in the wall has allowed another threat to rise – the people of the Second Empire have become more powerful and want to release the power of Blackveil Forest so they can take over Sacordia. To make matters worse, the thief Raven Mask (long thought retired) has returned, and seems to be unknowingly working for the Second Empire.

To help fix the breach before it is too late, Karigan is sent on a mission to find a book that will tell them how to mend the wall, and also to check on a spy they have in Mirwell, a province that has loose connections to the Second Empire. A new Rider is sent to accompany her, but he turns into more of a hindrance than a help for most of the journey. On top of all of this, the king's fiancée is kidnapped and the Elitians have taken up residence in front of the castle. This is one mission that Karigan is not sure she will survive.

Karigan G'ladheon is the perfect epic fantasy heroine. Strong and determined, she also is very human, especially when it comes to her best friend marrying her crush. In The High King's Tomb, Britain also delves a little deeper into Karigan's Green Rider powers, which turn out to be greater than she understood. A good main character helps make a great read, but so does the story. Britian deftly weaves together different plot elements into a strong climax. This helps keep up the pacing in this hefty volume. The only problem I had with it is that the title does not become clear until the last hundred pages or so, which is not a concern with a shorter novel, but with a 679-page tome, it can leave the reader a little on edge.

The High King's Tomb is a good, solid epic fantasy, but it does need to be read after the first two books in the Green Rider series for it to make any sense. In fact, I think this third book reflects a strengthening in Kristen Britain's writing.

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