- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (Feb. 7 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0756407087
- ISBN-13: 978-0756407087
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.7 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 640 g
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #416,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Blackveil Paperback – Feb 7 2012
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Praise for the Green Rider series:
“Green Rider is a wonderfully captivating heroic fantasy adventure.... Kristen Britain’s likable heroine and fast-paced plot kept me eagerly turning pages. This is the rarest of finds: a truly enjoyable read.” —Terry Goodkind, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Sword of Truth series
"Kristen Britain is one of the most astonishing fantasy writers working today. She has created a richly imagined world where magic is as real as courage, and where a young woman's heroism can change the course of history." ―Tess Gerritsen, author of The Apprentice
"Britain keeps the excitement high from beginning to end, balancing epic magical battles with the humor and camaraderie of Karigan and her fellow riders." ―Publishers Weekly
"Readers of epic fantasy and series followers will want this finely honed, skillfully crafted tale."―Library Journal
“The intermittent sense of foreboding is offset by a healthy dose of old-fashioned adventure—kidnappings, a noble thief, near drowning, divine visitations, ghosts, a visit to an upscale brothel, and some very bad knife throwing—that provides a satisfying temporary conclusion despite this being very much a middle novel with serious nastiness still looming.” —Locus
“The gifted Ms. Britain writes with ease and grace as she creates a mesmerizing fantasy ambiance and an appealing heroine quite free of normal clichés.” —RT Reviews
“This captivating fantasy is filled with adventure, action, and heroes. Karigan grows tremendously as a person and in the end finds her own place in this world. The characters, including minor ones, are well-developed and the plot is complex enough to get the reader thinking. This is a real page-turner.” —VOYA
"Kristen Britain writes so beautifully that I never want to have to put her books down." ―Fantasy Book Review
About the Author
Kristen Britain is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Green Rider series. She lives in an adobe house in the high desert of the American Southwest beneath the big sky and among lizards, hummingbirds, and tumbleweeds. Kristen can be found online at kristenbritain.com.
Top customer reviews
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I didn't particularly care about for any of the other characters, if they lived or died, or their subplots. Maybe it has been too long since I read the other books in the series and I didn't remember much about them.
There are a few surprising moments, but much of the plot line is predictable. I did still enjoy reading it and found it hard to put down. It also ends in a cliffhanger which has me eagerly awaiting for the next book(s).
Ms. Britain has not lost her knack of making characters sympathetic, of making simple dialogues interesting and touching at times, but this synopsis is a much harder sell than previous ones where there was more action, more friendship, more heroism and less defeatism. The start of the book is slow. There is much in the way of exposition, and instead of later finding out that there was much actually happening at the same time like in High King's Tomb, later on the reader figures it was still mostly exposition. There is a great deal about Amberhill's departure from Sacor City that seems hard to connect to the actual problems in Sacoridia. It was clumsy to spend so much time on his adventure, I find, if it needed to be elaborated, it could have been done in a following book.
It is obvious to me that the author has tried to make her characters more complex, more conflicted this time around. For example, Karigan must discuss adult topics with her father, as an adult affected by his actions. And I think the struggle for Karigan to understand her father sets the pace of the book. Other characters seem to evolve, Alton, Laren, Zachary and especially Estora who is almost the inverse in terms of character to Karigan. And because Karigan struggles with new roles, and struggles to make choices, this adds to the sense of her isolation.
The tone of the book is much darker than previous ones, of course it makes sense that a trip to Blackveil would be filled with hardships, but all of the other subplots are also very dark in nature. Karigan finds herself isolated or in the process of being isolated in much of the book. Because much of our sympathy is already with Karigan, we also feel bad when she is discouraged. Another factor in why the book is harder to like is despite a few skirmishes, Karigan is less active, less in charge in this book. Much of the action is led by the Eletians, and they just aren't all that easy to empathise since they disdain everyone else and keep their agendas hidden. A political subplot at the castle also makes for hard reading, though it was one of the craftiest pieces of story Ms. Britain has come up with this book. It breaks a dilemma in the series, and creates great dramatic tension.
The ending is also not as well handled as for previous books. I think the actual climax comes too soon. Then the story rushes through some of the most interesting events in the book, when it should have been rewarding us with more actually happening to unravel the plot. A few new ideas are introduced at that moment and a few legendary characters come and go so quickly that it feels like a shame they weren't used more. It's clear that one of those ideas, the tumbler "jester god" is present at another time in the book, but the link seems tenuous and it is not clear enough how the two events relate, in my opinion. And there is the cliffhanger. Actually one should say the cliffhangers. Amberhill's seemingly unconnected story arc ends on a note of suspense that though seems completely unrelated the the Blackveil events, is actually interesting. It is an obvious sequel setting. The other cliffhanger is related to the main story, and is not a thing of suspense. It does not leave us thinking "how?", as in "how is this possible?" or "how did this happen?" or "how will so and so manage from there?". It leaves us asking "what?", as in "what the heck?". That is not suspense, that is curiousity. It leaves us curious.
In previous books, despite the intended sequels, the author still managed to complete her story arcs with some sort of conclusion. In this one, this does not really happen for the main plot and a few other subplots. It does give us a little triumph, but almost no time to enjoy it. Also in this book, the subplots don't come together as neatly at the end as they did in Green Rider and High King's Tomb. Instead, much of the outcome, story and characters, is scattered. I understand this might have been the author's intention, to make the fight with Morhavon more immediate, more desperate, (like the second book of a trilogy, never mind this is book 4 and that I don't think the series is intended for 5 books) but it makes for a less cathartic ending and certainly a more frustrating read.
For example, the Lord Amberhill Sea King mission could easily be removed and the story would move along nicely - Lord Amberhill is the Jar Jar Binks of the Green Rider series!
It doesn't need to be prolonged - I'm ready for the whole thing to come to an end, especially when there is a 4-year average wait between volumes.
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