“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?”
I have been with the Green Rider series for years, the first book will always have a special place in my heart! It was with some trepidation, I won’t lie, that I returned to the series after Mirror Sight which was somewhat of a struggle to get through for me! However I am a stubborn reader and like to see series through to the very bitter end!
Firebrand sees us back in the present time and back to the realm that we started Green Rider in. The book starts right out after Karigan gets back and is on leave recovering from her time in the future and all that happened in Blackveil.
This book features multiple POV of some of our old characters and also a few of the new ones introduced in this book.
Meanwhile we see more of Second Empire and Grandmother – who is up to her usual evil, creepy tricks! She stirs up old magic and summons an shapeshifting Ice Elemental to help her bring down the Castle, King Zachary and pregnant Estora. As a knitter myself – its especially creepy for what she is managing to do with her yarn! I did feel that her scenes felt more authentic – with her magic having a cost and ultimately the cause for her karmic end!
Estora features quite heavily in this book – which if you are a Karigan / Zachary shipper will annoy you and be painful reading! However I can’t help but feel a sense of an axe hanging over Estora’s head – surely during childbirth something will happen to her to clear the way for Karigan and Zachary – Several references to the complication of birthing twins and the strain on the Queens health!
Luckily as this book is titled Firebrand in reference to the title the Eletians have given King Zachary. We get to spend a good portion of the book reading from Zachary’s point of view which if you are an original Green Rider follower will keep you happy! It also gives us the opportunity to see into the tight leash Zachary keeps on his emotions and the Fire that he keeps burning inside his berserker heart! Witnessing him in battles was great to read and reminds you that he is a master swordsman, deadly, skilled, cunning and beautiful!
I loved the old myths that are being revisited and brought to life – you start to feel the timeline of the upend coming war that must soon be fought. The chess pieces are moving into place and King Zachary with the help of his Riders are fighting to gain the necessary allies of old!
As a mythic creature lover – I enjoyed the Gryphons who remind me of my own capricious house cat! The timing was a little cheesy – as they continued to swoop in and save the day!
Karigan is still mourning the loss of Cade – meaning that her interaction with her friends and characters of old is a little stunted, as she tries to keep everyone at bay to wallow in her grief. Sometimes I get frustrated when the main characters do it – but Karigan is still the strong, snarky hero that I know and love, so I didn’t find it too frustrating – give the girl a break, so much has happened to her and it only gets worse in this book! However I did reach my limit with her torture scene – which had echoes of Jamie Fraser at the whipping post – I had to read this in stages as it was a little too hard for me. Please, please karma, someone, whoever – give this girl some easy missions and happiness in the future!!! I mean the girl is getting used by The Gods, her country and the Eletians!
She does have some development as a character – what with her realising her mistake of trying to deal with everything on her own and mending her friendship with Astral!
All in all – I did feel the book was a little slow in places, mainly the beginning – but this may be due to the extended period I have spent away from the series between the last book and this one! I did feel the main plot of the book – Karigan finding the P’ehdrosian only got maybe 20 pages or so right at the end! I am glad also that some of what Karigan learnt in the future gets referenced in this chapter, drawing the books together.
Not many of the loose ends get tied up and even more get added to it – like Anna the Ash girl who has just been made an honorary Green Rider even without abilities. Its great that the Riders are moving forward with the times – but I am not sure where the story is going with this! Hopefully we will get all our answers in the end.
Rating – 3.5 Stars!
If you enjoyed this book, I think you will also enjoy;
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Hero and the crown by Robin McKinley
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
What I will be reading next;
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
What I am currently listening to;
Okay so as its starting to get sunny here in the UK I have finally dusted off the Summer playlist and getting into the sunshine mood
Also as I have just started to watch Supernatural I have been listening to one of the main songs from the first few episodes. As of yet I haven’t picked between Dean and Sam!