The Double Phoenix

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Posted by spragujs on February 17, 2011

Blackveil cover artKristen Britain’s fourth Green Rider novel, Blackveil, came out February 1.  Having now read through it I am extremely happy to have gotten a new novel.  Before I get started though, a blurb:

Viewings at a masquerade ball celebration before the King’s wedding give us glimpses of events that may have a huge impact on Sacoridia.  Karigan gets sent to Blackveil on a joint Eletian and Sacoridian expedition.  Alton meets Karigan’s best friend and minstrel, Estral, and they start making progress on fixing the D’Yer wall.  Meanwhile, the Second Empire’s leaders continue to do their utmost to bring about the downfall of Sacoridia.

The High King’s Tomb also introduced Lord Amberhill to us, and he plays an interesting, almost bit part in this novel.  I have a feeling he’s going to turn out a big part of this story in the end, but I don’t currently know just how big.  He also makes some rather unfortunate decisions in his stint throughout these couple novels.

I also feel I’ve got a bit of a handle on Karigan.  She’s bad at relationships.  Just about any of them.  I can think of only two times when her bad assumptions are not her fault.  And she’s decidedly selfish when it comes to some of these things.  I know she’s a stubborn girl, but seriously, when you already know you’re lonely, why in the world would you push away your closest friends?  That loneliness is part of why I think she makes those bad decisions, but I guess if she made all the right ones all the time, she’d be a less interesting character.  I do wish she’d make better decisions at least on occasion!  At least she and Stevic made up at the beginning of this one!  😀  Also, Stevic was finally back in the book!  😉

Another thing I’ve noticed is that Karigan herself seems to be the deus ex machina of these books.  I think most of the things she’s done as such have been explained (which I suppose makes her not much of an actual deus ex machina), but I wish we could see more of her out of the box thinking and skills saving the day instead of who she is being the Big Thing.

And the ending.  I don’t know if it’s come across in my collection of posts, but endings really help make a book for me.  They’re extremely important in making a book feel like a finished product, in particular when the author only comes out with a book once every 4 years or so.  (Seriously, 1998, 2003, 2007, and now 2011.)  This is the first time I’ve been disappointed.  Matter of fact, I very much liked the way the other books ended.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s an ending, and even a good one for some of the characters (with high hopes and potential drama insinuated for the next book in those endings), but the very end of Blackveil, with the likelihood of it being another 4 years till the next book definitely leaves something to be desired.

All that being said, I really enjoyed this book!  So many things happen (Estora gets to be a badass), and it seems that the world might start being a somewhat less dark place than it seemed in the last couple, though I’m sure there are still many dire straights left in store for our favorite Sacoridians, and I can’t wait until I get to read of their continued exploits!  (Please, please let it be less than 4 years.)


3 Responses to “Blackveil”

  1. ~ap~ said

    Wow… FOUR years? That’s just agony!

    Any idea how many more books are to be written?

  2. Spragujs said

    Yeah, 4 yrs is my estimate, but based on the past publishing record…

    And no, unfortunately, I haven’t heard any rumors of how many there could be. I hope lots! 🙂

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