Review: Firebrand by Kristen Britain

February 7, 2017
Review: Firebrand by Kristen BritainFirebrand by Kristen Britain
Series: Green Rider #6
Published by Daw Books on February 28th 2017
Pages: 816

Thanks to Daw Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Just a quick reminder that while my review is spoiler free for Firebrand, there are likely spoilers for the previous books.

There is something about returning to read a new book the Green Rider series that just makes me happy. Maybe it is because I this is one of the first series I read in the fantasy genre, but I just find them to be very addictive, comfort reads that make me want to curl up with it until I finish. This one was no exception.

With Firebrand, Karigan returns to her own time, so it includes many of our favorite characters from books past. I know not everyone was thrilled with the change in setting/characters/time period with the last book, though I personally really enjoyed it. For those that were less than thrilled, fear not, this book is much in line with the first 4 books in the series.

Karigan is distraught and heartbroken over leaving Cade behind. She misses him deeply and feels guilt over leaving him, not knowing if he is still alive or not. In some ways, it was overwhelming, and impacted her personality a bit. But not so much that I felt it overdone or a departure from how she should be. Poor Karigan finally found love with someone where there were no restraints, it was wonderful for her. At least not until she returned to her time.

For readers who may have found Karigan whiny in past books (not my word, but one I have seen mentioned), you may feel some of the same issues with this one. I can’t say for certain as I have always enjoyed Karigan, so it felt like a reasonable amount of upset. But this is Karigan, so you know she won’t let it keep her from doing her duty. She always finds a well of strength when needed, and it’s why I enjoy her so much. I also loved that with this book, she earns a new level of distinction amongst her peers.  (Sorry, I won’t tell you what it is exactly, you’ll have to read it to find out) 

It is not long until a mission comes up that requires Karigan and her unique abilities, which seems a good way to get her to focus on something other than her loss. This journey takes her toward enemy lines and is a mission that no one is sure can be completed. It’s a long-shot, but isn’t that what Karigan does best?

In the mean time, Grandmother is back and sets her evil, necromancy hands to work trying to upheave Sacoridia. The creature she resurrects is far more evil and destructive than is first apparent. It’s abilities cause serious upset in the palace.  I have to admit, I was not expecting the twist that came from this and found it to be a great read. We also got to see King Zachary taken out of his element, pushed to new limits and be tested in ways he has never been before.

Speaking of Zachary, there was the continued romantic tension between Zachary and Karigan, you could feel his heart ache for her as she was aching for the loss of Cade. One of these days, I really hope that Britain allows Karigan to finding lasting happiness with someone, because I just don’t think her heart can take more heartbreak. King Zachary is the one I felt frustrated with at times as I wished he could just stop reopening old wounds and let her move on.

While bad things happen in the book, as usual, over all I leave the book feeling positive, even if I know there is more trouble ahead for the characters (which, yes, there is more trouble coming for Book 7. We got a very interesting glimpse of it in the end), but it’s never overwhelming, and it seems like there is always enough positive achieved that it overshadows everything else. Again, I am left waiting for the next installment so I can curl up again and enjoy the ride.

Lisa Taylor
See Me.

Wrap Up

One Comment

  • MW March 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I personally think Britain wrote herself into a corner with Karigan and Zachary. The chemistry between those two is too good, to the point that every single other character around them recognizes it. Cade, and Karigans obsession with him after his death, often feels forced to me in comparison.

    I felt this was more of a three star book. It was fun to read, but the plot dragged. I don’t care about Alton at all. It was difficult not to skip his passages. The servant girl was probably the only highlight of the side storyline, but her significance also seemed to come about randomly.

    The original mission to go out and find a mysterious race to help in the coming war could have been much more interesting, if the story wasn’t interrupted by characters doing stupid things that they spent half a chapter deciding not to do.

    The Villains of this book were too neatly disposed of, although they were never very compelling and I doubt I’ll miss them. This was a checkbox book for plot. Karigan didn’t seem to change much outside of her mental breakdowns and her realization about the political nature of her special status. I’m hoping the next book gives her more growth. Grief is cyclical but this book really beat us over the head with it. I was reminded of Harry Potter Book 5 — where I spent 500 pages wanting to slap the scar off Harry’s face. Please, Kristen. Move it off the Cade weepy train.

    I actually appreciated seeing how Zachary suffered and how he was making a reach toward Karigan, albeit too late. He seemed much more human in this book than he had previously. I don’t really want him to play the honorable King in regards to her or his other impulses. Seeing him screw up was refreshing. Seeing him recognize Estora’s self motivating attitude regarding the people she “cares” for was also refreshing. Yeah we all know it was a good political match, but she basically raped him into a marriage. And the effects of that shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

    Also, thank god someone told Karigan to get smart about who she hangs out with. Too bad none of her living friends have such good advice.

    Anyway, knock off a star and I mostly kind of agree with all this.