Hey, guys! Welcome to Boozy Books for this week! I am C, ready to promote and pair another delicious read!
I was meant to be doing Guy Gavriel Kay’s newest book this week, but I kinda dropped the ball on finishing that book because things happened and stuff, so I’m going to do an old favorite of mine. One I don’t have to read because I’ve read it often enough to recommend AND pair it without reading it again.
Green Rider by Kristen Britain.
Funny story. That novel is actually how A and I met for the first time. Not because we’re both huge fans of the book — I’m not sure if A ever read it, actually — but because a shared acquaintance of ours wanted to turn it into a movie. Needless to say, that whole venture didn’t work out, but A and I realized we made a damn fine partnership, and that’s how the seeds of Nerd Cactus germinated. Then Mercutio happened, and, lo, a wonderful partnership was born.
So, I guess we have this book to thank for our magic here.
Green Rider is not high art. It is a fairly typical fantasy with clear good guys, horses, magic, a mission against time to save the Kingdom, and a very clear love of trees. It’s comfortable and comforting, flowing over the fantasy world like silk over skin, treading some familiar paths with smart style and damn fine prose. It is eminently enjoyable, easy, and the perfect read for when you’re stuck on an airplane for hours at a time because you’re traveling to Ireland (which is totally when I first read it). There’s a reluctant hero, a ghost, dying magic, a much-maligned messenger service, and a valiant King who doesn’t want to be King but does a damn good job. What is there not to love, really?
Karigan G’ladheon — oh, yeah, the main character is a girl! — is a piss poor student and has no idea how to behave in a matter befitting her family’s station as wealthy merchants. She gets kicked out of school and is on her way home when a dying Green Rider falls into her path, begging her to take his message to the King for love of country. She doesn’t want to, but ultimately agrees to take his sword, his horse, and his brooch all the way to Sacor City (the capital of Sacoridia). Fun thing, the brooch is magical, a remnant of Sacoridia’s cataclysmic war of independence thousands of years ago, and the problems facing Karigan and Condor (her horse) as she delivers her message and deals with the consequences of her actions (while just trying to go home) are much larger than they first appear. But if there’s one word that describes Karigan, it’s tenacious, and she’ll meet any problem head on. (And I mean that literally, because she has no idea what the meaning of the word ‘subtle’ is.)
Like I said, we’re not treading any new ground here. There’s a wall, magic is dying and people hate it, there’s a species that are basically elves, an ancient evil that is stirring, and a hero who really just wants to go home, none of which are particularly new. But sometimes you just want to read about scrappy good guys fighting against scheming bad guys while swinging swords and using magic. And Green Rider is PERFECT for that.
Now… what to drink with this? Nothing green. This isn’t St. Patrick’s Day, OK? But definitely something comforting. Something homey and smooth and easy. Nothing fussy at all. Like a nice cup of tea on a rainy day… only alcoholic. So, what I’m going to do is give you a couple of options, one hot and one cold. For the hot, I’m going Bourbon Hot Toddy (if I can drink it when I’m sick, I know it’s right for this book). For the cold? Let’s go spiked apple cider, baby! I think these apple cider cocktails seem pretty damn good. What about you?
Anyway… that’s it for me today! A will be here tomorrow with the Shakesdown! (Seriously… how did it take me almost two years to put that one together?!) Have a good weekend, and I’ll see y’all Sunday.