Series: Green Rider Book 7.5
Length: 208 pages
First Published: 2023
I received a complimentary copy of this book from DAW through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Before the eighth and final book of the Green Rider series, Kristen Britain tells the backstory of fan-favorite character Laren Mapstone. Green Rider trainee Tavin Bankstone is not thrilled to travel with Lieutenant-Rider Laren Mapstone. Although acclaimed for her battles against the Darrow Raiders, Laren is emotionally closed off and cold. When Laren is injured in an attack, they seek refuge in a waystation. But as Laren’s emotional control comes down, Tavin must quickly learn to control his empathic abilities before it destroys them both.
Although I love the Green Rider series, Spirit of the Wood felt like an unnecessary side story only the most diehard Green Rider fans will enjoy. Since it was described as Laren Mapstone’s backstory, I found Spirit of the Wood extremely disappointing. Instead, the novella was more about Tavin Bankside than Laren, only giving the barest details of Laren’s past. With tempered expectations, you might enjoy this one but feel free to skip it and wait for the final installment of the Green Rider saga.
This short novel set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Green Rider series tells the backstory of fan-favorite character Laren Mapstone
Perfect for longtime Green Rider fans eager for more of the world or new readers discovering the realm of Sacoridia for the first time, this action-packed, feminist fantasy is a must-read for lovers of the genre.
After years of leading the battle against the vicious Darrow Raiders, Lieutenant-Rider Laren Mapstone has built a fortress around herself to conceal her emotions and the deep scars she carries. When she is made mentor to Tavin Bankside, a Green Rider trainee on his first message errand, her cold and brooding exterior quickly earns her the moniker the “Ice Lady.”
Only after Laren is severely wounded in an attack on the North Road by a gang of bandits—including some former Darrow Raiders with vengeance on their minds—do the fortress walls fall. Even as they seek refuge from danger in a Rider waystation, Tavin’s natural empathic gift leaves him vulnerable to the assault of the lieutenant’s emotions. Tavin must save Lieutenant Mapstone’s life and master his empathic gift before it destroys them both.
However, an ancient power lurks deep within the Green Cloak, and its aid or hindrance could mean survival for the Riders or the downfall of Sacoridia and all the free lands.