Well, the weekend is over, more's the pity...and I did not finish First Rider's Call. Ack! It's a slacker I am. HOWEVER, I did finish a reasonably dense volume of feminist prose (o hai thar 10 Things I Hate About You) and I'm proud of that. I also have a few more things to say about my current read (spoilers below).
I said in my previous post that Britain's world-building isn't terribly different from the typical post-Tolkien fantasies crowding the shelves at Borders. This remains mostly true, but the further I've gotten into First Rider's Call, the more I see some interesting differences and nuances to Britain's writing (and the Green Rider books are DEFINITELY no Iron Tower, gag me with a forklift). Obviously she had a chance to dig into the culture and history she was creating in her second book, more so than in Green Rider. For one thing, the country of the Green Riders, Sacoridia, is located in "a new world"--presumably some analog to the north and south American continent. There may have been mention of this in the first book, but I don't think there was. Plenty of tasty history is unloaded in First Rider's Call, including some time travel and interactions with the First Rider herself, Lil Ambrioth. The history of Sacoridia is shown to be that of warring, loosely-knit clans who came together to fight the invaders, people from an empire--Arcosia--across the pond reminiscient of Rome. The magic of Arcosia and of Sacor are different, and both are different from magic utilized by the Elt (an elf-type race living in the new world), and magic in Karigan's day is almost extinct; the "special abilities" of the Riders are all that remains of the once-rich magical world of Sacoridia (the Elt use magic, but as yet we don't know much about them). On the whole Britain's world IS different enough from standard fantasy worlds to be compelling. I am definitely on board with this series and am looking forward to the next installments.
The Unputdownables Read-a-thon was really fun and I'm glad I participated, even if I didn't meet my two-book goal (and how sad does that sound...used to be I could rip through a hardback like First Rider's Call in a number of hours. Getting old and busy is no fun, QQ). It was mostly just nice to be reading along with others, and having an excuse to spend a good portion of my weekend inside a book.