Ahoy there me mateys! I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
tamer of horses (Amalia Carosella)
Title: tamer of horses
Author: Amalia Carosella
Publisher: Thorskona Books
Publication Date: TODAY!!!!! (paperback/e-book)
When I was a wee lass, I kinda had a small obsession with ponies. And unicorns. And pegasuses. I read everything I could get me mitts on that involved these creatures. If the ponies talked, even better. Now mind ye, this be in the days before the sea stole me heart and I learned I be allergic to horses. Sad sad day ’twas – the horse part that is.
So even now I still have a soft spot for horse-related books. For example me Goodreads shelf has a whole section related to horse books – 88 of them at the moment though I am positive I missed some. So when I saw this:
I was compelled to take a look. When I found out it was a fantasy retelling set in Greece about Hippodamia, who was raised by Centaurs I had to read it. Hearing the other main character, Pirithous, described as a pirate cemented that thought.
This is the story of Hippodamia’s relationship with Pirithous, the King of the Lapiths, and is based off of the “best-known legend with which the Lapiths are connected . . . their battle with the Centaurs at the wedding feast of Pirithous, the Centauromachy.” source
This book slowly grew on me with the telling. Now the beginning of the book is all about the sexual angst of Hippodamia and Pirithous getting to know each other. They were promised to marry to keep the peace between the Centaurs and the Lapiths. They have a waiting period before marriage and it is full of drama between his pride and her innocence told through sex. I have to admit that the back and forth was a little cliche for me. But I kept readin’ because the character of Hippodamia intrigued me.
Also this story has fabulous side characters in Theseus (yes that one) and Antiope, the Amazon Queen. They of course are married and have a wonderful relationship. Antiope is a strong and powerful figure and clever. Both prove to be good friends.
So once the wedding day arrives, the book becomes awesome, and I loved it from that moment forward. I am glad I stuck through the first part. I won’t get into how all that resolves because it’s the author’s particular take on the myth and the details she used that made me happy.
That and the references to horses everywhere of course. They play fantastic roles in this novel as well. So if you like Greek myths, horses, strong women, and don’t mind readin’ about sex, give this book a shot.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Thorskona Books!
The author’s website has this to say about the novel:
Abandoned as a baby, Hippodamia would have died of exposure on the mountain had it not been for Centaurus. The king of the centaurs saved her, raised her as his own, and in exchange asks for only one thing: she must marry the future king of the Lapiths, Pirithous, son of Zeus, and forge a lasting peace between their peoples by giving him an heir. It would be a fine match if Pirithous weren’t more pirate than king and insufferably conceited, besides. But Hippodamia can hardly refuse to marry him without betraying every hope her people have for peace.
After the death of Dia, queen of the Lapiths, tensions are running high. The oaths and promises protecting the Lapith people from the Myrmidons have lapsed, and the last thing Pirithous needs is to begin his kingship by making new enemies. But not everyone wants peace on the mountain. There are those among the centaurs who feel it comes at too high a price, and Peleus, King of the Myrmidons, lusts for the lush valley of the Lapiths and the horses that graze within it. Pirithous needs a strong queen at his side, and Hippodamia will certainly be that—if he can win her loyalties.
But no matter their differences, neither Hippodamia nor Pirithous expected their wedding banquet to be the first battle in a war.
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