Ahoy there me mateys! I read this author’s silver in the blood and while it wasn’t a favorite, I did want to try more of her work. I hear very good things about many of her series. This one deals with ponies and so I was looking forward to it. The cover makes me inner-child self squee with delight.
Sadly the book did not make me grown-up self happy. This despite the fact that the horse, Florian, can talk to Anthea telepathically. I may have liked it when I was seven but maybe not even then. The plot had many problems. The main character, Anthea, is petulant and stubborn and doesn’t use her brain (ever). The book uses a horrible amnesia trope. The “good” uncle in her life doesn’t explain ANYTHING to his niece or even act like an adult. People who are supposed to be dead aren’t. The evil people have no real motivation. The world-building is non-existent. The “romance” story was tacked on (no pun intended) and was just silly. The children’s grand plot to save the day makes NO sense and actually causes lots of horses to get injured. The politics and character machinations also make NO sense. The plot was all over the place as was the pacing.
Florian’s chapters from his perspective make him seem like an obsessive boyfriend stalker and are written in a bizarre manner. The special horse magic called “the Way” made no real sense in terms of how it worked and Anthea is basically told she can never leave the farm because of it. I never owned a horse and have limited experience riding (cause I be allergic) but even how the horses acted, thought, and were ridden did not seem to make logical sense. Seriously, not all riders should be thrown the first time they get on a horse. I wasn’t.
The first few chapters had such promise but this book broke down (no pun intended) quickly. I even read the blurbs for the next two books and they sounded even worse. I will try more of the author’s works but this book and the rest of this series walks the plank! Arrrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Orphaned Anthea Cross-Thornley has been shuttled between family members her whole life. When she receives a letter from a long-lost uncle, she dares to dream that she will finally find a home. Upon her arrival she is shocked to learn that her uncle secretly breeds horses–animals that have been forbidden in their kingdom for centuries. More alarming is Anthea’s strange ability to sense the horses’ thoughts and feelings, an ancient gift called The Way. Confused and terrified, Anthea is desperate to leave, but when dangers arise that put her family and her kingdom at risk, she has no choice but to embrace The Way and the exciting future adventures it will bring her.
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