The Mountain's Call|
(Lippizans) A herd of powerful white horses are worshipped as gods
From the back cover:
Called, Chosen, and Cast Away...
Valeria relishes the tales of the mysterious, powerful Mountain where the gods -- powerful beings in the form of white horses -- live. And she loves hearing stories of the elite Riders who ride the stallions in the Dance -- a pattern that reflects, influences, and sometimes creates the past, present, or future. Though Valeria has a horse sense thought magical, she knows no woman has ever been called to the Mountain. Until she feels a strange pull and makes the decision to answer the call -- as a boy...
Only Kerrec, a senior Rider, and Euan, a barbarian prince, realize the truth as Valeria survives until the final test -- and passes with acclaim. But in her moment of triumph her secret is discovered and Valeria loses all she's won.
Meanwhile, the barbarians plot to overthrow the Aurellian Empire. And Valeria's anger and frustration might be enough to give them a way in. Now the Empire depends on the will, the strength, and the loyalty of one Rider. A Rider who has been rejected by all but the gods...
Note: Caitlin Brennan is a psuedonym for Judith Tarr, who has written several other horse-related novels.
|Fun books, by Pwca on April 12, 2006|
|Caitlin Brennan previously wrote several fun horsey-fantasy books under the pen name of Judith Tarr, and owns Lippizans in AZ. I can't say I looked much at the accuracy of the horsey parts of the book, but this book is tremdendously fun. The setting is a vaguely Roman alternate world, with a fun twist on the main antagonists. |
|Terrific, by ponydom on January 02, 2005|
|The Mountain is one of the key sources of the Empire's power, site of citadels devoted to the School of Peace and War, and to the Riders, who control powerful magic generated by the white stallions - mages and gods.|
It is a critical year, the year of the Great Dance, which happens only every 100 years. The Dance, a quadrille of the white stallions, weaves patterns of powerful magic that controls time and destinies. Done perfectly, it will confirm the empire's strength and the emperor's rule. Disrupted, and the empire will fall.
Every year, the Mountain Calls young mages with an affinity for animals to it as candidates for the riding school. Always these mages have been men. But Valeria, 16 and female, feels the call so strongly that her mother wards her and locks her in the root cellar. Valeria escapes and makes her way to the Mountain, dressed as a boy, where it is clear that she is one of the strongest rider-candidates ever to arrive.
The book is wonderful in its weaving of an epic fantasy with the traditions of classical dressage and the Lippizans of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. There is even a competing master who has lost his Stallion Magic, advocating shortcuts and imitations on mortal horses. There are also some echoes of Valdemar's Companions, but only in a very light way that feels very right. (The tone here is definitely darker.) It's an original book, and a must read for any dressage fan.
And, of course, it's book 1 in a planned series.
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