This epic horse story, in the tradition of BLACK STALLION, marks exciting new territory for one of our most treasured and celebrated novelists.
Maya lives like a captive. At Grandmother's house in California, everything is forbidden: friends, fun, even memories. And her life is built on lies: lies Grandmother tells her about her dead mother, lies Maya tells to impress or manipulate. But then she moves to the vast Wyoming wilderness where her mother's family awaits - kind, rugged people who have no tolerance for lies. They challenge Maya to confront the truth about who she is. And a mysterious mustang called Artemisia waits, too. She holds the key to Maya's freedom. But to find it, Maya will have to risk everything, including her life.
An overprotected orphan, an imperious guardian who dies suddenly, a tender reunion with long-lost rustic relatives Ryan (Esperanza Rising) opens her tween crowd-pleaser with tried-and-true material, and follows with even more of a sure thing, a horse story. The author gets the romance just right, from 11-year-old heroine Maya s aching desire to learn about her long-dead mother and fit into her mother s family, to Maya s instant connection with the horses raised and trained by her great-aunt Vi. Details surrounding the care and riding of horses are both authentic and copious. Accordingly, readers aren t likely to mind either the clich d characters or gaps in plausibility. Nor will they blink as Ryan interweaves the narrative with segments told from the perspective of a wild mare named Artemisia (after, says Vi, the 17th-century painter Artemisia Gentileschi): She draped her neck over his withers, reassuring herself that wasn t going anywhere with a band of bachelor stallions. When Maya learns that Artemisia was once her mother s horse, a pairing seems inevitable; Ryan exploits it for maximum effect as the centerpiece of an attenuated survival sequence that involves an earthquake, broken bones, near-starvation, bareback riding and, of course, a bond between wild horse and child. The overstuffed quality of the plot may seem like a good thing to the target audience adventure plus horses trumps realism anytime. Ages 9-12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Easily One of My All-Time Favorites!
I read this book years ago. It really resonates with the reader and helped me work through things that were going on in my own life.
If you love action and adventure and horses this is the book you should get! I totally recommend it!
Best Book Ever
This is my favorite book and always will be. I've read it so many times, I can't even count. Such a beautiful, heartfelt, amazing story. :)