Fifteen-year-old Evan Kendrick has traveled from New Mexico Territory to Galveston with his father, who will be competing in a horse race that’s offering a $3,000 prize to the winner. But a terrible accident seriously injures his drunken father, forcing Evan to saddle up instead.
This is no ordinary race. Running from Texas to New England, its course is eighteen hundred miles—maybe even longer—and Evan will be riding a barely half-broke mustang stallion. He’ll be competing against all breeds of horses, ridden by professionals and amateurs from across the world.
Although Evan has learned a lot about horses from his father, Edward also taught his son that horses are good for nothing. “You ride one to death, you get another and do the same.”
For six weeks, Evan Kendrick will learn a lot about horses, riding, friendship, life—and himself. He’ll form alliances with two of his competitors, make enemies, see new country, and discover what America can offer, both good and bad. But to win this race—to even survive it—Evan will have to put his trust in a tough stallion the color of trader’s whiskey: a mustang named Taos Lightning.
Very little detail and depth, the fact that it’s a horse race seems almost incidental. The horses and their needs and the care the riders would have to give them is barely alluded to. Not a satisfying read at all.