Once again, Tarr (The Shepherd Kings, 1999, etc.) heads back, back, back in time to hunt for the mystical source of the horse-spirit in humankind. It’s the morning of the world in prehistoric times; only within the past two lifetimes have the wild horse herds even been captured and tamed. A myth has arisen that the first horse, a Stallion, was ridden by a man. But in truth it was a mare, ridden by the grandmother of Sparrow, and only later was Sparrow’s uncle granted leave by the Great Goddess Epona (horse-spirit incarnate) to ride the first Stallion. Now Sparrow dares to ride a mare and later become a shaman with mystical marks on her body. She also comes into a mare’s erotic hunger, the satisfaction of which Tarr, herself a horse-breeder, describes with white fire.
A lively story in the action prose of hacks (type, type, type), but Tarr’s sensibility and creation of an alternate feminine mythology would make Joseph Campbell dance a jig.