RIDER IN THE DARK by Victoria Holmes


An Epic Horse Story
Age Range: 10 - 15
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An archetype of children’s horse literature is the child (abused/ignored/misunderstood, preferably also an orphan) who rescues and tames the untamable horse (abused/misunderstood/ignored) and by doing so achieves glory. Such genuine treasures as Misty of Chincoteague, National Velvet, and King of the Wind use this plot—and, unfortunately, so do many lesser works, including this one. The subtitle, “An Epic Horse Story,” is barely warning enough for the overstrained breathless incredulity that follows. Fifteen-year-old Lady Helena, awash in fine horses from her father’s stables, casts one glance over an underfed stallion and immediately, impossibly, decides to risk everything to save him. The horse begins to trust her within minutes. Throw in some smugglers, a few villagers, and a trusty stable lad, and you’ve got yourself a tale that quite a few readers will like, but shouldn’t. (Fiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-052025-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2004