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Holmes, Victoria. Rider in the Dark: An Epic Horse Story.

HOLMES, Victoria. Rider in the dark; an epic horse story. HarperCollins, Avon. 305p. 0-06-052027-2. $6.99. J

To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2004: This IS an epic horse story and will thrill readers who yearn for another Black Stallion. The setting is the southern coast of England (smugglers!) in 1740 and the heroine is Helena, a young woman of the gentry whose family has a stable of fine horses, including a wild new stallion named Oriel. Helena is a skilled rider, of course, and her best friend is Jamie, who works in the stables and grew up with her. The two conspire to work with Oriel in the middle of the night to get him trained. These nighttime activities have consequences: Helena discovers that Jamie and his father are involved in local smuggling, and Helena's father is a local magistrate responsible for upholding the law. She has a bit of a dilemma until she learns just how complicated it is: unreasonable taxes, extra income for local villagers, etc. There are several opportunities in this exciting story for Helena to race about on the cliffs and beaches in the night on horseback, disguised as a boy, warning her friends the smugglers when the king's men are prowling about. One stormy night, really bad smugglers (wreckers) are about--strangers--who plan to trick a ship onto the cliffs so they can kill the sailors and take the goods. Helena rides the marvelous Oriel to relight the fire to warn the ship. Anyone who loves good horse stories will enjoy this excitement, and Helena's worries about right and wrong add some depth. Claire Rosser, KLIATT
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Author:Rosser, Claire
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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