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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Celebrated social science fiction novelist Louise Marley (The Terrorists of Irustan, The Maquisarde, et al.) tries her hand at classic fantasy -- under the pseudonym Toby Bishop -- with a decidedly more lighthearted offering about a teenage girl and the birth of a winged horse that irrevocably changes her life, for better or worse.
The protagonist of Airs Beneath the Moon is 14-year-old Larkyn Hamley, the daughter of an Uplands farmer -- "a girl of the soil and the seasons" -- who finds a pregnant mare near death and helps to bring its foal into the world even as the animal draws its last breath. The newborn colt is miraculously born with wings, but before anyone from Larkyn's remote village can contact representatives from the Duchy of Oc -- where the breeding, raising, and training of winged horses is nothing short of sacrosanct -- Larkyn bonds with the beautiful black colt (named Tup) and unknowingly sets in motion a chain of events that will not only throw the entire duchy into political pandemonium but also put her life and Tup's in mortal danger...
Marley's reason for using the pseudonym is clear: Airs Beneath the Moon is a dramatic departure for an author known for thematically complex, intellectually challenging, and profoundly moving works like The Child Goddess. Her Toby Bishop persona writes a more simplistic, relatively straightforward narrative, with distinctly young adult themes (finding one's place in the world, the importance of friendship, honor, etc.) that should appeal to fantasy fans of all ages -- especially those who love horses. Paul Goat Allen