The Horse Road
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The Horse Road

by Troon Harrison
     
 

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For girls who love the historical adventures of American Girl and the equestrian details of Canterwood Crest or Horse Diaries, this wonderful new series delivers both.

In The Horse Road, we meet Kallisto, a superb equestrian living in central Asia. On her way back from delivering horses to nomad breeders, Kallisto sees the Chinese army

Overview

For girls who love the historical adventures of American Girl and the equestrian details of Canterwood Crest or Horse Diaries, this wonderful new series delivers both.

In The Horse Road, we meet Kallisto, a superb equestrian living in central Asia. On her way back from delivering horses to nomad breeders, Kallisto sees the Chinese army preparing to invade her city. Can she save her family and friends and protect the horses?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—A horse race grabs readers at the outset of this novel set in ancient Persia, but it becomes secondary once Kalli and her friend Batu realize that the Chinese army is marching toward Kalli's village, endangering the lives of the villagers and Kalli's family's prized horses. Her mother is injured and her father is away, so the brave girl must rely on the skills her parents have taught her. She secures the horses, including her beloved mare, and musters up the courage to confront unsavory characters both inside and outside her village to save the animals. Kalli's character has the most depth, though readers will find her friends bring levity and warmth to her story and challenge her to take risks and grow in ways she may not have on her own. In the end, it is her mother's approval that is most satisfying to the young heroine. The writing feels forced when the characters and the scenery are introduced, but the rich storytelling, including descriptions of daily life and the landscape, and some impressive riding sequences, propel the action forward. Historical and cultural details are well integrated, as are facts about horses, and Harrison provides further information in the afterword. This novel, with its strong female protagonist and suspenseful sequences, may appeal to a broad range of readers.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY
Kirkus Reviews
The first of a projected trio of horse-centered historical novels takes readers to a central Asia of some 2,000 years ago. To 14-year-old Kallisto's wealthy trader father, she is a plump peach, soft and lovely; to her horse-trainer mother, a former slave, she is a warrior yet unproven. Kalli, shy and stammering everywhere but on a horse, begins to prove herself when she and her friend Batu catch a glimpse over a mountainside of thousands of Middle Kingdom warriors preparing to attack their town. Servants herd the family's elite horses to safety inside the walls, but Kalli herself barters for their food and water, shields them and cares for them; when her own mare, Swan, is stolen, she dons armor and weapons and rides to the rescue. In the end, she wins Swan not in battle, but through shrewd bargaining--the true daughter of both her parents. Harrison's story is based upon a historical battle in 102 B.C. between soldiers of Chinese emperor Wu-Ti and inhabitants of the city of Ferghana. The emperor wanted the golden-hued Persian horses, ancestors of today's Akhal-Teke breed; the siege ended diplomatically with the opening of the famous Silk Road. Harrison's impressive research brings this relatively unknown era to life; her characters ring true, and Kallisto's equestrian abilities, while impressive, are fully credible. The opening chapters, however, are both confusing and chaotic, with few cues to orient young readers to time and place. Overall, an exciting adventure. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599908465
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/07/2012
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
1050L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

TROON HARRISON is an internationally published, award winning author, an editor, and a teacher. Born in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Troon was raised mainly in Cornwall, England. She holds degrees in sociology, primary education, and English literature.

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