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Cloud's Rider
     

Cloud's Rider

4.0 1
by C. J. Cherryh
 

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On a distant planet, all the native creatures communicate telepathically, projecting images which drive humans to madness. As a result, the people live in walled cities and owe their lives to the nighthorses, equines who can bond with certain riders and provide a telepathic "buffer". But one savage winter, young Danny Fisher and his nighthorse Cloud lead the

Overview

On a distant planet, all the native creatures communicate telepathically, projecting images which drive humans to madness. As a result, the people live in walled cities and owe their lives to the nighthorses, equines who can bond with certain riders and provide a telepathic "buffer". But one savage winter, young Danny Fisher and his nighthorse Cloud lead the survivors of a deadly telepathic attack to shelter high in the snowbound mountains—only to discover their "sanctuary" threatened by a vicious predator never before known to humans. Sequel to "Rider at the Gate".

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Available in paperback, this is a sequel to Rider at the Gate, but it stands well enough on its own. Which sounds like faint praise, and that's not what the book deserves. Cherryh's prose, which is often dense and byzantine -- but worth reading for all that -- is streamlined and taut in this novel, which takes place in a settled world that has horses who are telepathic, and who are drawn into the orbit of humans by the texture of their thoughts. There's an edge to the alliance of horse and rider that always hints at the wildness, the alien quality, of the world -- because no one does aliens and alienation better than Cherryh. This is a straightforward SF tale about slaughter during winter -- where winter and cabin fever practically go hand in hand -- and its aftermath in the telepathic ambient as the riders do their level best to make sure it doesn't happen again.
—Michelle West
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On the planet that backdrops this excellent sequel to last year's Rider at the Gate, the native wildlife is dangerously telepathic, able to project its own emotions or to amplify human ones. Human settlements survive only in valleys protected by the riders of nighthorses, equine-like animals who have bonded with people. But sometimes nighthorses go rogue, the planet is rugged and its winters are lethal. The narrative tells of a young rider escorting two brothers and their sister, who has been driven mad by the rogue nighthorse that is following the little company as it races for shelter from winter storms. Nor is the nighthorse the only pursuersomething else is on their trail, hungry and apparently intelligent. The pacing is occasionally slow, but Cherryh tosses in plenty of well-handled action to compensate. The world-building is up to her highest level and, as a bonus, the story ends on a cliffhanger that indicates at least one more Rider novel to come. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Two-time Hugo winner Cherryh (Inheritor, LJ 3/15/96) presents a new epic set in the universe she introduced in Rider at the Gate. Colonists, stranded on a distant planet deadly to humans, struggle to survive in small, isolated communities. The native nighthorses provide a telepathic buffer between the humans and the wildlifewhich projects violent images, driving humans insane. Here, young Danny Fisher and his nighthorse, Cloud, face a threat from an unseen predator. Cherryh's vivid descriptions make the reader feel the extreme cold. Highly recommended for sf collections.
Trie Review
I love the inspired SF program relaunched by Warner Books under the Aspect imprint. This book is no exception.
Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to the mediocre Rider at the Gate (1995), set on a planet where human colonists have bonded with native telepathic, carnivorous, quadrupeds confusingly and lazily called "horses." As winter deepens, young rider Danny Fisher and his horse, Cloud, attempt to escort three young people—the only survivors of the massacre at Tarmin—up the steep, slippery slop of Rogers Peak to the village Evergreen: smith Carlo (his guilty secret is that he killed his violent father); his younger brother Randy; and their younger sister, the comatose Brionne (her misapplied bond with the rogue horse caused all the trouble). At Evergreen, Danny, unsure of their reception, evades difficult questions; and he suspects that they were followed up the mountain by a riderless horse, another potential rogue. Indeed, certain villages prove hostile until they realize that Carlo will inherit several properties in Tarmin. Brionne, hating her brothers and still desperate to bond with a horse, slowly recovers physically if not psychologically. Danny and a local rider, Ridley, halfheartedly attempt to hunt the loose horse, but eventually the beast bonds with an astonished Carlo. Meanwhile, another, unknown, creature—a stalker with the terrifying ability to hide and misdirect telepathically, thus far kept at bay by Carlo's horse—enters the village, bonds with crazy Brionne and begins to slaughter the inhabitants. Only by heroic efforts will Danny and the other riders manage to drive it off.

An overlong and underpowered entry that clearly needed a strategic regroup or a rethought approach; only in the last few pages does anything new or stimulating emerge.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446604246
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Janice Cherry, better known by the pen name C. J. Cherryh, is the author of more than 70 books, including the Hugo Award-winning novels Downbelow Station and Cyteen, both set in her Alliance-Union universe. She planned to write since the age of ten, and when she was older, learned to use a typewriter while triple-majoring in Classics, Latin, and Greek. Cherryh is one of the most prolific and highly respected authors in the science fiction field.

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Cloud's Rider 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There seem to be two kinds of Cherryh books- fantasy and complicated political. I like fantasy and this is one of the best. The mood is haunting and unforgettable, easy to read over again. In some books I find this author's writing style, which usually focuses on the internal musings of the characters, to feel distant. In this book it works perfectly with the plot and the theme to create that haunting mood.

I recommend it highly and wish there could be another sequel.