by Chris Platt
I've read a few Chris Platt books, and commented on them accordingly with the loving obsession of a person who has read too many Thoroughbred books and is currently stalking its authors. I know, I have no shame. Willow King, Race the Wind!, Moon Shadow...the only non-Thoroughbred book of hers that I haven't gripped in my freakishly cold fingers is Storm Chaser.
After reading Astra, I'm really wondering about Storm Chaser. In fact, I am going to have to get it soon so I can confirm a rising suspicion.
So that's the summary. Endurance riding! What a breath of fresh air! It's not three-day eventing or, god forbid, mustangs. That in itself is great, apart from the endurance factoids that stuck out like sore thumbs. Kind of like when Mary Anderson was inserting random horse racing facts into Thoroughbred, a land where horse racing facts go to die slow, miserable deaths. The problem was in the rest of it.
Thirteen-year-old Lily O'Neil's passion is Arabian horses. Someday she wants to be a great endurance rider like her mother. But a year earlier, after a freak riding accident took her mother's life, Lily's father sold his daughter's beloved pony and forbade her to ride ever again.
When Lily's grandmother comes to live with them, however, she convinces Mr. O'Neil to let Lily clean stalls on the neighboring Arabian ranch, a place her mother had worked--and loved. Lily is ecstatic, especially since she'll be near her mother's favorite horse--Astra. Lily's mother had always believed that Astra had the talent to become a national champion. Her goal was to ride her in the famous Tevis Cup Endurance Race, the toughest horse race in America.
Lily is determined to make her mother's dream come true. But how will she convince her father to let her ride again?