The Horse Road
Kallisto is fourteen, the daughter of a horse-riding nomad from the mysterious northern plains, whom her Greek merchant father bought as a slave and later married. Kallisto is raised between two worlds – the civilized, tolerant city of Ershi, where her father has his trading base, and the endless grassy plains where her mother’s nomadic people thrive beside their powerful horses. When the Chinese emperor sends an army to seize the horses of the Valley of Ferghana, Kallisto must take action and choose between her allegiances.
I was fortunate to inherit my Mom’s 1920s YA books. They were full of danger and romance, in the original, epic sense. They were lushly written and unafraid of “big words” or difficult concepts. The Horse Road reminded me of classic books from that era, such as The Perilous Seat by Caroline Snedeker. The settings are magically described; the characters are three-dimensional. At the heart of the story is a very old notion – that young women love horses and that they love adventure and bravery, too, as much as any young man. Highly recommended.