Holmes, Victoria. Rider in the dark; an epic horse story.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

HOLMES, Victoria. Rider in the dark; an epic horse story. HarperCollins. 305p. c2004. 0-06-052025-6. $15.99. J

This IS an epic horse story and will thrill readers who yearn for another Black Stallion. The setting is the southern coast of England (smugglers!) in 1740 and the heroine is Helena, a young woman of the gentry whose family has a stable of fine horses, including a wild new stallion named Oriel. Helena is a skilled rider, of course, and her best friend is Jamie, who works in the stables and grew up with her. The two conspire to work with Oriel in the middle of the night to get him trained. These nighttime activities have consequences: Helena discovers that Jamie and his father are involved in local smuggling, and Helena's father is a local magistrate responsible for upholding the law. She has a bit of a dilemma until she learns just how complicated it is: unreasonable taxes, extra income for local villagers...

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