Long before any of the humans stirred, the horse saw the trouble coming. He stared out into the darkness as two pinpricks of light grew steadily on a country lane where cars rarely passed at 3.35am.
Published by Orion Children’s Books in April 2013.
Pages - 216
When Casey Blue's Badminton victory earns her and Storm an invitation to the prestigious Kentucky Three Day Event, it is a dream come true. But that dream is about to turn into a nightmare. After her father is arrested for a crime Casey is convinced he didn't commit, she finds herself the victim of a vicious blackmailer. To make matters worse, Storm is behaving like the wild horse he once was. Faced with losing everything she loves, she needs the help of her farrier boyfriend, Peter, to win in Kentucky. But is he for her or against her?
I used to be able to say with my hand on my heart that I had absolutely no desire to ever ride a horse again, especially after flying over the top of one when I was in my teens. Yet when I read this series by Lauren St John, I get this incredible urge to find a riding school! She makes horse riding so appealing and exciting, that you come away wondering why you never considered riding before.
The characters are awesome and always come across as the underdogs pushing their way to the top. Casey has so much more to deal with in this book – with her father facing many years in jail for a crime he appears to have been set up for, she must try and win the Kentucky to save him. Now this would be fine, if she wasn’t recovering from just winning the Badminton Cup and if Storm wasn’t ever so slightly temperamental. No pressure!
Storm is one of the best animal characters I’ve come across in a long time. He is just about to pip Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go to the crown! He is feisty and independent – if he doesn’t want to do something, he soon lets Casey know. He is a force to be reckoned with.
From the first page you are completely caught up in the story again. You are desperate to find out what will happen to the characters. On reading it I would say it could easily be read as a standalone as there was enough information in it, to understand what happened in the previous book.
I’m really pleased to see that this book is told from various view points which includes a few adults. The inclusion of McLeod added a comical element to the story, especially as his friendship with Peter grew throughout the story. I am secretly hoping he sticks around for the third book and perhaps falls desperately in love with Mrs Smith!
There are still elements of the story left to be solved. We know that Mrs Smith is poorly but as of yet we have no idea what’s wrong with her. I would imagine her illness will make a major part of the plot for Book 3.
Lauren St John has written a thrilling tale that leaves you breathless as you wait for the final book in the trilogy. As with the first book it has an old school feel about it which I love and will make this book appeal to children and adults. If you love Black Beauty and National Velvet, then this book is for you.