Description from the authors website:
Valeria relishes the tales of the mysterious, powerful Mountain where the gods–powerful beings in the form of white horses–live. And she loves hearing stories of the elite Riders who ride the Stallions in the Dance–a pattern that reflects, influences, and sometimes creates the past, present, or future. Though Valeria has a horse sense thought magical, she knows no woman has ever been called to the Mountain. Until she feels a strange pull and makes the decision to answer the call–as a boy…
Only Kerrec, a senior Rider, and Euan, a barbarian prince, realize the truth as Valeria survives until the final test–and passes with acclaim. But in her moment of triumph her secret is discovered and Valeria loses all that she’s won.
Meanwhile, the barbarians plot to overthrow the Aurelian Empire. And Valeria’s anger and frustration might be enough to give them a way in. Now the Empire depends on the will, the strength, and the loyalty of one Rider. A Rider who has been rejected by all but the gods…
I haven’t decided yet if I like this book or not. I just decided to review it during my Top Ten Tuesday post earlier.
Basically I went into this book blind. I found it buried randomly in my massive eBook collection and decided it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. I read it in a matter of hours because I had a feeling that if I didn’t finish it then, it would be a while before I went back into to. Doesn’t sound promising I know.
While reading and just after finishing I could think only one thing. That this is Mulan meets Equus meets mysterious Greek Gods meets wanna be power realm meets ridiculously chauvinistic society. I’m sure there were other things I thought, but I didn’t write them down and can’t seem to remember them.
Valeria (our Mulan wanna be) falls for the big bad barbarian. He plays her. I can understand her wanting him. She didn’t see through his stuff, even I didn’t see through it at first. But then she sleeps with him, when Kerrec, our good-not lying-sexy man who she’s also sleeping with is in the room, and she think’s he’s asleep. I don’t care if she thought she had to do it to survive. Go to another room. Is this the behavior that we need to reinforce in society? I think this sends a pretty bad message.
She might be strong with her horses and her magic, but as a person, I just can’t like her.
There was a whole lot else I wanted to rant about as far as The Mountain’s Call is concerned. Instead, I’ve decided to regress.
Finish with the best right? So the good things about this book are as follows.
1. Kerrec. Loyal, sexy, injured hero. Can you say Hannah’s favorite form of wealth.
2. Writing what you know. That’s what a lot of author’s do, and they make good stories from it. I caught little tid-bits here and there about the author, so I know that she is a horse breeder, and so she created a world around what she knows. I just wish she did is better, less YA Fantasy cliche. The horse part wasn’t cliche, I’ve actually never read anything quite so different horse wise, but the rest of it, not so much.
As this is the first book of a trilogy, and I do have the other two in my eBook collection as well, I know I will end up reading them. If not for the fantastic-ness of the series overall, then at least in search of peace of mind that perhaps Valeria has actually grown up, learned, stopped being a ridiculous teenage girl.
If you want to read this, do it of your own risk. I’ve seen lots of great reviews for this book, so maybe its just me. I don’t think I’m the target audience for this one anyways.