House of the Star, by Caitlin Brennan. Young adult fantasy, 282 pages. Hardback.
This book combines two very well-known tropes in young adult books. Brennan blends the plot line about the young princess who must end the grinding, centuries-long war AND the two girls at horse camp who can't stand each other into a reasonably well-laid story.
Our heroine, Princess Elen, had been charged by her Queen mother to end the two centuries of fighting between the
Ymbrians and the Caledonians. Elen ends up meeting her supposed ally-from-the-other-side, Ria, and of course absolutely can't stand Ria or anything about her family/clan/world. Except, well, both girls are mad about horses and are stuck at horse camp on Earth together. Cue nasty words and glaring glances and sneaking into barns and riding horses in storms and the Major Mistake by one of the girls resulting in the Big Long Chase Scene (with bonus angst and injury!) and you have the whole story at a glance.
I recommend this book to fantasy-loving, horse-mad girls who are good readers but might be on the emotionally immature side. There is nothing emotionally (or physically) mature in this book, only the well-examined questions of when a grudge is long past expiration, and when listening to your better nature can really solve problems.
Why I picked it: This is one of the books that I picked up due to reading the first chapter in Opening Acts
, which is the opening chapters of 25 books, available for free download.New-to-me Books for 2012JanuaryHouse of the Star
by Caitlin Brennan, YA fantasy. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it")