Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Guest Blog by Tintin: Book Review - Wish Upon A Horse by Maggie Dana

This is an absolutely marvellous book. It is very hard to believe that we are actually up to No.4 in the Timber Ridge series. It is fully up to the standard of the other three. Timber Ridge books are consistently almost as good as the sisters at their best, and I cannot praise more highly than that.

“Wish Upon a Horse” is basically an exciting story of show jumping and has more than enough action in, and outside, the ring to keep those who dream of success at this game happy. It is, however, also so much more.

To me the strong spine on which the great charm and effectiveness of the Timber Ridge stories rest is the well constructed central core of characters. Not only is each character individual, well drawn, interesting and believable, but they fit together as a group which facilitates the creation of a huge variety of convincing dramatic scenes and scenarios.

The start of the book is perhaps a little slower than the other three, but as this is a well developed series it allows those who are perhaps coming in new at book 4 to familiarise themselves. For us established fans it just builds up the sense of curiosity as to what they will do next and there is a certain comfort factor in just being a "fly on the wall" at Timber Ridge.

I will try hard not to give away too much, but as a lot of the thrills and charms of the book are in the situations that is not too easy.

Basically Kate has the money she made from her film riding and is wanting to buy a horse. Though this is quite a large amount of money she soon finds it does n’t go far.

Through a couple of scrapes she secures the (eventually) beautiful mare Tapestry. This is a lovely story and a lot happens before the two of them can stay together. Readers of the other stories will not be surprised where Tapestry came from, but there are still plenty of surprises about her. The romance with the film star continues as does the bickering with Angela the villain. There is a really good twist in the story with Angela which surprised me, which will probably surprise other readers even more. There is also a well drawn encounter with the darker side of show jumping.

Readers will be pleased that the distinctive humour of these books is still in place.

Timber Ridge is in many ways very contemporary (also very US) and I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the cultural and techno stuff, but it rang true to me. Also it did n’t alienate me (middle aged, British and techno phobe) and was totally natural and integral to the story.

Well worth reading.

Two personal notes.

Firstly, though I read this on Kindle I will be getting an actual paper back edition. I do not often buy books as artefacts, but this series is so nice I want a matching set. The art work is good. Even better the books have a good size and feeling for handling and the print size is great for reading.

Secondly, I LOVED Pardner. I could picture him – just my sort of horse! Although he only had a cameo role can he come back? The sort of horse who won’t let you down in field or stable. The ladies were very unkind about his looks and I think he should show them up. Perhaps his own book would be too much to ask?

You can vote for the book on the ponymadbooklovers chat forum reviews section


Claire said...

Love your reviews Tintin! I am a bit behind with this series so I must get up to speed. Maggie can write 'em faster than I can read 'em!!!

Deb said...

I love this series have read them all!