Sunday, December 12, 2010

Airs Beneath the Moon

Title: Airs Beneath the Moon

Author: Toby Bishop (Louise Marley)

Publisher: ACE Fantasy

Copyright Date: 2007

Print Date: January 2007

ISBN: 9780441014620

Pages: 326

Series: 1st of the Horsemistress Saga

Book Description (from back cover):
In the Duchy of Oc, the most precious of creatures are the winged horses blessed by the goddess Kalla. When one is born, it is immediately taken to the Academy of the Air to be trained and watched over.

But this time, the Academy gets more than it bargained for...

At Deeping Farm, far in the Uplands, young Larkyn Hamley finds a lone winged horse, starving, exhausted, and about to give birth. The headstrong Larkyn saves the newborn from death. But in the process, the coal-black foal named Tup bonds with Lark, which the horses only do with one human woman for life.

So when Mistress Phillipa Winter arrives to inspect Tup, she has little choice but to take the farm girl to the Academy for a "proper" education. There, Lark realizes that her unlikely good fortune may not be so lucky. For in the elite world of the Academy, Lark’s kindness and honesty prove to be weak armor against the taunts and cruelty of the high-born girls already there.

Now, with Tup as her only ally, Larkyn Hamley is going to show everyone how high she can fly. Because if she falls, it’s a long, long way down...

I found this at Dollar General. The pretty cover drew me in, and I figured it was worth trying (and buying). Since reading it I've seen both positive and lukewarm-at-best reviews, so I'll just give you my thoughts...

I enjoyed it. I liked Larkyn, I liked her oldest brother, I liked Horsemistress Phillipa Winter and fellow student Hester. I found the overall setting interesting and the bad guys frustrating (and somewhat stomach turning — the main bad guy is abusive toward women and animals). I was satisfied with the end and would like to read more. It's been compared (both favorably and un-) with Mercedes Lackey and Tamora Pierce, both favorite authors of mine. In general, this book reminded me why I like fantasy and, in particular, YA fantasy.

Along those lines... The local library doesn't carry the next 2 books in the series, so I put both on my WL at PBS and now have the 2nd, Airs and Graces, on its way (almost).

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