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Wind Rider, by Susan Williams

Wind Rider

by Susan Williams; Laura Geringer Books / HarperCollins. Hardcover, 309pp. RRP $US16.99. ISBN-13 978-0-06-087236-6.

December 6, 2007

Wind Rider is a lovely story about a girl and a horse. What makes Wind Rider different from others in its genre is that it is set in prehistoric times.

It's the story of a young girl - Fern - who wishes she was not female and had the freedom to do as she wished, as her brother and boys in her tribe seem to be able to do.

She has an affinity with animals and dreams of riding a beautiful wild horse - but there are expectations of her and she must comply with her family's wishes. Growing up in prehistoric times may not have been much different to now.

One day Fern finds a young horse trapped, and befriends and rescues her. Eventually she can ride the filly, but until she convinces the tribe a horse can be a friend and workmate, rather than food, they are wary.

Of the era that Wind Rider is set - some six thousand years ago - there is no written record. But by researching and working with experts in the ancient world, Williams has crafted a unique tale of how life might have been back then, and how horse and man may have first interacted.

Exactly when a human first sat upon a horse will never be known, but it might well have happened in a similar manner to Wind Rider.

It is aimed at a younger audience, but kids of all ages will enjoy Wind Rider. It's a breath of fresh air in a genre full of fat ponies and prize ribbons.



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