She Who Rides Horses: A Saga of the Ancient Steppe (Book One) by Sarah V. Barnes - Historical Fiction

Book Details:

Book Title: She Who Rides Horses: A Saga of the Ancient Steppe (Book One) by Sarah V. Barnes
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 267 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lilith House Press
Release date: March 2022
Content Rating: PG. It contains two kissing scenes and the death of an animal.
Book Description:

Set more than 6,000 years ago, She Who Rides Horses: A Saga of the Ancient Steppe (Book One) begins the story of Naya, the first person to ride a horse.

Daughter of a clan chief, bolder than other girls but shunned by the boys because of her unusual appearance, Naya wanders alone through the vast grasslands where her people herd cattle and hunt wild horses for their meat. But Naya dreams of creating a different kind of relationship with the magnificent creatures.

One day, she discovers a filly with a chestnut coat as uncommon as her own head of red hair. With time running out before she is called to assume the responsibilities of adulthood, Naya embarks on a quest to gallop with the red filly across the boundless steppe.

Unwittingly, she sets in motion forces and events that will change forever the future of humans and horses alike.

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A Brandy Mulder Review
She who rides horses


Hi everyone, I’m back with a new review and this time it is a little different than my usual book genre, but I like to mix things up here and there. I would recommend this book for older teens and up. There is no explicit content but there are some hunting related scenes that might upset younger readers.

I think this book is interesting and I did enjoy thinking about what it was like for early people to try to tame wild horses. Before this book I didn’t really think about people using horses for food as a regular occurrence as in my thoughts it was only something that would happen as a last result due to horses now being considered valuable. So, I did have to stop and think about that for a moment, and it does make sense as the wild horses would have been more abundant than they are now.

This story follows Naya, a teen girl who is the daughter of the chief of her clan. She is a bit of a tom boy and other people in the clan look down on her a bit for it. She comes up with the idea of trying to tame a horse and while she is with a herd of horses there is an accident that changes everything. As she is dealing with the aftermath, she becomes friends with a boy who tries to help her with the horses. Unfortunately, her actions change the lives of her mother and father, possibly for the worse as the chief has enemies waiting for any chance to take away his influence and power.

While I liked the book, I think the pace was a bit slow here and there and it kept me from being really on the edge of my seat in some of the tenser situations. The ending has a bit of a cliff hanger, but you can kind of see where the story is heading. The book was smaller than what I thought it was as there is a section in the back where the author talks about what methods she used to research for this book as well as translations and descriptions of uncommon terms.

Meet the Author:

Sarah V. Barnes, Ph.D. is both an historian and a horsewoman. When Sarah is not writing stories, she practices and teaches riding as a meditative art. She also offers equine-facilitated coaching and wellness workshops.

Sarah holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University and spent many years as a college professor before turning full-time to riding and writing. She has two grown daughters and lives with her husband, her dogs and her horses near Boulder, CO.

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