Saturday, July 13, 2013

Book Tour: In the Winds of Danger by Linda Ulleseit Review and Excerpt

Title: In the Winds of Danger (Flying Horse books #2)
Author: Linda Ulleseit
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy
Source: Author Request/Book Tour
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Nineteen year old Nia is shocked when she is secretly offered the leadership of Third Barn. This new barn full of flying horses will need someone confident, experienced, and innovative, so why are both warring factions pursuing an untried girl? Suspicious that both sides want a puppet instead of a leader, Nia races to discover their secrets before making the biggest decision of her life.

Some of those secrets are unknowingly buried in the disconnected memories of a young groom named Owain. Terror and guilt haunt Owain’s dreams – and then a face from his nightmare arrives in High Meadow. Owain looks for answers in his past and uncovers a dangerous plot that could doom High Meadow's future. How can he foil the plot and save his people as well as the winged horses?

I have always had a soft spot for books about horses - and flying ones fills my love of fantasy as well.  The people of High Meadow are trying to rebuild the population of flying horses after a horrible event (what I assume is book #1) leaves only a handful remaining.  They have finally expanded to two successful barns, and there are rumors of a third - but many think it's too soon.  When Nia, the potential new leader of third barn, starts to look closer she finds a whole lot of intrigue and political maneuvering for control.  This part of the storyline was a little drawn out.

To counteract the slower moving intrigue side of the story, we have Owain and his history.  His part of the story is a little more active than Nia's and adds the dash of excitement to keep things interesting.  The stories weave together very nicely and couldn't be told without each other.

I would have liked to see more of the horses.  The author gets so close to letting us really see their personalities, but never quite gets as far as I had hoped.  There was a lot of potential to tap into the fun and eccentric personalities that I imagine these horses would have.

About the Author:

About the Author

Linda Ulleseit was born and raised in Saratoga, California, and has taught elementary school in San Jose since 1996. She enjoys cooking, cross-stitching, reading, and spending time with her family. Her favorite subject is writing, and her students get a lot of practice scribbling stories and essays. Someday Linda hopes to see books written by former students alongside hers in bookstores.

Her first novel, ON A WING AND A DARE, was published in spring, 2012. It is a Young Adult fantasy set in medieval Wales, complete with flying horses, a love triangle, and treachery. The followup novel, IN THE WINDS OF DANGER, was published in February, 2013.

Barnes & Noble: In the Winds of Danger (Flying Horse Books) (Volume 2)

Excerpt from In the Winds of Danger:

Geoffrey was polite enough, seemed interested in the horses—but he raised Owain’s hackles. Maybe he would prove to be completely wrong for the job. Owain shook his head and led Adain out the opposite end of the barn.

Adain pranced, tossing his head and yanking at the lead. Owain firmly pulled his head down until they neared the cliff edge. Then he unclipped the lead and slapped the horse on his flank. Adain snorted, flexed his wings, then broke into a gallop. A handful of steps later, he leaped off the cliff and spread his wings, soaring out over the roofs of High Meadow, banking into a turn that would line him up for a sprint.

Power and grace blended perfectly in the winged horse. No one had ever been able to explain why they thrived only in these hills, or where they had come from. Owain believed, as did many, that the horses were a gift from Rhiannon, the horse goddess. He was proud of his part in preserving them. His present was important, his past must die.

As the day wore on, riders came and went in the barn, with and without horses. This time of year was for casual riding, maintaining limber shoulders and strong chests for spring’s training. Owain alternated his time between Adain and the three M’s, favoring Adain, of course. He couldn’t shake Geoffrey’s smug face out of his head. Had he really known him in Merioneth, or was it all some kind of ploy to gain favor in High Meadow? Owain grimaced. He had no favor to give anyone. It didn’t make sense.

Every so often he glimpsed Geoffrey with Pryce. They had long ago finished the barn tour, and the newcomer pitched in to help, his blond head towering over the slightly built Pryce. That was impressive, but Owain watched critically when they were nearby. Geoffrey’s arms were lean and muscled; he was no stranger to working. Not with horses, though. Pryce had to show him how to do everything. Geoffrey was cheerful enough about his deficiencies, and eager to work. Owain felt guilty about his persistent mistrust.

Once he caught sight of Geoffrey at an angle that sent a bolt of lightning through his gut and left him gasping. Fragments of the ever-present nightmare lurked at the ready, prepared to burst forth like charging warhorses. Blond boy, hanging above him backlit by the sun. Geoffrey. The blond boy was Geoffrey. The gods must be playing tricks on him.

After that, every time he spotted the man Owain grew more certain. Geoffrey was the boy from his dream. The threat was real and vivid, causing Owain to wipe away sweat that beaded on his forehead. As a child, he’d been so helpless against whatever threat Geoffrey represented that even as a man grown he couldn’t conquer the fear that choked him. Owain delved into his fragmented memory. He knew his sister, Briallen, was involved somehow, and he knew she wasn’t in his nightmare. Unfortunately, that was all he knew. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being part of my blog tour! I enjoyed your review.

    Linda Ulleseit