Tradition means everything in Tremeirchsen, and the elders expect the young people of their town to hold to what they have been taught. For Emma, that isn't easy when her father's plans for her future keep her from everything she loves. For Evan and Davyd, tradition must be set aside when the flying horses that are the town's livelihood start dying, but taking the lead may cost them more than they expected.
Now, some poeple might not think they would enjoy a book about flying horses, but I think those readers will be pleasantly surprised with this book. "On a Wing and a Dare" is so much more than a kids' book about horses. The three main characters struggle with breaking tradition at the risk of losing their families, unravelling the mystery of what is killing the flying horses, and getting tangled up in a love story that may break the brothers apart.
Every aspect of the horse side of the book was very well done. The equine language added an element of reality to the story that really helped to draw readers in. I have always loved horses, but even those unfamiliar with the beautiful animals will fill right at home in the barns.
The mystery surrounding the illness that begins claiming the horses lives and threatens to destroy the whole town is another great part of this book. Linda keeps the investigation of the illness spread carefully throughout the book with hints that keep you reading without overloading the reader. She blends the worry over what will happen to the herd and town right up to the last chapter. I enjoyed how the decisions about saving the horses flowed so well into the difficult relationships of the book.
Speaking of relationships, I think the complex emotions and histories between many of the characters was what really pulled everything together and made this story shine. The love story between Emma, Evan, and Davy's is a beautiful part of the book. Emma's youth and naive nature makes her decision between the two brothers that much more agonizing. The threat that either young man ending up with Emma will tear their relationship apart, possibly forever, makes readers look forward to and at the same time almost dread the decision.
It was a beautiful love story, but every relationship in the book had depth and meaning, pulling readers into every aspect of the book.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, it's a heartwarming story of family, love, and mystery.
Who would I recommended this book to? This book is categorized as YA fiction, and for the most part I agree. Teens and even middle grade readers will love this book. The story and romance is perfect for young readers with no bad language or sexual overtones. However, its a book plenty of adults will enjoy too. Those who love horses, never grew out of YA books, and anyone who enjoys a sweet and charming story.
On a Wing and a Dare is available now on Amazon and Smashwords in ebook format, and will soon be available in paperback as well.