Dawn Rider

Jan Hudson, Author
Jan Hudson, Author Philomel Books $14.95 (173p) ISBN 978-0-399-22178-1
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Hudson, whose first novel was Sweetgrass , delves into the past again to present the world of a teenage Blackfoot Indian girl--this time in the early 18th century. Kit Fox, 16, a middle child and ``nothing special to anyone,'' dreams of riding her chief's newly won horse, nervously guarded by Found Arrow and other men of the Blood band. But she must first overcome their prejudice against females, as well as their well-founded fear of the strange new animal. In exchange for helping him with his vision quest, Kit Fox gets Found Arrow to allow her to tame and finally ride the horse, which responds to her gentle handling. When the Bloods are attacked by the mounted Snake people, Kit Fox's equestrian skills are put to a grueling test: she must ride to get aid from allies or her people will perish. This book is to be valued for its authentic re-creation of a lost culture and a bygone time, but despite its exotic setting and period details, this is otherwise a fairly standard horse story. The freshness and emotional resonance that are a hallmark of the late author's first work are lacking here. This book stumbles with overlong dialogue and unpolished exposition where the other flowed with a seamless blend of speech and narrative. Ages 10-14. (Dec.)
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