cover image Cloud's Rider

Cloud's Rider

C. J. Cherryh. Warner Books, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51910-6

On the planet that backdrops this excellent sequel to last year's Rider at the Gate, the native wildlife is dangerously telepathic, able to project its own emotions or to amplify human ones. Human settlements survive only in valleys protected by the riders of nighthorses, equine-like animals who have bonded with people. But sometimes nighthorses go rogue, the planet is rugged and its winters are lethal. The narrative tells of a young rider escorting two brothers and their sister, who has been driven mad by the rogue nighthorse that is following the little company as it races for shelter from winter storms. Nor is the nighthorse the only pursuer--something else is on their trail, hungry and apparently intelligent. The pacing is occasionally slow, but Cherryh tosses in plenty of well-handled action to compensate. The world-building is up to her highest level and, as a bonus, the story ends on a cliffhanger that indicates at least one more Rider novel to come. (Sept.)