Iza MoreauA young Floridian finds herself transported to Equidona—a world of horses and magic.

But she soon finds herself targeted by dark wizards who seek to take from her a power she doesn’t even know she has.

In the sleepy little town of Pine Oak in rural north Florida, Persephone Gwilt lives a quiet life with her mother Alice, who owns a feed store and trains horses in her spare time. Persephone, who has just graduated from high school, arrives home one evening to find her home burning and her mother engaged in a fierce battle with wand-waving wizards in robes.

Wands? Wizards? What?

It seems that Persephone’s mother was born in Equidona, a land where magic and horses are used for most work and where technology has not yet been invented. She has a unique trait—an immunity to Dark Magic, a power that some in Equidona would like to eliminate—so Alice flees to Pine Oak to protect herself and her unborn daughter. But 18 years later, when Alice dies in the battle, Persephone is transported to Wescombe Vale—a riding academy in Equidona, where the Riding Master is the grandmother she never knew she had. And although she doesn’t know how to perform magic—she doesn’t even have a wand!—she finds that she has inherited her mother’s immunity to Dark Magic. And now the Rogue Wizards are after her.

One of the surprises of this novel is that it questions the value—or even the place—of magic in a magical land. The author’s fascination with the philosophy of horses and their importance to society turns what could have been a simple witches and wizard’s story into a complex and mesmerizing paean to the Eart—with a lot of excitement blended in.

Equidona is a land where humans and horses once worked together for the betterment of both species. Humans had hands and creativity, horses had wisdom and magic. But when the horses gave magic to humans, things began to go wrong. Humans became lazy and dependent on magic for everything. When Persephone arrives in Equidona, the horses’ strong and peaceful bond with humans has nearly been lost, and Rogue Wizards have been terrorizing a number of villages.

Persephone soon begins to make new friends, including several evolved Equidonians. Bon is a beautiful, green-skinned Uaine who can communicate with plants. Varonese is a gawky Healer who can communicate with the body. Ana is a gorgeous Vila who can manipulate emotions, and Misty is a steampunk artist before her time.

Helped by a mysterious human/equine Shapeshifter and an ancient, almost ghostly race of giant horses known as the Old Ones, the friends set off across Equidona in search of the Fire World—where Persephone’s father has been living in exile—hoping that he can suggest a way to prevent the Rogue Wizards from taking over Equidona.

Similarities to other books are subtle but present. There are tips of the cap to Doris Lessing’s Canopus in Argus series, to the Farscape TV series, and to Harry Potter to name a few. But the relationships between Persephone and her friends and love interests are fresh and new. Although Persephone is a teenager, the book balances on the borderline between literary fiction and New Adult, with a few f-bombs intense situations and a couple of spicy sex scenes.

Through it all, Persephone’s Mare is a lesson in wisdom, friendship, and love. But on the journey, that wisdom is questioned, friendships are betrayed, and loves are twisted around to a very surprise ending. And Persephone grows up.

Publication Date: May 1, 2022

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