Dark and uncomfortable but ultimately a story of courage and strength!
I was kindly gifted a copy of this book by Welbeck Publishing in exchange for an honest review and to take part in the blog tour.
Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic
Fifteen year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and out.
Both are ruled over by her father, who demands strict obedience in all aspects of her life. However, the warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan’s relationship with her father has long been incestuous.
A ruthless ambition for the Olympics allows her to compartmentalise this dark aspect of her life, until she meets Will Howard, a boy her age, who brings everything into focus.
From the synopsis you will know that this book will cover the very tough subject of sexual abuse and the author doesn’t hold back at points. Whilst at times it was completely harrowing to read, those parts are needed to really make an impact with the reader. I was so shocked as to what I was reading that my heart broke completely for Roan….I wanted / needed her to find a way out of this situation.
This is centered around horses as Roan competes in many riding events and her Father was an Olympic champion. Whilst I know nothing about horses and don’t have any interest in them it was still enjoyable to read about the events she took part in and also one particular horse she rides, Jasper, is a crucial part to the story.
For those worrying if it’s too much about the abuse side I personally wouldn’t say it is. Whilst there are moments describing what happens, which is awful to read about, a lot of the story is seeing how Roan deals with it, how her Father manipulates her and how her love for Will changes everything. I think the author handled it all so well and really showed just how manipulating these predators can be.
Roan’s journey will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Despite everything that she goes through she is one courageous and strong character.
If you’re a fan of My Dark Vanessa then I highly recommend giving this a read, just be warned that it is uncomfortable and hard to read in places.