Luna, Sept 2004, 13.95, 400 pp.
Valeria heard the Call of the Mountain but Valeria's mother refused to believe it because in one thousand years, only men have answered the summons. Her mother warded her so she could not use her magic but still Valeria found a way to leave her home and head for the mountain where the magical white stallions live. She travels with a caravan and among their number is Euan Rohe, a Caletanni barbarian being held hostage for the behavior of his tribe. The barbarians do not want to be part of the Aurelian Empire but for now Evan and his allies work in the shadows, getting ready to make their move.
Valeria pretends to be a boy while she takes the test to see if she can be a Rider. The Ladies call her, the stallions accept her but the men reject her once they find out she is a female even though she is the most powerful horse mage they have ever seen. First Rider Kerrec takes her under his wing but both he and Valeria are kidnapped by Euan and his allies. Valeria saves Kerrec but she doesn't believe she can betray the Empire for the love of one man.
The white stallions are able to work time and fate to see the possible futures that may happen to the empire. The bond between rider and stallion is comparable to that of dragon and rider in Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. There is plenty of action and romance in this spellbinding romantic fantasy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner