Last week I only got one book read:
The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission To Rescue The Priceless Stallions Kidnapped By The Nazis
Copyright Date: August 2016
The amazon.com product description:
One of those books that every time I picked it up, I couldn't put it down again easily. An excerpt from my review:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II
In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.
With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.
Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.
A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.
Praise for The Perfect Horse
“Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”—Kirkus Reviews“The Perfect Horse raises the narrative bar. Applying her skills as a researcher, storyteller and horsewoman, Letts provides context that makes this account spellbinding.”—Culturess
“The Perfect Horse is an enthralling and moving story that I could not put down. This is a riveting and unique perspective on World War II.”—Molly Guptill Manning, author of When Books Went to War
“Passionately told and dazzling in scope, The Perfect Horse charges headlong into an unforgettable tale of World War II, when good men were given a final mission—to save beloved horses—at an hour when no one wanted to die. In Elizabeth Letts, the saga of World War II’s white stallions has found its perfect guardian.”—Adam Makos, author of A Higher Call
“Elizabeth Letts’s beautiful prose, woven together with meticulous research, takes you for a ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.”—Robin Hutton, author of Sgt. Reckless
I have to recommend this book most highly. A gripping read which left me wanting to know more - perhaps to hunt down translations of Alois Podhajsky's books - I know I've seen his book on horsemanship (in fact, I have a copy sitting on my shelf), but didn't know he'd also written another book too.I didn't end up picking up either of the books I said I would last week. Instead I'm currently reading:
The amazon.com product description:
Apprenticed to a venerable wizard when his hunter and trapper parents disappear into the forest never to be seen again, Darian is difficult and strong willed--much to the dismay of his kindly master. But a sudden twist of fate will change his life forever, when the ransacking of his village forces him to flee into the great mystical forest. It is here in the dark forest that he meets his destiny, as the terrifying and mysterious Hawkpeople lead him on the path to maturity. Now they must lead the assault on his besieged home in a desperate attempt to save his people from certain death!I've read Owlflight a few times now, and enjoyed the read every time. This is the first in a trilogy (typical for most of the Valdemar books until the last few years) and what makes it different from the rest is that this series is one where the main character isn't a Herald.
However, even though I've read Owlflight before, it doesn't look as though I've ever reviewed it here. Interesting. As an added benefit, this whole trilogy counts towards my Valdemar Reading Challenge.
I'm planning on reading the next two books in this trilogy this week:
Owlsight and Owlknight. Beyond that, I can't say.