My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There’s a point in the Silver Brumby books that reaches a great and amazing place, and it’s not a thing that occurs over and in one book alone. Rather it’s a point that is reached in The Silver Brumby and continues throughout the series and genuinely blows your mind. This saga of silver horses is big, guys, it’s big. It’s Tolkien-esque at points, featuring inter-herd rivalries, familial ties, and stallions fighting for mares the colour of the purest snow.
It is good. Australia lives here, and it lives loud. Mitchell has her world and it is big and embracing. You’re pulled into it, following the perspectives of the silver herd, whether that perspective is wise Thowra, foolish Lightening or the bright hope of Baringa. God, even writing those names has an impact. Mitchell writes horses so well. She doesn’t humanise them to an uncomfortable degree, rather she writes them as horses and not just as thinly masked people. It is a gift and one she is perhaps unparalleled in doing so.
This book is the third in the series, and it is the establishment of Lightening and Baringa in their own right. The two colts are led out of the Secret Valley by Thowra and to the south where other brumbies live and fillies are ready to be stolen and formed into herds. Lightening, cocky and brash, revels in the attention of being one of the Silver Herd and Baringa, younger, more cautious, moves like moonlight in the mist as he starts to find his footing.
It is a good and brilliant book this, and it is part of a good and brilliant series. The world that is created here is huge and it’s unique. The way Mitchell pauses over describing a stallion fight, or conjures up bush legends of mysterious fillies, gives you so much. These books are full of joys.