A silver brumby is special, but he will be hunted by man and horse alike, and must be stronger than both...
Thowra's speed and courage have always saved him from the men who want to capture him - until now, when the men come on skis quickly and silently over the mountains. This time Thowra must protect his daughter from the hunters who prize the silver brumbies above any other horse.
This book is set nearly a year after the end of The Silver Brumby, when Throwa took a wild leap for freedom out of the big brumby drive that led many a man to think he was now dead, a Ghost Horse. He’s been hiding in his beautiful Secret Valley with Golden, Kunama, Boon Boon, and Boon Boon’s grey sisters. But Kunama has her father’s wandering spirit, and she longs to run with the handsome black young stallion Tambo, whom Storm took under his wing when his mother, the black racehorse from the south, was recaptured in the big brumby drive.
Storm and Thowra are co-kings of the Cascade herd, of a sorts, with Thowra the undisputed leader but often in hiding, and Storm leading them otherwise. They are somewhat lenient towards Tambo, whom Storm trained in the art of the bush. I’m not sure why – maybe they can both tell he would be a good mate for Kunama? Thowra gives a thrashing to the mean-spirited nephew of Arrow, called Spear, who chases Kunama from one end of the Cascades to the other, desperate to add her to his herd, but when Tambo is caught frolicking with Kunama all he gets is a shaking and a stern lecture from Storm.
It was interesting seeing life from the point of view of a silver filly. Like Thowra, Kunama has to be beware of men, but she’s also the jewel of any stallion’s herd, and unlike Thowra, she’s not big and strong enough to fight amorous stallions off, so Tambo fights for her – again and again – and he’s only three years old, but far more fierce than Thowra ever was at that age. Remember, Bel Bel told Thowra not to fight The Brolga until he was at full strength, when he was about four or five years old. Whereas Thowra only really had two horse enemies – Arrow and The Brolga – Kunama has to hide herself practically all the time lest a stallion see her and want her for himself.
And all she wants is to run with Tambo– but he’s not part of the Silver Herd, and he’s not allowed to know about the Secret Valley, so Kunama has to split her time between her family including new baby brother Lightning, and Thowra in the Valley, and with Tambo and Tambo’s two other ‘creamy’ fillies (with dark points, so not silver like Kunama).
And above all, Kunama is hunted by men because she’s an easier mark than Thowra, being so young and female, and the stifling presence of the men combined with the suffocating walls of the Secret Valley and her longing to run with Tambo lead Kunama to wish for only one thing: freedom. The kind of freedom that Thowra still has – as a strong, fast stallion, king of the Cascades, he can go anywhere he wants. Kunama hates being so limited, and I can identify with her because those limits are placed on her because of her sex. Poor precious beauty, can’t run free with her boyfriend for fear of capture by man or other stallions…