If you’re the kind of nerd who rewards yourself with a good book and a nice spot on the couch after a hectic work week, get ready to fire up your Kindle. Proceed immediately to Amazon.com and download Blaze of Glory, by m. garzon. Do not be swayed by the conventional title, the Young Adult label, or the very young child on the cover who has nothing at all to do with the actual story. Thanks to Horse Junkies United, On the Line discovered an addicting guilty pleasure of a novel last week with a level of steam and scandal that is way over the top –and oh so enjoyable to read. Add in the hunter/jumper circuit, high goal polo, The Royal Horse Show, and (everyone’s favorite) barn drama, and a novel doesn’t get much better than this for horsepeople of many age groups.
Meet Tea, a headstrong 17-year-old girl who is a very talented jumper rider and hardworking riding coach. She helps run her stepfather’s Canadian boarding and training facility while engaging in all the typical teenage pastimes – party drugs, sex, alcohol, and many other curfew-breaking types of rebellion. She’s a talented rider but when tragedy strikes early on in the book, her downward spiral kicks off the kind of teenage behavior that makes the reader relate to her, root for her, and even be a little disgusted in her. But, being an attractive and intelligent teenage girl, a romantic storyline is inevitable, and although this particular tale is laced with family secrets, an element of abuse and quite the secret scandal, it all makes for a great page-turner, and easily tops other horse-themed fiction novels recently reviewed on this blog. Where The A-Circuit played it safe and stuck its little pinky toe into the sordid waters of drugs, young love, and the moneyed equestrian world we love to hate, Blaze of Glory takes a big old swan dive into those depths, stays awhile, and lets all the ignominy soak deep into its pages.
There is no one-dimensional writing in this book. Author m. garzon knows how to reach inside her reader’s head and carry them along with her characters’ emotional highs and lows. She writes with the ease of someone who understands the way horses think and feel. This is her first novel and my hat’s off to her. So what are you waiting for? Jump on into this book.