Title: Fire Horse (Polo: Book One)
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Narrator:: Max Lehnen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 Hours and 55 Minutes
At a Glance: Bottom line: Read the e-book. It’s worth it. The audiobook, not so much.
Reviewed By: Kathie
Blurb: Preston Fawkes is 10 the first time he meets 15-year-old Konrad Schnell at the San Antonio Polo Club. Captivated by the mystique surrounding the sport of kings, Pres vows to learn the game at the hands of his newly acquired friend and mentor. The hero worship soon grows into something deeper, but the friends are separated when Preston goes off to boarding school in England.
The relationship that follows is riddled with challenges: their age gap, physical distance, and parental pressure taking precedence over feelings yet to be explored. Although their bond goes deep, they deal with the reality of their situation differently: Preston is open and fearless while Konrad is reticent and all too aware of the social implications of making a public stand.
Their paths intersect and twine, binding them as tightly as a cowboy’s lasso, but fate may alter their plans. How will love overcome the divots in the turf as they gallop toward the future – one where obstacles no longer stand in their way?
Review: Immediately after receiving this audio to review, I started listening to it. I had not read the book but had read some of the reviews, so I was very excited to see what all the fuss was about. After listening to the first couple chapters, I found I was having a really hard time following the storyline. I know nothing about polo or the culture that surrounds it. To give this audiobook a fair review, though, I decided to purchase the e-book and read it before continuing with the audio, thinking I would then have a better understanding of polo and horses. It helped a lot. The e-book was really good, an epic romance with lots of chemistry between the main characters, and so many twists and turns that it was hard to keep up with at times, just as it was in the audio version of the book.
The story starts out in 2011, after the MC, Preston Fawkes, suffers a major accident while riding in a polo match. As Preston “slips into a morphine-induced high,” he starts remembering his life with Konrad, the love of his life.
Max Lehnen, the narrator, had a tough job to do just in keeping up with all the accents of the different characters, then adding to that challenge, the span of time in which this story takes place: ages ten to forty-six for Preston. Max tried, but towards the end of the audio he began to slip, and at that point all the characters started sounding alike. Some books I feel aren’t really made to be audiobooks. They are too complex in their details, or have way too many characters for a narrator to deal with.
I agree with most of the reviews of this book; all the praise for Fire Horse is well deserved. I just don’t think the narration did the story justice. Bottom line: Read the book. It’s worth it. The audio, not so much.
You can buy Fire Horse here: