The Lightning Horse

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
358 Pages
Reviewed on 07/10/2020
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Author Biography

N.L. Holmes is the pen name of a professional archaeologist who received her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College. She has excavated in Greece and in Israel, and taught ancient history and humanities at the university level for many years. She has always had a passion for books, and in childhood, she and her cousin (also a writer today) used to write stories for fun.

The inspiration for her Bronze Age novels came with an assignment she gave to her students one day: here are the only documents we have telling us about a certain royal divorce in Ugarit in the 13th century. How much can we say about what happened? It quickly became apparent that almost anything we might come up with was as much fiction as historiography!

Today, since their son is grown, she lives with her husband, three cats and a dog. They split their time between Florida and northern France, where she gardens, weaves, plays the violin, dances, and occasionally drives a jog-cart. And reads, of course.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Lightning Horse is a work of fiction in the historical, dramatic, and action sub-genres, and was penned by author N. L. Holmes. This heartfelt coming of age drama features our central protagonist Tiwatipara, who goes through many struggles and intrigues during his life in the Hittite empire in the ancient Mediterranean. When his father dies in a purported accident, Tiwatipara learns the truth and vows to find the snake in the grass who has betrayed their king. So begins a complex mystery with plenty of family drama, romantic twists and dangerous hostage situations that show the military prowess and complex politics of ancient times.

Author N. L. Holmes never ceases to amaze with the level of research, detail, and immersion that her historical novels deliver, and her expertise shows on every page of this new adventure. Celebrating a lesser-known culture, the Hittite empire features some really fascinating and brutal moments that lend themselves to action-packed storytelling really well. For me, Tiwatipara is the true heart of the tale, a young man whom we can all relate to in his pain and his struggle to attain that which he desires most in life. The story is accessible to all readers, drawing us into his emotional arc and educating us about the world in which he lives. I enjoyed the complex mystery of the hostage-taking very much, and the schemes and secrets provided some huge and welcome surprises to the plot. Overall, I would highly recommend The Lightning Horse to historical fiction fans everywhere.