All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie

“People tell many strange lies about the horses of Iceland. How they are made of fire that has leached into their bones from the fiery earth, or sky that they have sucked into their lungs from the tops of mountains. So there are sorrel horses, and horses with blue eyes. How a great stallion was once caught in a crevasse, caught by his near fore- and hind leg, while his off legs kept running and running, scrabbling on the ice for a foothold until he pulled himself out, sweating and steaming with effort. So ever after he ran using his legs first on the one side, then the other, and the tölt was born.”

-All the Horses of Iceland

Everyone knows of the horses of Iceland, wild, and small, and free, but few have heard their story. All the Horses of Iceland tells the tale of a Norse trader, his travels through Central Asia, and the ghostly magic that followed him home to the land of fire, stone, and ice. His search for riches will take him from Helmgard, through Khazaria, to the steppes of Mongolia, where he will barter for horses and return with much, much more.

I had the pleasure of reading All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie last night, and this is an incredibly gorgeous novella. 

Because of its length, this review will be pretty short as I don’t want to give away too much. This story follows Eyvind and his journey to obtain horses and bring them back to Iceland. Through his travels, he meets various people and helps them along the way. 

This story feels a lot like a folklore story, and it is rich with detail. I loved the bits of magic woven into the text, and I loved all of the imagery surrounding the horses that you meet on this adventure. 

I loved Eyvind, though this story isn’t told from his point of view, but more of a historical account hundreds of years later. The frame of the story worked marvelously, and I enjoyed seeing how Eyvind developed as a character, learning so much about the world around him and his own magic. 

This is definitely the kind of story you pick up and just fall in love with and want more of. Also, can we just take a moment to admire how beautiful this stunning cover is??

I’m very excited to read more by Sarah Tolmie in the future! If you have a favorite magical story featuring horses, leave a comment. I’d love to read more!

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