Bloomsbury, New York and London, 2012
Heroine Kallisto is racing her mother’s Akhal-Teke stallion, Gryphon, when she sees, far off, the approaching Chinese Army. Kallisto, her mother and her friend Batu rush back to the city so that they can move their horses to safety, but a leopard attack leaves Kallisto’s mother, and the stallion Gryphon, badly wounded. They do not make it back in time to escape, and are beseiged within the city. Swan, Kallisto’s beloved pure white mare will be sacrificed, in an attempt to persuade the gods to favour the defenders of the city. Kallisto strikes a bargain with Arash: if she can find a golden horse harness, similar to the one Arash’s father lost, within five days, Star will not be sacrificed.