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The Horse Mistress: Book 1

(The Eburosi Chronicles #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,130 ratings  ·  141 reviews
**Book One of the 2016 Rainbow Award winning poly romance series**

Carivel has a secret. It could save her village, but it will also destroy her life.

She was born female, but she has been secretly living as a boy for years in her adoptive village of Draebard, doing a job the elders insist can only be done by a male. The last thing she needs is to fall for not one, but two u
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published September 23rd 2015 by Amazon Digital Services
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,130 ratings  ·  141 reviews

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~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
★★★★☆ ~ 4 Stars

This is one of those freebies that surprise you by being pretty darn good. Author has written a sensitive menage story about three different people who you wouldn't think would work, but they're well on their way by the end of this first story in a trilogy.

Carivel (Cara) escaped her village because women weren't allowed to work with horses, something she's very skilled at. So she's been hiding that she's actually a woman. But that's not all her secrets, she identifies as a male an
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am going to use gender-neutral pronouns for one of the characters, though they're not used in the book.

In Carivel's tribe, women aren't allowed to work with horses. Carivel doesn't usually think of zirself as a woman, and dresses as a boy to be assistant to the Horse Master. Zie has what she thinks are hopeless crushes on the eunuch priest Senovo and the warrior Andoc. Tragic circumstances bring them to try to seek an alliance with another tribe.

I liked that there was some focus on the charact
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Hart_D by: Ariel Cowger
Very enjoyable book! It's a romantic and believable three-person love story with a solid fantasy-quest type of plot. It is definitely not a YA novel, but it's fun in the way that YA can be; the main characters don't fit into their world, and it seems likely that they will change their society over the course of the series.

The point-of-view character, Carivel, is nonbinary in my (cis) opinion, and uses female pronouns. To me the character is written with sensitivity, and her gender is only one p
Clare O'Beara
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Carivel is a young woman who is forced to pretend she is a man by the Bronze Age style culture which forbids women from handling horses. Since she arrived at this village and apprenticed to the Horse Master, though, the horses have thrived. Then an attack by night kills some of the villagers including the Horse Master. Can Carivel keep her secret and live up to her training? I enjoyed particularly a scene where Carivel works the Monty Roberts magic on a fierce stallion. (If you don't know about ...more
Karin A
3,5 ⭐️ A very pleasant read with several of themes I enjoy: fantasy, bdsm, ménage (mmf) and shape shifting. Get some horses, gender fluidity and action & diplomacy in the mix and you’ve found yourself a good read. ...more
The following review was originally posted on my book blog The Book Challengers.

I actually started reading this book as it happens to be one of those freebies that has been sitting on my Kindle for an eternity and for a moment it seemed like something that I might enjoy at that particular moment. I quite enjoyed the fantasy-like background and the fact that our hero was born female but was trying their best to do what they loved despite the itsibitsy problem of having a female body but a male m
Marythios (AkaSusanne )
In Carivel's tribe, women aren't allowed to work with horses. Carivel doesn't usually think of zirself as a woman, and dresses as a boy to be assistant to the Horse Master. Zie has what she thinks are hopeless crushes on the eunuch priest Senovo and the warrior Andoc. Tragic circumstances bring them to try to seek an alliance with another tribe. Carivel is a young woman who is forced to pretend she is a man by the Bronze Age style culture which forbids women from handling horses. Since she arriv ...more
3.5 to 4 stars

This was an interesting read. The series kind of breaks the mold. It is a medieval/Bronze Age style fantasy series that uses that medium to explore some pretty unique topics for a romance.

Carivel (Cara) is the MC - a woman who ran from her village because she desperately wanted to work with the horses and women were not allowed to do that. She identifies herself as a man (I guess the medieval equivalent of someone that would today become transgendered). She is disguised in her new
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it. I happen to read a lot of amateur/new/self-published writers as well as I get free books at Kindle store and I must say that half of the time I am disappointed by the quality of books. It is hard to stumble upon something which is not too cliched, full of tropes or basically a retelling of another book.

Even though this book was not mind blowing or exciting in terms of the plot, the characters were pleasant and likeable, and I think this book deserves some love for executing a believ
Ciara Darren
This story hit several of my favorite themes: role-bending, fantasy, horses, social role negotiation, power exchange, and the characters filling in the empty spaces in each other. The protagonist doesn't necessarily identify as male or female, although they live as a male for their role in society and were born female. I appreciated that the situation was handled with such matter-a-factness by the two secondary leads and love interests. Beautiful horses and shape-shifting wolves did not hurt eit ...more
Sep 20, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: ebook, fantasy, queer
First one's free! I got the drm-free epub at Kobo. It's also at Amazon. September 20, 2016. ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed

I am pleasantly surprised by the fact that there's an actual story before all the sex. =D The core idea is cool but the actual process is a bit rough. Narrator does a nice job of making the overall story more cohesive. I like the relationship developing between the three main characters, but find it hard to swallow some of the details about the setting and characters.

This series is part of the Romance package on Audible. I'm going to gobble up as many books as possible and try stuff
So it wasn’t perfect and there were a couple of things that I would have liked better if they were done differently (Senovo could have been asexual instead of a eunuch, but then I guess the trauma in his backstory would have had to be a worse kind. Idk) but ultimately I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was everything I needed and wanted.
Melissa Wingard
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wow! I was not expecting the steamy scenes. A bit crazy and VERY adult.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished listening to this story a few days ago, and I had to give myself time to consider my best response. The short answer is that I *really* liked this story. It has a lot of elements that shouldn’t work, and yet it does quite well.

The plot of the story is that our 3 lead characters are all important people in their village. When the village gets attacked, they got to a neighbor to recruit help for the war that is sure to come. Each of them shows strength and weaknesses with each other and
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Song of the Lioness Quartet meets The Immortals quartet, but all grown up. For all the little kids who kept thinking "why not both" while reading stories with love triangles, and are probably (relatedly) poly now. Also for the little queer kids who read the Lioness Quartet and didn't realize why they related to Alanna so much until they grew up and came out. This gives us that "what if... I, the heroine, lived as a MAN" tropeage with an actually trans (nonbinary? trans man? unclear, which is fin ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It was super gratifying to read about a nonbinary protagonist saving the day and finding love with not one but two people. Assigned female at birth, Carivel has spent the last several years passing for a boy. When asked by her traveling companions and future lovers whether she'd prefer they continue to treat her as male, she is very touched by their unexpected offer but chooses female pronouns (fortunately for future-plot). Her partners respect her desire to be understood as a man's spirit insid ...more
A solid beginning to a series. I enjoy what we've seen of the world so far, the characters leave a strong impression without being total archetypes, and I could really get into the relationships. I do have a lot of questions about the surrounding world, but I trust that answers are coming soon. I love that gender identity and fluidity are at the forefront, and the scene where Andoc asks Carivel what to call her in private and she almost cries before answering almost made ME cry lol.

My only nitpi
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series has been on my wishlist for a while now, as it sounded like a series I would enjoy. When I won a copy of the the box set containing the entire series I was determined to finally get around to reading it. It still took me a while longer, but I finally picked up book 1 now and I am glad I did as I really enjoyed this one.

The Horse Mistress Book 1 takes place in a fantasy world on the island Eburos. It follows the story of Carivel, who is a women, but disguises herself as a man so she c
I enjoyed this way more than I thought it would. It's a romance set in a fantasy world involving two men, one of which is an eunuch, and a woman who is struggling with her gender identity. I liked the fact that it had real substance to the plot despite the heavy focus on the romance. For some reason when I started this I thought it was erotica. However, aside from one scene at the end there aren't any sexual scenes although sex and sexuality are discussed throughout the book. I immediately read ...more
Jennifer Erwin
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't know how I stumbled upon this book on Amazon, but I did, and I really liked it surprisingly. It's not a complete story, but where it ends was a good location. It has enough of a closure and depth to it, so that it doesn't feel like a serial novella. I enjoyed the character development and the interaction between themselves and the villages/townspeople around them. I don't normally like to read about this time period, but word play was just so rich that I was drawn right into the story. R ...more
Pépin Pomme
Aug 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is very cliché. The main character especially, and many scenes with her and horses, are straight from horse books you give little girls.
It is saved by the humor, and by one of the love interest, who is so nice, natural and funny.
And the sex was really good.
But personally, I was uncomfortable with the straight woman worming her way in a already established relationship between two men.
This book is not the original and revolutionary story I was hoping for, even if it is fun and well writ
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I got this as the complete series in audible format. While it generally was an interesting storyline and it had a bit of western and paranormal aspects in it, what I really was looking for was something a bit more... I don't know... something with a little more umph to it. I was first attracted to this book because of the ménage aspect and I also seem to side on the one female and two guys angle, it just didn't live up to what I was hoping for. I'll keep this one on the back burner and update it ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For starters, if this book wasn't free when I got it from Amazon, I never would have discovered this amazing author R. A. Steffan, nor been so enthralled with this series. I'd looked at this book a few times, downloaded the sample, but day on it forever. Once I finally sat down and read book 1 completely, I was hooked. This story has so many twists and turns and adventure that you won't be bored; you'll probably want to just binge read the whole series.
Tully Vincent
Got this book free on Amazon and added the audio for a nominal price. This is TOTALLY NOT a case of you get what you pay for folks! This book is excellent, and the narration is perfect. I am definitely going to move on in this series.
DNF 30%

I couldn't keep my eyes opened...
FREE on Kindle 3/18/16
Freida Kilmari
Dec 08, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this series, but I just couldn't. The first wasn't actually that bad; it had a great exploration of what it would be like to experience a different gender identity to your sex. However, in the second book, when they started having sex, I began to feel real uncomfortable with some of the scenes where the gender identity issues were explored as body dysmorphia. They are not the same thing, and actually, the gender fluid community are having a lot of issues with people labelling th ...more
This is juuust barely a 2. I picked it up (free on Kindle) so I could read a queer poly relationship, and I did enjoy that part of it, but the story is otherwise pretty predictable and weak. The fantasy world of Eburosi is not that interesting, we only see a few scenes of the main character Carivel demonstrate her "horse mistress" skills (which imo was still a snooze), and there's some shape shifting? If you're going to read this book, my advice is to read it as a how-to on navigating an intimat ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantasy Ménage

This was a recommendation from the fabulous Reverse Harem group on Facebook that I’m a member of. The recommendation was made when someone wanted RH with MM involvement. This is technically a Ménage rather than a RH with only three people involved. It’s really interesting as the main character is non-binary gender. Born as a female Carivel works as assistant to the horse master of her village whilst dressed and acting as male. This is her preference but it is also a necessity beca
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USA Today bestselling author R. A. Steffan lives in New Mexico, where the sunsets paint the mountains purple, and roadrunners roam the desert endlessly in search of their coyote victims. When she’s not busy writing stories about people loving each other in all sorts of different and interesting ways, she can be found taking care of her small menagerie of critters.

A rebel to the core, she is curren

Other books in the series

The Eburosi Chronicles (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Horse Mistress: Book 2 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #2)
  • The Horse Mistress: Book 3 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #3)
  • The Horse Mistress: Book 4 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #4)
  • The Lion Mistress: Book 1 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #5)
  • The Lion Mistress: Book 2 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #6)
  • The Lion Mistress: Book 3 (The Eburosi Chronicles, #7)
  • The Dragon Mistress: Book 1 (Dragon Mistress #1; The Eburosi Chronicles, #8)
  • The Dragon Mistress: Book 2 (Dragon Mistress #2; The Eburosi Chronicles #9)
  • The Dragon Mistress: Book 3 (Dragon Mistress #3; The Eburosi Chronicles #10)
  • The Dragon Mistress: Book 4 (Dragon Mistress #4; The Eburosi Chronicles #11)

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