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Airs Above the Ground Mass Market Paperback – November 30, 2004


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Airs Above the Ground + Thunder on the Right + The Gabriel Hounds
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; First HarperTorch Paperback Printing edition (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006074748X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060747480
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A tale of breathless excitement against a background of breathless scenic beauty."

Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Mary Stewart has instilled new life into the romantic suspense story and become the top-ranking novelist in this field."

Book Week --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This was the first Mary Stewart book I ever read, and it hooked me immediately. I have since read every book she's ever written, many of them multiple times. As a young teenager, I looked to the heroines (who are always young women facing difficult situations with courage, grace and intelligence) as role models on how to become a woman. I love the mix of exotic locals, mystery and romance in Mary Stewart's novels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mart Stewart, one of the most popular novelists writing today, was born in Sunderland, County Durham, England. After boarding-school, she recieved a B.A. with first class honors in English Language and Literature from Durham University and went on for her M.A. Later she returned to her own University as a Lecturer in English. She married in 1945. Her husband is Sir Frederick Stewart, who is Chairman of the Geology Department at Edinburgh University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.Mary Stewart's career as a novelist began in 1954 with the publication of Madam, Will You Talk? Since then she has published fifteen successful novels, including The Last Enchantment, the third book of the magical trilogy about the legendary enchanter Merlin and young Arthur. Her books for young readers, The Little Broomstick (1971) and Ludo and the Star Horse (1974), quickly met with the same success as her other novels. In 1968, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In 1971, the Scottish Chapter of the International PEN Association awarded her the Frederick Niven prize for the The Crystal Cave. In 1974, the Scottish Arts Council Award went to Ludo and the Star Horse.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I read this one well over twenty years ago and many times since then.
Tess
Mary Stewart's books never go out of style...this one had me gasping, guessing, and re-reading pages to see just what I had missed!
susiq
Magnificent descriptions of nature, interesting characters, mystery, romance and story twists.
NY1997

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Diana F. Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With a backdrop of a fairy-tale castle set in the Austrian alps and the music of Der Rosenkavalier playing below from a traveling circus, an old horse dances in a meadow, executing the precise dressage movements called the "Airs Above the Ground" of the famous Lippanzaners of the Spanish Riding School. The only witnesses are Londoners, Vanessa March, and her companion teenaged Tim Lacy thrown together by chance as Tim pursues his dream of untying his mother's apron strings by applying for a job at the famous riding school and Vanessa searches for her errant husband, Lewis, supposedly away on business in Sweden, but documented on a UK newsreel with a beautiful blonde during an out of control circus fire near Graz.

As usual, Mary Stewart creates a fine story where intrepid characters move along a lushly described exotic locale. The delineation between good and evil is clearly defined. Like the other Stewart heroines, Charity Selbourne of 'Madame Will You Talk' comes quickly to mind, Vanessa unhesitatingly does the 'right thing.' Although she has the stereotypical loveliness, intelligence, and quick wittedness with a bit of the acerbic tongue of a married woman that makes her narration marvelously fun, she is never obssessed with superficiality like so many more modern 'romance' heroines. But, of course, a Stewart romance is a romance of the most highly literal type; the love scenes are suggested rather than depicted. The narration moves you along as if you were one and the same as the heroine; you breath her air, your heart clenches with terror when hers does, your skin prickles when in the presence of the ethereal and you quickly adopt and share her high value system.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Laura A. R. Wingfield on December 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mary Stewart's Ivy Tree got me hooked on reading and I've read every book she's written. The villain in this book is so memorable I have always remembered his name. This book like all of her books marries romance and mystery but in a way no modern books do, it is romance, not sex. All of her books give you information on either classic works or other historic backgrounds, like the Spanish Riding School, that I got big points from my Humanities teachers from things I learned from Mary Stewart, I never told them how I knew the information. This is one of her best, the people are memorable and the horse is miraculous. Just a treat all round. Read all her mysteries you can't go wrong
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Susan Buentello on March 8, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like other reviewers, I read most of Mary Stewart's novels as a teenager when they were called "Gothics". Nine Coaches Waiting and Wildfire at Midnight were wonderful, and among my favorites, but Airs Above the Ground lingers in my memory as the best of Mary Stewart's works. The scene with the old horse on the hillside gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes every time I read it, or even think about it. I went to see the Lippizaners in Austria just because of the influence of this book. Read it--you won't be disappointed.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ishtar on August 18, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Airs Above the Ground is not quite as compelling in its descriptions and plot as The Gabriel Hounds, My Brother Michael, or This Rough Magic (my favourite); however, it is still a classic Stewart mystery/romance, even if the romance is quite evident from the start. Vanessa March is quite likable and the only Stewart heroine thus far to not have annoyed me just a little bit. My favourite element of the book is the friendship that develops between Vanessa and young Tim Lacy, who is trying to break away from a stifling household and forge a path for himself. As far as the descriptions of exotic locales go, trademark to Stewart, I enjoyed the chase scene through the castle. Airs Above the Ground didn't wow me and I found the ending a bit strange as it didn't feature Annalisa at all..., but all in all, a pleasent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. K. Stokes on December 1, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's symptomatic of the way I found books and authors when I was younger that I never discovered Mary Stewart's gothics until a couple of years ago. In my teens and early twenties, I loved Victoria Holt's gothics, considering them a peculiar sort of mysteries, and a bit of a guilty pleasure. I hadn't heard the term "gothics". I'd have loved Mary Stewart's books, too, but it never occurred to me to look for books similar to Holt's; nor did I talk to any other readers about them. Not that I really knew any other readers. The same thing happened with mysteries, and science fiction and fantasy. I read everything by a handful of authors, some popular, some more obscure, but completely missed a lot of the giants of the genres.

But it's all good. It just means that I have a few zillion old books to enjoy... along with the few zillion new books on my list.

Airs Above the Ground is a bit unusual for a gothic, in my experience anyway, in that the heroine is already married to the hero. Vanessa thinks her new husband is on a business trip to Stockholm... then she sees him in a newsreel with another woman on his arm--and they're in Vienna.

So when a friend asks Vanessa to escort her teenaged son to visit his father in Austria, Vanessa takes the chance to find out what's going on, and they find themselves caught up in the exotic world of a small traveling circus, international drug smuggling, mysterious deaths, and the world-famous Lipizzaner Stallions. Not to mention the difficulties of being newlyweds.

The atmosphere is pure gothic, and a lot of people rave about the horses (I'm not a fan of horses), but what I enjoyed most about this book is how all the various threads intertwined and affected each other.
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