Airs Above the Ground

Airs Above the Ground When Vanessa March arrived in Vienna she knew all about the white Lipizzan stallions at the Spanish Riding School But she never expected to get involved with them or indeed with suspected murder

  • Title: Airs Above the Ground
  • Author: MaryStewart
  • ISBN: 9781444720525
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Paperback
  • When Vanessa March arrived in Vienna she knew all about the white Lipizzan stallions at the Spanish Riding School But she never expected to get involved with them or, indeed, with suspected murder.

    604 Comment

    • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ says:

      This is another enjoyable Mary Stewart suspense novel (sorry, I'm never going to stop talking about her books. They're just so much fun). Airs Above the Ground, written in 1965, may not be her best novel, but it's set in Austria, a lovely country and one of my favorite places in the world, so between the wonderful setting and the pivotal role in the plot played by Lippizaners, who are based in Austria, I have a massive soft spot for this novel.Vanessa March, who's been married for two years, has [...]

    • Candi says:

      Airs Above the Ground is a stimulating adventure through the Austrian landscape of the 1960s. If you are looking for a quick and entertaining diversion from some of your more demanding literary reads, then this book may be just the ticket. I became a devoted fan of Mary Stewart this year when I discovered her Merlin and King Arthur series and am determined to read everything she ever wrote… no matter how long that may take! This book is completely different from that treasured series, but was [...]

    • Debbie Zapata says:

      I have read this book a gazillion times over the years, and I never get tired of it. I like the fast pace, the horses, the circus, the mystery (even though that part is admittedly not all that mysterious), the horses, the relationship between Vanessa and her husband, the way young Timothy becomes more of who he is supposed to be, and the horses. The chase across the top of the castle never fails to leave me breathless, but I must admit that I can never picture things like 'the northwest corner' [...]

    • Margitte says:

      This is the first adventure-thriller of Mary Stewart that I read. The milieu is the Alps, woods and castles of Austria in the 1960s. The main subject is a horse, and the history of the Lipizzaner horses. I found this part of the story really interesting. Around the mystery and beauty of these magnificent horses and their traditional dressage training at the Spanish Riding School, dating back hundreds of years, are a young married veterinary surgeon, her husband Lewis, a family friend, Timothy, a [...]

    • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂ says:

      3.5*Set in a favourite country (Austria) & a favourite time period (the sixties) but even so this for me wasn't one of Stewart's best. I don't think Stewart felt completely comfortable with the whole espionage thing. The story worked best for me at the times the hero Lewis wasn't present. Vanessa & the engaging Tim managed very well! Part of the story felt a bit confused & I had to go back for a reread.The trademark heroine in peril bit was thrilling & I was on the edge of my sea [...]

    • Hana says:

      Upping this to four stars on re-reading. How could I have forgotten how much fun this is? A classic Mary Stewart blend of action, adventure, travel and a dash of romance. Plus this one has all of my favorite things.Gorgeous Austrian scenery.Horses!And not just any horses.The noble, ancient Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna are part of the story.There are all sorts of wonderful details about the school, the horses, their well-documented lineages and the way they are trai [...]

    • Lois Bujold says:

      I hadn't read Mary Stewart since she was contemporary fiction; a couple of titles maybe, of which the only one I (dimly) remember at, urk, 50 years distance was Madame, Will You Walk? (Later: Talk, not Walk. Remembered it even less well than I thought) Interesting to revisit both the writer and the times.I'd call this thriller-lite perhaps, rather than romantic suspense as such -- there wasn't much romance, as our heroine/1st-person-narrator is two years married at the start, to a man whom she t [...]

    • Jane says:

      When I saw that the 100th anniversary of Mary Stewart’s birth fell last weekend I knew that it was time for me to read another of her books.I had always liked the look of ‘Airs Above the Ground’, and so off the shelf it came.The story is set up beautifully.Vanessa March is shocked to see her husband on a newsreel item about a circus fire in Austria, because she had believed him to be in Sweden on business. An old family friend saw the same newsreel and called Vanessa, asking her to escort [...]

    • Tammie says:

      Airs Above the Ground was a good read once it got going. Unfortunately or the first 200 pages it was a rather dull story with no real mystery or suspense. The prospect of a woman seeing her missing husband on a newsreel and setting out to find him is what I found interesting about this book and it was probably the main draw, other than the fact that it's written by Mary Stewart and I generally like her writing. However the book's description isn't very accurate. The book's description makes it s [...]

    • Nikki says:

      "Hi, honey, I've been lying to you throughout our relationship and I'm (view spoiler)[actually a spy (hide spoiler)].""Oh my god, that is so sexy. If we weren't married I'd marry you again.""That guy hit you? I'll burn his hand until he screams.""Oh my god, that is so sexy. Let's have babies."Basically. Vanessa's husband Lewis was meant to be going with her on a trip and then he had to cancel for unexplained work reasons and a quick trip to Stockholm -- and then she sees him in news footage from [...]

    • Nikki says:

      I misremembered this one somewhat, as I’d expected more time spent in the castle that actually only comes in about halfway through. It does speak well of Stewart’s usual ability to evoke an atmosphere; the castle/hotel works perfectly, and so does the circus. There’s not as much of a sense of landscape, though; it feels like it could be set anywhere, at least until the ending with the night time chase and the train lines on the mountain.I remembered all too well why the romance in this bot [...]

    • Angelica Bentley says:

      Having read all of Mary Stewart's opus (except for two of the children's books), I would rank this particular story among my top five favourites. The title refers to the classical dressage movements performed by the famous Lipizzaner stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.One of the most enjoyable aspects of Mary Stewart's books is her thorough research. I am particularly well qualified to say that, in this novel, the equestrian theme is impeccably and satisfyingly accurate and Lady St [...]

    • Olga Godim says:

      I loved this story. It starts wonderfully in London. The protagonist Vanessa quarreled with her husband of two years, and he had left for a business trip to Sweden before they reconciled. Vanessa is still smarting from their spat, when she watches a news reel in a movie theatre. The correspondent is covering a fire in a circus in Austria, which killed two people, and suddenly, there is her husband on the screen, hugging a young and pretty girl, comforting her. In Austria, far from Sweden where h [...]

    • Louise Culmer says:

      A romantic suspence story set in Austria, the plot is exciting enough but is almost secondary to the lyrical descriptions of the beautiful and brilliant horses of the Spanish riding school in Vienna, and the lovingly detailed descriptions of their dancing. the heroine, Vanessa, is a vet, and so is able to render valuable service to an injured circus horse, who turns out to be no ordinary horse. Vanessa's sidekick is Tim, a boy who wants to be one of the haute ecole riders at the Spanish riding s [...]

    • Kirsty says:

      I read Mary Stewart's Airs Above the Ground for the Austria stop of my Around the World in 80 Books challenge. I adored the last Stewart book which I read, Nine Coaches Waiting, and always have high hopes when beginning one of her novels. I was in two minds about Airs Above the Ground however; whilst Vienna is one of my favourite cities to visit, I am not at all a fan of horses, which this plot features quite heavily.As ever, the sense of place here is built so strongly, and many of Stewart's de [...]

    • Amelmag says:

      By far my least favorite of the Mary Stewart books I've read so far. I'm not sure that it is "worse" in any objective sense, but where the hills of Lebanon, the wind-swept moors of England, and the works of Shakespeare breathe magic in my soul, Austrian horses do not. And without that breath of high romance -- the echo of a long-lost world -- these books wither back into their original form: some adventure, some romance (of the more trivial variety), and some mediocrity. There is also the marria [...]

    • Mo says:

      This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. When the story was good, it was very good and it prompted lots of side research. I was fascinated to learn more about the famous Lipizanner stallions.When it was bad, it was painful. The climax of the story took up the last quarter of the book, seemed neverending, and had people running all over the place. (There was a car chase that went on for 20 pages – almost 10% of the book!) All the frenetic running around made my eyes glaze over. I was relieved to f [...]

    • wanderer says:

      I love books from this era, or genre, or time period, or whatever. They're somewhat predictable, but nice. I'm not that into horses, but as to frantic games of cat-and-mouse on the crumbling roof of an old European castle? I'm in.

    • Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard says:

      Well before there was Nora Roberts or Jayne Ann Krentz, there was Mary Stewart, whose romantic suspense novels thrilled an earlier generation of women readers. Slower-paced than today’s frenetic thrillers, Stewart’s books offer readers a subtler, more leisurely and perhaps more nuanced experience.Stewart may be best known today for her blockbuster Arthurian saga (The Crystal Caves, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day), but it was her romantic suspense novels which first ga [...]

    • Kate says:

      "Lovely Vaness March did not think it was strange for her husband to take a businerss trip to Stockholm. What was strange was the silence that followed. then she caught a glimpse of him in a newsreel shot of a crowd near a mysterious circus fire in Vienna and knew it was more than strange. It was downright sinister."Once again Mary Stewart unfolds a masterpiece of inrigue, terror, and suspense in this headlong-paced tale of a yung wife's search for a missing husband "~~back coverI hadn't read an [...]

    • Emma Rose Ribbons says:

      I'm very glad I decided to read more Mary Stewart. This was a really wonderful story on its own, and a special treat for horse lovers (and I am one). I love this author's writing - there were passages that I wanted to copy onto a separate piece of paper and hang on my walls, one in particular was a description of a horse that was so beautiful it made me sigh.She's efficient, and there are elements of contemporary life in her books (this one touches on cocaine, of all things) but they're pretty t [...]

    • Ann aka Iftcan says:

      This is one of the few books that I wish I could tack a couple of stars onto.While dated (it was written back in the 60's) it stands the test of time and is still a good story.This is a mystery that revolves around an old piebald (spotted for non-horse people) attached to a small circus. The horse turns out to be a frog prince, waiting to have his curse broken. There are various adventures along the way involving the mere humans in the story (sorry, can we all guess who I think is the main chara [...]

    • Jessica says:

      So, I'll start with a warning that the heroine has a strong revulsion for one of the secondary characters because he has dwarfism. She recognizes the irrationality of her reaction and it's only a couple of scenes, but it's still there. Just a head-up in case you can't take any more sizism/ableism today.Other than that, the story was a lot of fun. I was kind of expecting a Gothic, but turns out it's a Cold War spy novel. Sort of. The "is he?/isn't he?" of the spy-ness is part of the plot, so I'll [...]

    • Andrea says:

      These stories are always so intriguing filled with romantic liaisons, dangerous twists and turns as our heroine dares to uncover the truth after she plunges herself into a number of precarious situations. Exotic locations, spies, deception, villains, castles,horses, and there's never a shortage of dashing men in Airs Above the Ground Mary Stewart. As writer I am inspired and as a reader I am always intrigued. So grab your passport and come along!

    • BJ Rose says:

      Austrian Alps, a traveling circus, the famous Lippizaners of the Spanish Riding School, a young boy who wants to join the circus, and a woman searching for her errant husband - this was another great Mary Stewart tale. I still have visual memory of a horse in a meadow gracefully executing the airy dressage movements known as 'the airs above the ground'

    • Angela says:

      This is the first Mary Stewart I ever read. My mother gave it to me when I was about 14, back in the 70's. I was hooked on Mary Stewart's books from that time and read this one at least half a dozen times. I have revisited it after many years absence. It is still a good story, even though it now feels a little dated.

    • Hannah says:

      Rating Clarification: 3.5 StarsMuch better read this time around after a 20+ year hiatus.

    • Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard says:

      Well before there was Nora Roberts or Jayne Ann Krentz, there was Mary Stewart, whose romantic suspense novels thrilled an earlier generation of women readers. Slower-paced than today’s frenetic thrillers, Stewart’s books offer readers a subtler, more leisurely and perhaps more nuanced experience.Stewart may be best known today for her blockbuster Arthurian saga (The Crystal Caves, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day), but it was her romantic suspense novels which first ga [...]

    • Ape says:

      My first Mary Stewart book of 2015. It's perfectly ok, but honestly not my favourite. For various small reasons, none of which are particularly major. There is a horsey feature about this book, the airs above ground being a performing horse trick that these Austrian dancing horses do. I'm not into horses at all, so this immediately switches my brain off. I also found the plot slow moving for the bulk of the story, and it was a bit like a couple of stories glued together - first it's about the ci [...]

    • Simon Mcleish says:

      Originally published on my blog here in October 2000.With My Brother Michael and the Merlin trilogy, Airs Above the Ground stands at the peak of Stewart's writing. It is particularly gentle as thrillers go, but has a charm based on the three main characters.Vanessa March is bored, staying at home while her husband Lewis is on a business trip to Stockholm, until a friend says that she has seen Lewis in a newsreel about a fire in a circus in Austria. Vanessa goes to see the newsreel, expecting the [...]

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