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Airs Above the Ground summary

Airs Above the Ground image

Vanessa March, two years married and very much in love, is propelled from London to Vienna by a shocking discovery. In her charge is young Timothy Lacy, who also has an urgent problem to solve.

But what promised to be no more than a delicate personal mission turns out to involve the security forces of three countries, two dead men, a circus and its highly colored personnel, a mysterious Mr. Lee Elliot and -- among others -- the famous white stallions of Vienna.

The "airs above the ground" are the beautiful leaps and dancing steps made by the white Lipizzan stallions of the Spanish Riding School. They are also the peak points of the story, which happen literally in high places: a terrifying night on the rooftop of Schloss Zechstein; a high-wire act in the Circus Wagner; the fighting finish in the Gleinalp.

With her characteristic flair for description Mary Stewart brings alive the Austrian countryside with its clear air, rolling meadows, onion-topped churches and fairy-tale castles. Her equally characteristic understanding of animals provides her with her finest writing. This is a novel which will bring pleasure to everyone.

—jacket, William Morrow edition, 1965