Welbeck Publishing Group has acquired Dark Horses, a debut novel from American author Susan Mihalic (pictured).
Rosa Schierenberg, editor at Welbeck Fiction, bought UK & Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Lorella Belli at the Lorella Belli Literary Agency on behalf of Folio Literary Management. The title will be published in February 2021.
North American rights were acquired by Alison Callahan at Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Dark Horses follows 15-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery, who has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and out. Both are ruled over by her strict, draconian father, yet the warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables and their relationship has long been incestuous. A ruthless ambition for the Olympics allows her to compartmentalise this dark aspect of her life, until she connects with Will Howard, a boy her age, who brings everything into focus.
Schierenberg said: "Dark Horses is a pulse-pounding and fearless debut: pacey and gripping, yet underpinned by respectfulness and sensitivity. Reminiscent of titles like Room and My Dark Vanessa, Susan’s urgent portrayal of what can happen behind closed doors is both chilling and empowering, and Roan’s story of raw courage and iron-willed determination stays with you long after the last page. This is a true tour-de-force and I am thrilled to be publishing it."