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The Great Horse: Scythian Royal Escort

April 9th, 2014 by John Royce · The Great Horses

The 2nd historic Great Horse wore a headdress according to Scythian custom, but Meagan (and readers) never know him: the animal was sacrificed with a tombful of horses and human attendants to be an escort for a Scythian chieftain in the after-world.

Horse sacrificed in a Scythian tomb (700 BC) from Eclipsed by Shadow, Book #1 of THE LEGEND OF THE GREAT HORSE trilogy

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The Great ‘Cave’ Horse

April 2nd, 2014 by John Royce · The Great Horses

The first historic Great Horse from the trilogy is a gentle prehistoric mare. At first, Meagan doesn’t know she is dealing with a ‘cave’ horse–equine nature has not changed in many thousands of millennia. It is humans who have changed.

The gray "cave" mare from 20,000 BC in THE LEGEND OF THE GREAT HORSE trilogy (Book 1: Eclipsed by Shadow)

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20,000 BC: The Cave Horse

March 29th, 2014 by John Royce · The Great Horses

The unusual thing about the first Great Horse Meagan meets in history is that it isn’t unusual at all. Meagan doesn’t realize at first that she has traveled time or that she is dealing with a prehistoric herd of horses.

Humans could have tamed horses tens of thousands of years earlier than actually occurred, because horses evolved much earlier than modern man. There was no inner difference between a horse Meagan would have encountered in 20,000 BC and a horse today: it is humans that have changed.

quotation markIn the growing light, Meagan could see the horse was a mare. The animal’s round belly was tucked into thin, drawn quarters and her cream-colored coat was mottled with patches of darker gray. The scrubby mane and tail were chewed off in spots, and her coat was covered in scars and puffy lumps.

Cave Mare (20,000 BC) from Eclipsed by Shadow - Book 1 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy by John Royce. Illustration by Marti Adrian Gregory “Poor thing, no one’s taking care of you.” Meagan’s voice was loud in this quiet place and many small eyes were quickly upon her. She decided to rinse off her coating of dust and grime, and knelt in the cool water to gently splash her arms. She inhaled deeply, drawing in rich scents of animals and earth.

Warm breath smelling of cut lawn blew on her neck. Meagan blinked in surprise but did not move. She thought of something else her grandfather used to say: “Horses are as unpredictable as people, only they have more sense.”

Meagan let the flutter of horse nostrils explore her hair as she reached slowly for the mare’s shaggy withers. The small gray horse half-closed her eyes as Meagan scratched gently to imitate the nuzzling greeting of equines. “A horse got me into this,” she told the mare softly. “Maybe you could get me out…”

Excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow, the award-winning 1st volume of “The Legend of the Great Horse” trilogy.

Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.

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Links:

» See All Excerpts from The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.

» Read the 1st Chapter online.

» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.

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Eclipsed by Shadow - Book #1 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy - Bookcover (straight-on, drop shadow) 142px by 203 px
The Golden Spark - Book #2 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy - Bookcover (straight-on, drop shadow) 142px by 203 px
Into the Dark - Book #3 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy - Bookcover (straight-on, drop shadow) 142px by 203 px

Copyright © 2008 John Royce

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Canadian artist Marti Adrian to complete the Great Horse series

March 26th, 2014 by John Royce · The Great Horses

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Promise had grown into glossy youth and looked every inch a thoroughbred. Her slender neck swiveled as she eyed the crowd, velvet nostrils flared. The air around the delicate filly seemed to quiver.―Eclipsed by Shadow

Into the Dark - Book #3 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy - Bookcover (straight-on, drop shadow) 142px by 203 px

Canadian artist Marti Adrian is soon to complete the Great Horse series with the horses from The Golden Spark!

The popular equine artist painted the special “miniatures” for the 1st and 3rd books of the Legend of the Great Horse trilogy with the plan of finishing–we anticipate new Adrian artwork soon!

The news is an inspiration to launch a series about all the Great Horses from the story … starting with the main horse, Promise, who takes to more than the air with the greatest of ease.

The Great Horse: PromisePromise is the main character Meagan’s horse, born at the beginning of the trilogy as a palomino foal.*

She is an American Thoroughbred–a remarkable breed, one with inner fire and superhuman abilities to contain her spirit.

Meagan loved and took care of Promise from her beginnings as an orphan foal, but knew to respect her strength as the filly grew into a mare.**

It is only unfortunate such love led Meagan to expect too much from Promise, so she forgot her horsemanship … much to her discomfort.

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* Palomino thoroughbreds are rare but not unheard of.

** Palomino foals which grow into 16.2 satin black thoroughbreds are unheard of … except in the case of Great Horses which sometimes do.

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