The following is a new review for Eclipsed by Shadow posted by a reader on LibraryThing:
LibraryThing | Reader Review
I checked this book out because I am expecting the second volume of this three volume series (The Legend of the Great Horse) as part of LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. As a child, I was forced to read Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion series. I found those books readable, but generally a bit dull. So I come into reading this series predisposed to dislike it, but have been genuinely pleased to find the first volume of this work to be exciting, readable, and far from dull.
From the book’s description I expected a young girl’s lighthearted romp through history on the back of a winged horse. Accept that description at your peril. First, there is a lot of graphic violence (including references and threats to rape) so if you ARE looking for something lighter for your young ones (ages 11-16?) to read, this is not your book. The violence is not a criticism but a description for the potential reader to consider. Understand that if you’re going to write about the use of horses throughout history that much of it is in the service of warfare.
This work is a crisply written taut tale that moves along nicely. I finished its 273 pages in one sitting. The main thrust of the book falls in two areas: horses and horsemanship; world history. I personally found the author’s expertise in horses and horsemanship to be the most compelling and interesting part of the book.
Not formally being an historian, I’m loathe to criticize the historic aspects of this book, including accuracy and interpretation. I did find the settings interesting and compelling, but suspect that this is the area that will be most contentious amongst those who do have a deeper understanding of the specific time periods and the cultures in which the protagonist finds herself.
I found myself continually impressed with the quality of the writing. Rhetorically, this is a well written, well edited book. Whatever quibbles one might have with the slippery facts of history (or horsemanship), this is a finely tuned tale that leaves me anticipating the sequel with a positive predisposition.
Eclipsed by Shadow is the first book of the award-winning fiction trilogy, The Legend of the Great Horse, a journey through history–on horseback!
The story follows the time-travel adventure of a modern horsewoman lost in the distant past. The title has won multiple 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.
Further information about this unique and imaginative ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.