E. A. Lovitt |Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer
“CLOTHED WITH THUNDER”
Book II of The Legend of the Great Horse continues John Royce’s sweeping historical fantasy about horses and horsemanship, and I am very much looking forward to learning why 16-year-old Meagan Roberts was flung backward into time. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to label this trilogy as a work of juvenile fiction. It is much more than that.
In this middle volume, Meagan travels to Mexico with Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, the Spanish Conquistador who brought about the fall of the mighty Aztec Empire, partially through his employment of horses, which the Aztecs had never seen. Meagan wins the approval of the Spanish Captain by caring for his war stallion during a storm at sea.
Her next time-jump lands Meagan in the court of Louis XIV of France, the Sun King. His Manège du Grandes Ecuries du Château de Versailles (the Riding School of the Grand Stable of Versailles) influenced the development of equitation in 17th Century Europe. Although the author accurately portrays Louis XIV’s passion for elaborate equestrian performances, the King’s relationship with Meagan, who is posing as an English stable-hand, is scarcely believable. Although Louis spoke French, Latin, Spanish, and Italian, I don’t believe he ever learned English (he had no reason to), and he was an absolute monarch who distanced himself from ordinary people behind an impenetrable thicket of court etiquette. One had to be a nobleman just to empty the King’s chamber pot.
However, Meagan’s relationship with Nero, the high-strung dressage gelding is the highlight of this adventure in time. The horses are the true nobility in this book, not their sometimes cruel and ignorant masters.
John Royce saves the best for last: Meagan’s final time-jump in The Golden Spark lands her in with the family of a horse trainer in Regency England. The description of our heroine’s participation in a neck-or-nothing foxhunt is alive with the colors, scents, and sounds of a spectacle that has now been voted into extinction in the country of its origin. This author’s narrative is the next-best thing to actually saddling up and following the hounds.
The Golden Spark is the 2nd book of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, an award winning time-travel adventure through history—on horseback! The story follows the journey of a modern horsewoman lost in the distant past.
The trilogy books have won multiple national awards including the 2009 Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2010 Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.
Further information about this unique ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.