INTO THE DARK featured in Midwest Book Reviews Bookwatch

I’m catching up with the final two books and looking for new reviews to help guide readers … here is an older review.

Into the Dark was featured in the venerable Midwest Book Reviews in the June 2013 “Children’s Bookwatch”. It is a wonderful honor!

Unfortunately horse-themed literature is all labeled juvenile by the consolidated corporate publishing industry … also unfortunately, independent publishing is still basically an echo and not its own sound.

Cover of INTO THE DARK: The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy (Book 3)

MBR Children’s Bookwatch, The Fiction Shelf:

INTO THE DARK

The third and final novel of the award-winning Great Horse trilogy, Into the Dark is the culmination of a teenager’s mysterious voyage through time and history, in which she witnesses firsthand how horses have been a “silent partner” in human civilization.

Earlier books [ed: this one!] explored the horse’s critical role in the American West; “Into the Dark” continues the human-equine journey to the 20th century and beyond. Horse lovers of all ages will enjoy this thoughtful, character-driven adventure!

Also highly recommended are the previous novels in the series, “Book I: Eclipsed by Shadow” and “Book II: The Golden Spark”.

» See featured review

» See original Bookwatch review

Legend of the Great Horse trilogy books (2015)

“Knights need horse!”

“Henryk looked up with a new light in his eyes. Meagan softened. Perhaps, she thought charitably, the horse’s lop ears did not hang out of laziness. Perhaps the white blaze across his forehead made him look simpler than he really was.” —excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of ‘The Legend of the Great Horse’ trilogy (p. 230)

Medieval Horsetrading c. 1240 AD…

The Mighty Chouchou The man seemed to be having difficulty waking his enormous horse, and finally resorted to kneeing him in the side. The horse grunted and raised his head. “Ach, see! Much the calm horse!” Gathering that Meagan was still unimpressed, the trader bore his attention down on the young knight. Great gestures accompanied an inventory of the horse’s virtues, given while Henryk ran a hand down each of the horse’s stovepipe legs and nodded appreciatively.

“Henryk,” Meagan complained, “this horse would be much too slow.”

The trader wagged a finger. “Fraulein, bitte! Of course, knight he needs such horse. How so he conquest Tournament St. John and no horse?”

Henryk looked up with a new light in his eyes. Meagan softened. Perhaps, she thought charitably, the horse’s lop ears did not hang out of laziness. Perhaps the white blaze across his forehead made him look simpler than he really was.

“Ach! Der holzkopf!” the trader screamed as the huge animal settled on his foot. After being slapped repeatedly, the horse removed his hoof reluctantly, as if being deprived of a soft place to stand. The trader recovered and patted the horse’s shoulder as if nothing had happened. Tears stood in his eyes.

Henryk crossed his arms, still nodding in approval.

“Henryk,” she pleaded, “remember we have no money.”

Fraulein, bitte. Pleasing.” The trader spread his arms. “Knights need horse.”

Meagan walked around the huge beast. The horse’s eyes were small in his coarse, heavy head. His throatlatch was undefined and the upright “mutton” shoulders meant he would offer an uncomfortable, jarring trot. “No Henryk, I think you can do better.”

“The horse from this finest bloodlines!” the trader insisted with a flourish. “His fathers have sweep this infidel from Holies Lands! Ach! See the chest, it is large—so! This animal can carry too much weight. He stop at nothing.”

“He is about to fall over asleep. Henryk, please warn the man about the Tatars, and we should go.”

But Henryk was stroking the horse’s nose with growing confidence. The animal’s eyes were half-closed and he was beginning to doze. Seeing the knight’s interest, the trader dismissed Meagan. “Now we set price,” the man said firmly. The trader’s eyes alighted greedily upon Henryk’s garment of chain mail, and the two began negotiating in earnest…

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.

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is an adventure through history … each section is about a different time period. The above excerpt is from “Home,” the 1st section of Eclipsed by Shadow, set in modern-day California.

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.

__________

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

Check out the trilogy’s page on Facebook!

“The devils ride a tainted bayard!”

Panic began pooling in Meagan’s chest. If these people were not going to surrender, she had to escape. A thought came to her … if she could only get close enough to Targa. “I don’t know about the Tatar men,” she answered innocently. “But their horses have a weak spot. I could show you. Take me to any horse with a bridle on it, say … oh, the pony I was riding would be perfect. For a demonstration, I mean.” —excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of ‘The Legend of the Great Horse’ trilogy (p. 201)

The following is an excerpt from “Eclipsed by Shadow”: Meagan and her Mongolian warpony Targa are captive in a medieval town (1240 AD in modern-day Russia) she was trying to warn of impending attack by the army of Genghis Khan (called ‘Tatars’ by Europeans).
Moko Shurai (Mongol Attack)
*The odd language is Old English: ‘ferly’ means ‘strange’ and ‘Bayard’ is medieval slang for horse … Bayard was a bay horse in medieval French poetry who could magically adjust its size to carry multiple riders.

Panic began pooling in Meagan’s chest. If these people were not going to surrender, she had to escape. A thought came to her … if she could only get close enough to Targa. “I don’t know about the Tatar men,” she answered innocently. “But their horses have a weak spot. I could show you. Take me to any horse with a bridle on it, say … oh, the pony I was riding would be perfect. For a demonstration, I mean.”

“So, the devils ride a tainted bayard! Oh, ho! ‘Tis ferly never to have heard so.” The man reached for his goblet. “Tell on.”

Meagan breathed easier, pleased with herself. She would only need a head start. “It is a place on their horses’ neck. If an arrow hits it, the horse—I mean bayard—dies instantly. I can show you. It would be better to do it outside the city, really. We will need some room.”

“Nay, the courtyard below will serve. And we shall use your own Tatar bayard.” Juices ran into the man’s beard as he chewed his food. “My archers will aim where you show us and we shall see how it dies.”

Meagan choked on her drink.

“How is this? I think you be glad to see the foul animal die!” The man leaned closer. “If you be a Tatar prisoner, as so you say.”

“Well, of course I am,” she sputtered, red-faced. “I … I was just disappointed the animal is still alive. The sooner she is eaten by crows, the sooner I can forget everything.” She smiled weakly.

“Better this,” the man grunted, and motioned to a guard. “Find the alien’s bayard. To-luggid hither to the courtyard.”

A horn sounded from below. It was taken up in quadrants all around the city, until the rooftop platform was surrounded by a chorus of trumpeting. The Englishman rushed to the railing and began shouting orders.

Meagan followed the confusion to the platform’s edge. Knights were pouring out of the city gates below; already the fields were filled with their color. In the distance, on the edge of the horizon, a black flood could be seen flowing through the trees.

“They take not our answer.” The Englishman gazed in satisfaction. “They shall see our manner of surrender.”

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.

« “The War Horses” || “Knights need horse!” »
The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is an adventure through history … each section is about a different time period. The above excerpt is from “Home,” the 1st section of Eclipsed by Shadow, set in modern-day California.

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.

__________

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

Check out the trilogy’s page on Facebook!