Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer: Into the Dark “a display of equine fireworks”

New review by Into the Dark, Book #3 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, by Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer E.A. Lovitt:

E. A. Lovitt | Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer 5-Star Review

“WORTH THE WAIT”

Book III of The Legend of the Great Horse concludes John Royce’s sweeping historical fantasy about horses and horsemanship with a display of equine fireworks that made it well worth the wait. The ending was satisfying on both a philosophical and emotional level. The author’s heroine, Meagan Roberts grows into a believable young woman, much of that growth (as with most of us) rooted in pain and sorrow. I was sorry to say good-bye to her and all of the Great Horses that accompanied her on her wild journey through time.

Much of Into the Dark takes place in Texas and Kentucky just as America’s brutal Civil War is heating up. When Royce takes time with his characters, as he did in this section, they are infused with life. When Meagan has to choose between her Great Horse and her new-found love, the reader will understand and share in that agonizing decision.

I was especially fond of the two 20th Century vignettes about horses that I already knew and loved: Man O’War and the British pony, Stroller who earned (along with his rider) a silver medal in the 1968 Olympics. The section on Man O’War reminded me very much of Walter Farley’s book about this great Thoroughbred, who was portrayed by both authors as a fiery, almost mythological beast that burned his way down the race track and into our dreams. On the other hand, the section on Stroller’s competition in the 1968 team jumping event almost broke my heart. The author draws on his own deep knowledge of equestrian sport and of the equine heart to give his readers an understanding of just what Stroller accomplished. It reminded me of the race caller’s description of the great Zenyatta as she finished first in the Breeders’ Cup Classic: “This is one we’ll never forget!”

Good-bye, Meagan. This is one we’ll never forget.

» See review on Amazon

graphic image of knight chesspieceInto the Dark is the 3rd 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.

Book Review: Eclipsed by Shadow is a “rollicking historical action adventure through time”

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is a rollicking historical action adventure through time. Awesome, right? It’s even young adult! And it incorporates a flying horse! What more could I need in life? I’m not exactly one for fantasy, but this book is heavy on the historical, and being a history and classical studies girl, I guess this just hit my complicated array of switches, levers and buttons.—Whitebrook Farm

The following is a review of Eclipsed by Shadow, Book #1 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy by Whitebrook Farm:

Eclipsed by Shadow | Trotting through History

Eclipsed by Shadow is the first book of the historical adventure trilogy, The Legend of the Great Horse, a journey through the ages when horses were everyday companions in work, war, sport and spectacle. The story is told through the eyes of a young woman, a horse-crazy teenager traveling through time with a knowledge of 21st Century horsemanship as her only defense.

So I know what you’re thinking, and it’s probably “her horsemanship had better be fantastic.” Or maybe that was just me?

Eclipsed by Shadow is a rollicking historical action adventure through time. Awesome, right? It’s even young adult! And it incorporates a flying horse! What more could I need in life? I’m not exactly one for fantasy, but this book is heavy on the historical, and being a history and classical studies girl, I guess this just hit my complicated array of switches, levers and buttons.

Continue reading

Book Review: Into the Dark “My favorite of the series…”

“This book was definitely my favorite of the series. The storylines seemed to flow together more easily, and Meagan seemed to mature and learn from and make connections from her experiences…”—LibraryThing Early Review

LibraryThing Early Reviewers - logo

The following is the first review of Into the Dark, Book #3 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy:

LibraryThing | Reviewer “wnk1029”

This YA historical fiction time travel book continues the story of Meagan, a horse-loving teen who finds herself transported through time by her horse, Promise. Her previous adventures included riding with Mongols, Cortez, and French royalty, among others. In this final book of the trilogy, she finds herself on western cattle drive in 1861, at a New York horse race during Prohibition, a Polish cavalry charge during World War II, the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and then the year 2078 — a future where horses are nearly extinct.

This book was definitely my favorite of the series. The storylines seemed to flow together more easily, and Meagan seemed to mature and learn from and make connections from her experiences. She became more in control of her own destiny, rather than the previous novels, where it seemed as if she were just going along with everything else, biding her time until she got back home. The author also included a romantic interest, which helped develop Meagan’s character — showing a new side of her, expanding her emotional range, and tying her to the past.

Although the main character is Meagan, the story definitely revolves around the horses. Even with my incredibly minimal knowledge of horses, the book was fairly easy to read, particularly with the handy glossary in the back. Even though I wouldn’t consider myself a horse-lover, the author really makes the reader connect with the horses, making each of them essential characters in Meagan’s life.

The critiques I have of this book are very few. I do wish that more time were able to be spent in the time periods following the Civil War. The first half of the book all takes place in the same era, and while I loved that part of the story, I couldn’t help but feel that the following jumps through time were a bit too rushed — I wanted to know more! Also, although I loved how the story ended, the time travel fan in me had some reservations about the epilogue… [though I have been assured by the author that the inconsistencies in the ARC will be corrected in the final copy!]

Overall, I really ate up this adventure story, and didn’t want to put it down. I thought that this really was a great series, even despite the fact that I don’t tend to like reading about horses. I’d highly recommend it to horse fans, history buffs, and those looking to learn something new!

Also, my thanks to the publisher for the advanced review copy!

» See original review on LibraryThing

Knight chesspieceInto the Dark is the 3rd 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 2012 Written Arts Award for Book II:The Golden Spark in Science Fiction/Fantasy. Book I of the trilogy, Eclipsed by Shadow, won 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.

Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer: The Golden Spark is a “Great Epic!”

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is unlike any other horse series written for young adults. Just like book one, the author has gone to great lengths to add historical accuracies to this fantasy tale. Young readers will find the time traveling horse to be interesting, but there is so much more to young Meagan’s quest.—Billy Burgess, Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer

The following is a new review of The Golden Spark by Billy Burgess of the book blog, Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer:

Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer | Billy Burgess

Picking up where book one left off, we find Meagan and her magical horse, Promise, barely escaping being executed for witchcraft in 1616 Western Europe.

Promise takes her back in time, this time landing on a ship, but not just any ship. They land on the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes’s ship in the year 1519 where Meagan becomes in charge of taking care of the captain’s horse. Then, Promise takes her to the court of Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, where she poses as a stable-hand. Last, the Great Horse takes Meagan to Regency, England in 1816.

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is unlike any other horse series written for young adults. Just like book one, the author has gone to great lengths to add historical accuracies to this fantasy tale. Young readers will find the time traveling horse to be interesting, but there is so much more to young Meagan’s quest. You will learn about the hardships that horses went through in each period that Meagan visits. In addition, you will learn fun fact about historical figures like Louis XIV and Hernan Cortes.

There are some scenes of violence in The Golden Spark especially during the Spaniards’ battle with the Aztecs, that some horse lovers may not care for, but as I said, the author is going for historical accuracies.

I would have to say my favorite part of the book was the amazing descriptions of the foxhunt during Meagan’s visit to England. Both fantasy and history readers will enjoy reading about The Great Horse. I recommend it to everyone.

» See original review online

graphic image of knight chesspieceThe 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 2012 Written Arts Award for The Golden Spark in Science Fiction/Fantasy. Book I of the trilogy, Eclipsed by Shadow, won 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.