Eclipsed by Shadow: “… a mix between Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings and the Time Machine.”

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is a fast, action-packed adventure from start to the heart pounding cliffhanger. The author did a marvelous job blending history and fantasy together in this first book of the trilogy. For fans of horse books and fantasy adventures. Once you finish reading the final page, you’ll be longing for the next installment.—Billy Burgess

The following is a review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Billy Burgess of the book blog, Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer:

Fast, action-packed adventure | Billy Burgess

I was very impressed by this book, reading it in only two nights. The author, John Royce, has beautifully written a wonderful epic that combines fantasy with history, a mix between Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings and The Time Machine. He uses his great knowledge of the history of horses to give us the first adventure of the Legend of the Great Horse. The dialogue and descriptions are cleverly written to entertain and educate both young adults and adults.

The main character is a teenager named Meagan, and she is a horse lover. Being an animal lover myself, I was instantly connected to her. You are hooked within the first few pages, as Meagan loses a loved one and gains a new friend, a palomino foal that she names Promise. But Promise isn’t like other horses, she is the Great Horse – a fallen angel from the time of Adam & Eve. Due to financial reasons, the Foal is sent to live on a pasture until she is old enough to be ridden.

During this time, Meagan meets the mysterious Mrs. Bridgestone. Mrs. Bridgestone tells Meagan about the legend of the great horse and that she believes Promise is the great horse. Mrs. Bridgestone wants the horse for her own. Three years passes by and Meagan rides Promise for the first time. Magical, long white wings stretch out of Promise, flying Meagan back in time where she meets cavemen, Romans, monks, knights and other life-threatening dangers.

Eclipsed By Shadow is a fast, action-packed adventure from start to the heart pounding cliffhanger. The author did a marvelous job blending history and fantasy together in this first book of the trilogy. Fans of horse books and fantasy adventures will enjoy reading this. Once you finish reading the final page, you’ll be longing for the next installment.

graphic image of knight chesspiece

Eclipsed by Shadow is the first book of the award-winning fiction trilogy, The Legend of the Great Horse, a time-travel adventure through history—on horseback! The story follows the journey of a modern horsewoman lost in the distant past.

The title 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.

Eclipsed by Shadow: “Excellent opening salvo in a new YA series”

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.—LibraryThing Early Reader

The following is a new review for Eclipsed by Shadow posted by a reader on LibraryThing:
 

5-Stars   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.

» See original review online

 

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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.

Novel Addiction review: “Powerful and thrilling … not to be taken lightly”

FIVE out of FIVE … the history was accurately done, the journey is amazing, and Meagan rose to each occasion she was thrown into.— Amanda T, Novel Addiction

The following is a review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Amanda T of the book blog, Novel Addiction:

Novel Addiction | Amanda T (Morning Glow)

“Eclipsed By Shadow” is actually Book One in a trilogy, titled The Legend of the Great Horse. And holy cow, I can definitely see why this needs to be a trilogy. Quite a lot of interesting plot, way too much to be contained in one book.

Disclaimer: I received this book, and this book only, in exchange for a review. The book was posted on the Member Giveaways section, part of Librarything.com‘s Early Reviewers program.

Type: YA fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy/Magical

From the back of the book: “Eclipsed by Shadow is the first book of an exciting new 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.”

Well, wow, the back of the book really doesn’t do this series justice. It makes the whole story sound flippant and childish, even. But really, I found this book to be far more powerful than the blurb. Yes, we do follow a young girl, she’s 15 through most of the book), and yes, she does travel through time, but these aren’t easy things Meagan is dealing with. And despite the young age of the main character, I’m not sure I would give this book to a fifteen year old.. unless he or she was very mature. There are definitely some harsh moments in “Eclipsed by Shadow.” Not to give too much away, but death, rape, slavery, beatings, etc, are all issues Meagan has to see and live in fear of. All this lends to a very powerful and thrilling tale, definitely, but this book should definitely not be taken lightly.

As mentioned, Meagan does travel through time, in this book alone visiting several periods through History, and I’m sure even more in the sequels. As a bit of a History nerd, I was in love with the accurate details during each time period. A lot of research went into the writing of this trilogy, and I think the author should definitely be commended for it. The language was well done – Meagan didn’t just understand everyone she met. In fact, her first several stops on the way, no one spo[ke] English, and she had to find some way to get by without knowing the language. The settings seemed perfectly done, and even the people and their actions fit each time period perfectly.

You could also tell this book was written by a horse lover, knowledge of the breeds, rituals, and the connection one feels to horses is obvious throughout. I rode myself for several years (missing it almost every day), and I was amazed at the details that were mentioned. Even something as simple (or so most people would believe) as grooming is mentioned in perfect detail, with each type of brush and the order. It may seem a little information-heavy, but I think it helps to show how attached and connected Meagan feels to the great beasts.

I’ll be honest, when the “Legend of the Great Horse” was told to Meagan in the beginning, I thought it was a little cheesy. In fact, several of the beginning chapters weren’t really all that amazing. The prose and descriptions were well done, but it wasn’t horribly interesting… I actually thought I’d get aggravated with Meagan quickly. But once Meagan’s real journey began, I was positively enthralled. Meagan definitely showed her true colors, her spirit and her willingness to fight for herself and those she cared about.

I’m going to give “Eclipsed By Shadow” a FIVE out of FIVE. I truly think this book deserves such a good rating – the History was accurately done, even down the smallest detail, the journey is amazing, and Meagan really rose to each occasion she was thrown into. I do hope to find the rest of this series and continue reading them, and I hope everyone checks out “Eclipsed By Shadow” by John Royce.

» See original review online

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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.

Reader Views Literary Awards: Eclipsed by Shadow is “One of those works you will remember forever”

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is a book well-worth reading. What a wonderful way to get factual history into a great readable fiction novel. I have passed it along to my twelve-year-old daughter and she loves it. Personally the Glossary of Terms at the end of the book was of great help as I originally knew very little about horses.— Danelle Drake, Reader Views Literary Awards

The following is the feature review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Danelle Drake for the title’s win in the Fantasy category of the 2009 Reader Views Literary Awards.

Reader View Literary Awards | Danelle Drake

“Auburn–haired and with a streak of tomboy, Meagan Roberts was not an unusual girl of twelve – except for the lucky fact that her family kept horses.” … John Royce introduces us to one of those works that you will remember forever.

In the past few years I have read several series that have really captivated me; this story is like these great series in the fact that it has the reader drawn in, but different in the fact that most all of the facts, times, and places in this book are not fiction. The places you visit in Eclipsed by Shadow were really times in our great history. “The Legend of the Great Horse” series will have you wishing the tales were never-ending.

When Meagan Roberts first laid eyes on Promise, she knew the horse was special. A little old lady from down the road tells Meagan that Promise is the “Great Horse.” She says that the powers Promise possesses are suppose to be dark but that no one will know until the owner of the horse rides it. Meagan and her mom don’t know if they should believe the old woman. When thieves try to steal the horse, we find out, and away we go. As Promise gains wings she enables us to gain understanding into the history of the horse.
We learn how the horse was used in many ways throughout history. All of the ways are not pleasant, but not all aspects of life are. As Meagan tries to help others understand her great love and respect of the horse we see inside her true soul.

Eclipsed by Shadow is a book well-worth reading. What a wonderful way to get factual history into a great readable fiction novel. I have passed it along to my twelve-year-old daughter and she loves it. Personally the Glossary of Terms at the end of the book was of great help as I originally knew very little about horses. When I came to the final sentence, “The sounds of the angry scene slipped into the wind of the gallop as the ground faded to a blur…” I knew that I would anxiously await the next installation of “The Legend of the Great Horse” by John Royce.

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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.

Further information about this unique and imaginative ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.