Emily Hinton | US Review of Books
“Meagan heard shouting behind her as Promise reached for the safety of speed... Wind rose in Meagan’s ears, and time stretched into a series of still photographs as the young thoroughbred gathered and stretched. The ground blurred and together they lifted into the air.”
Eclipsed by Shadow, the first installment of Royce’s Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, transforms a majestic beast into a thrilling and intelligent fantasy. The story focuses on Meagan, a twelve-year-old girl, and her foal, Promise. As the two grow older, it becomes clear to Meagan that Promise is a horse of legendary potential, and when ridden, Promise takes Meagan on a journey through time. Meagan must use her knowledge of horsemanship to survive as she joins in periods of remote human history and sees the roles horses have played.
The Great Horse is actually a Pegasus who drops her into ancient history to fend for herself. Perils await a young girl with no money, no family, and only her wits and knowledge of horses to help her survive as she battles to return to her own time.
Royce is targeting teens, but the story is accessible to a wider range of readers. The action and thrills of the story are subtly interspersed with colorfully drawn history lessons perfect for engaging readers, and the writing delivers such elegant turns of phrase as to keep teens and adults intrigued. Royce even makes a quiet ploy for the mainstream teaching of Latin, but in a way that makes the language vibrant. As the summer gets underway, Royce has provided a great blend of academic and adventurous reading that is beach-ready.