E. A. Lovitt “Starmoth”
HALL OF FAME • TOP 500 REVIEWER
This sweeping historical fantasy should have an impact on its reader that penetrates far beyond the boundaries of the usual YA (Young Adult) novel. It teaches lessons about history and horsemanship, and what it really means to be ‘civilized.’
Eclipsed by Shadow reminds me of “The Carousel,” a ballad by Buffy Sainte-Marie: “Flying horses they are just/ Little girls who wish too much…” Teenage equestrienne, Meagan Roberts gets the filly of her dreams, born on the summer solstice of the new millennium. Unfortunately, the foal’s mother dies and the little palomino filly comes with an ancient warning:
“…So born of loss and mother’s grief, the Great Horse takes a mighty leap. Eclipsed by shadow, the golden spark/ Shall wing her rider into the dark.”
When Meagan takes that first ride on her filly, she is swept backward into Time and is forced to experience the dark side of the relationship between horse and human.
The overall vision of Eclipsed by Shadow is difficult to comprehend, because this is only Book I of a projected trilogy. The narrative ends abruptly and reads more like a series of short stories as Meagan occupies brief periods of prehistory and history. Each segment vividly describes our evolving relationship with the horse: slaughter and eat; sacrifice to the gods; kill for pleasure (I wish Meagan could have visited Xenophon’s Greece instead of Trajan’s Rome).
Bad guys are painted with a broad brush, but good guys are delineated with respect and care. I wanted to stay in Rome with Horace, the poet/gladiator. I hated to cut my visit short with Chouchou, the laid-back medieval warhorse. The author’s portrait of Meagan and her equine friends is especially sensitive, illuminated with the touch, scent, and emotion that only a true horseman could know and understand.
Eclipsed by Shadow is the first book of the new fiction trilogy, The Legend of the Great Horse, arriving this Summer with a fresh and original look at the colorful role of horses in civilization. The story follows the time-travel adventure of a modern horsewoman lost in history.
Further information about this unique and imaginative novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.