Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1) excerpt: The Tournament Knight

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW | 'The Legend of the Great Horse' trilogy book cover (90x135px)

This excerpt is from Eclipsed by Shadow, Book #1 of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy, an adventure through history―on horseback.

The scene is set in 1240, Eastern Europe, when Meagan first discovers she is riding with the Mongolian army of Genghis Khan.

“The great art of riding,” the Knight began in a loud voice,
waving his right hand as he spoke “is to keep…”
Here the sentence ended as suddenly as it began,
as the Knight fell heavily on top of his head
exactly in the path where Alice was walking.

– Lewis Carrol (1832-98) Through the Looking Glass

Qualifying rounds took place in the outer fields, where the tilting courts took all comers. It was Henryk’s chance, and Meagan did everything she could to help. Chouchou had never been sleeker and his old saddle had been soaped and oiled into new life. Looking at Henryk sitting on Chouchou, his blond head sticking out from borrowed chain mail that hung in loops, Meagan felt the glow of a horse show mother.
Knight Henryk and his mount Chouchou
“Here, Henryk,” she said, handing up his shield. “And remember to keep your heels down. That’s why you keep losing your stirrups.” She took a dilapidated lance with peeling paint from where it leaned against a tree.

“Merci, Meagan.” Henryk adjusted the lance so it stood straight in the air, balanced on its stirrup rest.

There was only one thing left to do, and Meagan tried once more to persuade Henryk against it. “Do we have to, Henryk? It just seems so … well, stupid.”

“Tak! Meagan, please the foldblind.”

Meagan looked out over the fields filled with blindfolded horses. There was no barrier between the contestants as there would be in later years of the joust. At this point in history, two knights simply rode their blindfolded mounts together with all possible speed.

“It is just so dangerous, Henryk.” Chouchou scratched his massive head against Meagan as she tied the blindfold over his eyes. “It looks silly, too.”

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.



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