Heartland Reviews: 5 Hearts to “Eclipsed by Shadow”

This fascinating YA first book of a trilogy on the history of man’s relationships with the horse is particularly well done … teaches not only the history of Man’s relationship with the horse, but the history and day to day cultures of different civilizations of the past.—Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews

Bob Spear of Heartland Reviews gave Eclipsed by Shadow the book’s first pre-publication review by the publishing industry, which led to the honor of Eclipsed by Shadow being named a GRREAT Read (Gifted & Reluctant Readers Explore Amazing Titles):

Bob Spear | Heartland Reviews

This fascinating YA first book of a trilogy on the history of man’s relationships with the horse is particularly well done.

Meagan, a young teenager, witnesses the arrival of a new colt she names Promise. She enjoys socializing the colt and caring for him until it’s time for him to grow up with other colts. Several years later, the now young adult horse returns to Meagan’s horse farm to begin saddle training. Unfortunately, a crooked horse trainer is out to steal Promise. Meagan stumbles on the plot and manages to leap onto Promises back and jumps a fence in order to escape. Suddenly Promise sprouts wings and carries Meagan back in time to caveman times. Meagan falls off, only to find herself in the middle of a caveman horse hunt for fresh food. After a short time there, she jumps on another horse and finds herself as a slave in Rome , and then she moves forward to ride with the Mongols. After more hard times, she moves forward in time to the times of the Crusades, where the book ends with the reader anxious to know what is next.

This series teaches not only the history of Man’s relationship with the horse, but the history and day to day cultures of different civilizations of the past. We rated this first book five hearts.


2010 NOTE:
Heartland Reviews ended their (free) objective reviews with an announcement stating this reason:

“If the mainstream reviewers such as Kirkus, Foreword Magazine, and Bowker feel comfortable in charging for their reviews, I just can’t justify providing a free service any more. Over the past six years, I have read and written reviews for almost 2,000 books, at a great personal sacrifice for my family and me.”

Thank you, Mr. Spear, and best wishes for the future!

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

Well written, exceptional story, interesting characters, and a learning experience. – Midwest Book Review

The following is an excerpt from the most recent review of “Eclipsed by Shadow” by Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer for the Midwest Book Review:

“I enjoyed this book.  I really had no idea of the extent the subject matter would educate me about the history of the horse.  I truly admire horses, although I have never been one to ride them, I have always enjoyed their beauty.  In this book I learned so much about their past and what an important role they played in the development of mankind. Some of the events left me disturbed, others were intense,  but each episode was definitely a learning experience. The characters were well developed and the locals were defined in an exceptional way, definitely bringing you right in the center of the action.

“Final analysis:  Well written, exceptional story, interesting characters, and a learning experience. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Bookwatch: “Well written, exceptional story, interesting characters, and a learning experience”

In this book I learned so much about [the horse’s] past and what an important role they played in the development of mankind. Some of the events left me disturbed, others were intense, but each episode was definitely a learning experience. The characters were well developed and the locals were defined in an exceptional way, definitely bringing you right in the center of the action.—Shirley Johnson, Bookwatch

March 2, 2009 | The following is a new review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer for The Bookwatch at Midwest Book Review.

Shirley Johnson | MBR Bookwatch

Meagan, like her mother, loves horses. When a new foal is born and the foal’s mother dies Meagan begins a bond with this horse that will take her on an adventure of a lifetime.

A mysterious neighborhood lady shares with Meagan and her mother a legend, one of “The Great Horse,” a horse that has been part of history since the beginning of man. A horse that is supernatural, one that was meant to help Adam and Eve.  She tells them she believes Meagan’s horse may well be the next “Great Horse.” Meagan’s mother dismisses this tale as just a myth, but Meagan is not so sure.

It seems others are interested in her horse as well and plan to have him at any cost.This puts Meagan and the horse in  grave danger. While trying to escape from a horse abduction, Meagan mounts her horse and to her surprise is taken to flight  above the earth, and travels in time, and so  Meagan and her horse begin the ride of their lives and the adventures begin. We are taken from prehistoric America, to Rome and medieval times, and are introduced to characters both cruel and tender as Meagan desperately tries to piece together what is happening and bring both herself and her horse safely home. Quite a ride!

I enjoyed this book.  I really had no idea of the extent the subject matter would have in educating me to the history of the horse.  I truly admire horses, although I have never been one to ride them, I have always enjoyed their beauty. In this book I learned so much about their past and what an important role they played in the development of mankind. Some of the events left me disturbed, others were intense,  but each episode was definitely a learning experience. The characters were well developed and the locals were defined in an exceptional way, definitely bringing you right in the center of the action.

Final analysis:  Well written, exceptional story, interesting characters, and a learning experience. It doesn’t get much better than that.

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

Weatherford Daily News: Fantasy & horse lovers of all ages will enjoy “Eclipsed by Shadow”

Fantasy and horse lovers of all ages will enjoy a new book titled ECLIPSED BY SHADOW, the Legend of the Great Horse, written by John Royce. This is book one of a projected three book series.—Dee Ann Ray, “Books are my Bag” Weatherford Daily News

The following review of Eclipsed by Shadow appeared in the February 21, 2009 issue of the Weatherford Daily News.

Dee Ann Ray | Books are my Bag

Fantasy and horse lovers of all ages will enjoy a new book titled “Eclipsed by Shadow, the Legend of the Great Horse”, written by John Royce.  This is book one of a projected three book series.  It is published by Micron Press, 71 Prince Street, Suite #35, Boston, MA 02113. Micron Press has a website which will accept E-mail at inquiries@micronpress.com.

Megan, her mother Jennifer and father Tom Roberts live on a farm which allows them to have a horse named ‘Moose’.  Jennifer raised ‘Moose’.  She and her daughter share the love of horses and are excited about the upcoming birth of Moose’s foal.

“Legend of the Great Horse” begins with the death of ‘Moose’ in order to save the life of her foal.  The beautiful foal is a palomino, unusual for a thoroughbred horse. The foal survives and thrives.  Megan and Jennifer name the foal ‘Bright Promise’.  Tom loves Megan and Jennifer and pays the horse bills.

The body of the story begins three years later when the vet clears ‘Bright Promise’ for riding. Lurking through the years awaiting the development of the foal is someone who sees all kinds of racing purses attached to the hoofs of Bright Promise.  At first opportunity, the thief steals the horse.  The horse outwits the crook to return home, but is quickly found by the thief.  Megan is drawn into the drama when she is delighted to see the return of her beloved horse, but can see ‘Bright Promise’ has been mistreated.

The thief arrives to take the horse again and threatens both Megan and ‘Bright Promise’ with a gun.  Seeing an opportunity to jump a fence and escape, Megan throws herself on her horse’s back.  To Megan’s surprise, ‘Bright Promise’ not only jumps the space, but goes back in time with Megan aboard.  So begins the adventure of tracing the history of horses.

A glossary of horse terms is included for those who need it.

This book can be obtained at your favorite bookstore/on-line book source, library or directly from Micron Press at the address given earlier in this column.

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

Amazon Top 50 Reviewer: “Captives on a Carousel of Time”

This sweeping historical fantasy should have an impact on its reader that penetrates far beyond the boundaries of the usual Young Adult novel. It teaches lessons about history and horsemanship, and what it really means to be ‘civilized.’—E.A. Lovitt, Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer

The following is a review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Top Amazon Reviewer, E.A. Lovitt (aka “Starmoth)

E. A. Lovitt “starmoth” (Gladwin, MI USA)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER) | (REAL NAME)

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.

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

Historical Novel Society: “A Vivid Historical Tale through the Ages”

The first in a trilogy, ECLIPSED BY SHADOW tells the tale of a horse-crazy teenager traveling through time on a horse. This unusual-sounding summary had me skeptical at first, but the story is surprisingly page turning, and it left me yearning for the next installment.—Rebecca Roberts, Historical Novel Society

The following is a new review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Rebecca Roberts of the Historical Novel Society.

Historical Novel Society | Rebecca Roberts

The first in a trilogy, Eclipsed by Shadow tells the tale of a horse-crazy teenager traveling through time on a horse. This unusual-sounding summary had me skeptical at first, but the story is surprisingly page turning, and it left me yearning for the next installment.

On June 21, 2001, when a unique colt is born, Meagan Robert’s life is suddenly and irrevocably changed. This special palomino, Promise, is rumored to be the next “Great Horse,” and when thieves attempt to steal her horse, Meagan leaps on Promise and rides her for the first time. But instead of galloping across the field, Promise takes to the air and flies through time and history. Meagan’s quest to find home takes her from 20,000 B.C. North America to 100 A.D. Rome and then to 1240 Central Asia. Meagan’s only defense in these places is her 21st century equine insight as she is thrust into slavery, mistaken for a Tartar, and accused of being a witch.

The adventures Meagan experiences and the people she meets along the way create a vivid historical tale through the ages when horses were used for work, war, sport, and exhibition. This well-informed tale has great plot and character development, wonderful descriptions of equine history, and a tension-ridden cliffhanging ending that will leave you gnawing at the bit for more.

» See original citation

Knight chesspiece

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

Anyone who loves horses or who loves history will love “Eclipsed by Shadow”

Throughout, the book successfully blends fiction, character and plot with history and more than solely the history of horses. I am not interested in horses, but historical fiction, but I did come to appreciate the history of horses without ever being overly bored by the book containing too many details.—Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., author

The following is a new 5-Star review of Eclipsed by Shadow.

stars-5HISTORY IS A TALE OF HORSES

Anyone who loves horses or who loves history will love “Eclipsed by Shadow”

by Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and author of “The Marquette Trilogy”

“Eclipsed by Shadow” is an epic history of horses, complete with time travel, and educational material, but best of all, it is strong historical fiction.

The plot is pretty simple. Meagan learns from an eccentric neighbor lady that her newborn horse may well be “The Great Horse” of legend that has reappeared over the centuries. The Great Horse first originated as a horse meant to help Adam and Eve when they left the Garden of Eden.

I knew from what I had already heard about the book that it would include time travel and Meagan would experience how horses were used throughout the centuries by mankind.

When I started, I was a bit disappointed to see the first section went on for so long. I wanted to get right into the time travel, but once I started reading, I was thoroughly captivated by the plot and how well the author, John Royce, built up suspense in the first section. I actually think this was my favorite part of the book as Meagan learned about the legend of the Great Horse and also avoided having her horse stolen.

As for the time travel sections, the scene in prehistoric North America was brief and not quite as interesting as the later ones because after all it was prehistoric history, but I thought both the Rome and the medieval section were well done. Even though the book reads like a collection of short stories because of the different time periods that the characters do not cross over into, Royce successfully created some believable characters in each section.

Throughout, the book successfully blends fiction, character and plot with history and more than solely the history of horses. I am not interested in horses, but historical fiction, but I did come to appreciate the history of horses without ever being overly bored by the book containing too many details.

Anyone who loves horses or who loves history will love “Eclipsed by Shadow,” and readers will be impatient to read the next two volumes in this trilogy about the Great Horse.

– Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and author of “The Marquette Trilogy”

__________

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

Midwest Book Review: Eclipsed by Shadow “Sure to Please”

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is a new fantasy that is sure to please fantasy fans and horse fanatics alike.—Midwest Book Review

The following is a review of Eclipsed by Shadow by the Midwest Book Review.

Midwest Book Review | Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The horse is the only animal that has the chance of wrestling the title of Man’s Best friend away from the dog.

Eclipsed by Shadow: The Legend of the Great Horse is the tale of a young equinophile who is swept into time. Armed with only her extensive knowledge of horses, she must find someway to survive the strange circumstances laid out in front of her.

Eclipsed by Shadow is a new fantasy that is sure to please fantasy fans and horse fanatics alike.

» See original review online

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at TheGreatHorse.com.

The Free Lance-Star: “Lots of Horsepower Here!”

Author John Royce promises that ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is the first in a trilogy of books about the Great Horse. Though there is some graphic violence, there’s also a good read within its pages. Young adults will learn about how horses have been used throughout the ages and a good bit of world history. They’ll also find themselves engrossed in Meagan’s adventures. —Laura L. Hutchinson, Free Lance-Star

The following is an editorial review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Laura Hutchinson of the Free Lance-Star:

Free Lance-Star | Laura L. Hutchinson

“Great Horse” takes Rider on Trip Through History

Meagan Roberts names the foal born on the summer solstice, June 21, 2001, “Promise.” The horse is unique in many ways. But when an old woman tells Meagan and her mother that Promise may be the latest in a long line of Great Horses, they doubt the old woman’s sanity.

But Meagan soon finds the woman’s tales to be true, as she is transported back through history. She finds herself in the days of cave men, who slaughtered horses for food. Then she winds up in Rome, where horses are brutally used in chariot races. She finally finds herself riding with Genghis Khan and his raiders, then with the knights of the Crusades.

Author John Royce promises that Eclipsed by Shadow is the first in a trilogy of books about the Great Horse. Though there is some graphic violence, there’s also a good read within its pages. Young adults will learn about how horses have been used throughout the ages and a good bit of world history. They’ll also find themselves engrossed in Meagan’s adventures.

 >>  See original entry in The Free Lance-Star [PDF]

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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 ‘creative non-fiction’ novel can be found at www.TheGreatHorse.com.

Rebecca’s Reads: “An Adventure Young & Old will Love to Read”

ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is an adventure about the love of horses that young and old will love to read. The history of the horse is only part of the book. Meagan’s interaction with the people of each era is amazing to read. The intertwining of horse history with the fantasy of winged horses makes for a book you can enjoy and learn from at the same time.—Allison King, Rebecca’s Reads

The following is a new review of Eclipsed by Shadow by Allison King for Rebecca’s Reads.

Rebecca’s Reads | Allison King

John Royce brings to life the story of a young, horse-crazed teenager named Meagan and her horse named Promise. Even as the summer solstice brings happiness in the birth of Promise, mystery surrounds her from that day forward. People start coming around Meagan’s house asking questions about Promise and wanting to purchase her. An older lady in particular talks to Meagan and her mom about the history of the Great Horse. She feels that Promise may be that horse, but of the “dark” variety. The only way to know is for the owner to ride the horse. Meagan and her family don’t know whether to believe this woman or not, but one night some men try and steal Promise. Meagan takes it upon herself to save Promise, but the only way to do so is to ride her. You can only imagine the look on her face when Promise sprouts wings and takes Meagan on the ride of her life. This is where the story really begins.

Her adventure takes her from the time of the caveman to Ancient Rome to Genghis Khan to the Crusades. As time and history goes by, she sees how the horse has gone from something eaten for food to being used as weapons in attacks. She realizes that she must use her equestrian knowledge to help her survive these different periods in history. Each time, she waits for Promise to come back to take her home.

Eclipsed by Shadow is an adventure about the love of horses that young and old will love to read. The history of the horse is only part of the book. Meagan’s interaction with the people of each era is amazing to read. The intertwining of horse history with the fantasy of winged horses makes for a book you can enjoy and learn from at the same time. The book will pull you in to the darkness of history and not let you stop reading until you get to the end. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!

graphic image of knight chesspiece

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.