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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Links:

» See All Excerpts from The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.

» Read the 1st Chapter online.

» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.

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Book I: Riding with Genghis Khan

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.

Hast thou given the horse strength?
Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?

– Holy Bible, Job 39:19-24

Meagan sensed excitement in the camp. An undercurrent ran through the people and the horses pranced nervously. Throwing her saddle pad over Targa, she saw something had been added: an odd-looking pole now hung from a loop of leather on her saddle. Then she saw the sharp point and realized she had been given a spear.

ource: The ArtScience Museum	Photo: William Cho / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0Leaders rode through the lines of horses, each with a string of knives hanging from one arm. Meagan took one and examined it, confused. The others were sliding theirs into belt pouches. It seemed a dangerous place to carry a knife, but she did the same.

Horn answered horn throughout the camps. A rippling change went through the horse nation. The few not yet mounted swung aboard. Meagan’s group moved out. The camp leaders rode ahead, each holding a blazing torch.

The pitch of the horns was changing, signaling back and forth down the black mass of horsemen covering the plain. The tight lines of the nomads were dissolving into chaos, melting and running in streaks. Horses were breaking from easy canters into full gallops. When the call reached Meagan’s group, Targa sprang forward, her legs stretching in exhilaration of the run.

One in a sea of horsemen, Meagan saw buildings of a settlement ahead. Tendrils of smoke rose pale against the clear sky …

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.

__________

Links:

» See All Excerpts from The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.

» Read the 1st Chapter online.

» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.

» Order Books

Check out the trilogy’s page on Facebook!

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy - book cover images

#38- The Horse Hunt

The tribe advanced, slowly tightening their circle as the herd milled in confusion. The only apparent escape was the deadly corridor between the rocks. The lead mare paced, trying to find another way before committing to the canyon’s blind entrance. – Eclipsed by Shadow (excerpt)

Mounted on a prehistoric horse, Meagan sees horse-hunting from a different point of view…

The tribe advanced, slowly tightening their circle as the herd milled in confusion. The only apparent escape was the deadly corridor between the rocks. The lead mare paced, trying to find another way before committing to the canyon’s blind entrance.

Meagan swallowed, remembering that horses were a delicacy of primitive man. Prehistoric bands of humans had ranged near such rocky formations, luring herds into blind alleys and driving them from cliffs. She remembered the caves of Lascaux in France which held the remains of thousands of horses killed some fifteen thousand years before. Thirteen millennia before the Year of our Lord.

She wished she had not read so many books.

A wisp shot past the men, a figure—a girl—running alone into the circle. Horses shied from her path. The figure slowed to a walk, approaching Meagan and the frightened mare. It was the silent girl who had tried to follow. Her crystal eyes held wonder. Thin fingers stretched to touch the gray’s matted coat, stopping short…

Excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow, the award-winning 1st volume of “The Legend of the Great Horse” trilogy. (Hrdbk pg. 100)

Book II: The Golden Spark will be published Fall 2010.

Read the 1st Chapter online!

Copyright © 2008 John Royce

Book I: “Rome wasn’t Read in a Day”

Jennifer wished the answer could be different. “Meagan, there are no such things as Great Horses. I like that you are taking an interest in history, but you can’t believe in fantasies.” – Eclipsed by Shadow (excerpt)

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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 modern day America: young Meagan is convinced the legend is true, but no one believes … including her mother…

I think that if I become a horseman,
I shall be a man on wings.

– Xenophon (c. 400 BC)

Jennifer wished the answer could be different. “Meagan, there are no such things as Great Horses. I like that you are taking an interest in history, but you can’t believe in fantasies.”

“Mrs. Bridgestone said only true owners will believe the legend,” Meagan replied stubbornly. “You are just proving it.”

“I’m sorry, Meagan.” Jennifer glanced down at picture of chariot race with teams of galloping horses. “Horses can make people act very strangely. Now, will you promise me? No talking with Mrs. Bridgestone.”

Meagan shrugged. “Maybe we should bring Promise back home, just in case.”

“Meagan?”

“I said okay.”

Jennifer went to the doorway. “Tell the books goodnight, Meagan. Rome wasn’t read in a day.” Jennifer closed the door behind her and returned downstairs. She sat beside her husband on the couch. “I’m worried about Meagan, Tom.”

“Of course you are, Jen. It’s how we know you’re her mother.”

Jennifer shrugged. “She spends all her time reading history books. It’s that silly legend. Meagan is absolutely convinced.”

“Yes, she told me. It sounds like this Bridgestone woman is a bit … should I say it?”

“There is nothing wrong with being a little eccentric, Tom.”

“That wasn’t the word I was going to use.”

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.

__________

Links:

» See All Excerpts from The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy.

» Read the 1st Chapter online.

» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.

» Order Books

Check out the trilogy’s page on Facebook!

 

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy books (2015)