EA Lovitt (Starmoth) | Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer
Book III of The Legend of the Great Horse concludes John Royce’s sweeping historical fantasy about horses and horsemanship with a display of equine fireworks that made it well worth the wait. The ending was satisfying on both a philosophical and emotional level. The author’s heroine, Meagan Roberts grows into a believable young woman, much of that growth (as with most of us) rooted in pain and sorrow. I was sorry to say good-bye to her and all of the Great Horses that accompanied her on her wild journey through time.
Much of Into the Dark takes place in Texas and Kentucky just as America’s brutal Civil War is heating up. When Royce takes time with his characters, as he did in this section, they are infused with life. When Meagan has to choose between her Great Horse and her new-found love, the reader will understand and share in that agonizing decision.
I was especially fond of the two 20th Century vignettes about horses that I already knew and loved: Man O’War and the British pony, Stroller who earned (along with his rider) a silver medal in the 1968 Olympics. The section on Man O’War reminded me very much of Walter Farley's book about this great Thoroughbred, who was portrayed by both authors as a fiery, almost mythological beast that burned his way down the race track and into our dreams. On the other hand, the section on Stroller’s competition in the 1968 team jumping event almost broke my heart. The author draws on his own deep knowledge of equestrian sport and of the equine heart to give his readers an understanding of just what Stroller accomplished. It reminded me of the race caller’s description of the great Zenyatta as she finished first in the Breeders’ Cup Classic: “This is one we'll never forget!”
Good-bye, Meagan. This is one we’ll never forget.