ECLIPSED BY SHADOW is the 1st book of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy. The story is a well-researched, award-winning YA historical fiction/fantasy that brings readers on a journey of real history. The central character is a young horse-enthusiast, Meagan, who struggles to survive mankind’s past using her empathy, perseverance–and her modern knowledge of horsemanship.
The title won the Eric Hoffer Award for Young Adult Fiction and the Mom’s Choice Award for best Young Adult Fantasy.
First lines: Meagan awoke with a start and sat upright in bed. The dream had come again. The dream of the flying horse.
The beginning of the book is a bit of a prelude. The reader learns about Meagan and her family as well as their horse(s). Meagan is presented as a born horse lover. This part of the book is a bit slow but builds necessary tension. Once promise comes home, the story starts moving fast.
This book reads a bit like horse historical fiction. I was elated to discover this. “Eclipsed by Shadow” is emotional, educational and entertaining all at the same time. Which is really what I love most about historical fiction.
While we travel throughout the ages with Meagan we get to experience an intimate corner of each period while Meagan searches for the time periods Great Horse. This was very educational for me as well as entertaining. Although I am a horse lover, I won’t pretend I know anything about their history. Having a story that basically centers around the animals plight in each time period was fascinating and exhilarating.
John Royce pulls few punches as he details a horses and humans life in each time period. This is some of the most honest adaptions of history that I have read. Certainly it is the most detailed I’ve read about the horses. It will no doubt pull at your heart strings and open your mind further to the cruelty humanity is capable of.
The story flows steadily and lingers just long enough in each time period to pull the reader in emotionally without one period consuming the entire story. I would love to see John Royce build off these ideas and write entire books that focus on a singular period. His writing style is entrancing and I thoroughly enjoyed every word I read.
Few people have the skill to adequately weave a fictional story with factual history in a believable fashion. John Royce undoubtedly posses this skill.
Of all the character in this book I think my favorites are Horace from Rome, ChouChou and Henryk from the dark ages. Their characters made me smile and cry. I would love to see John Royce further explore the world of these characters in their own books.
That’s the problem with historical fiction and myself. I get very attached to the characters and never want the story to end.
I found no faults with this story and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This book is a solid 5 stars.
The Technical Data:
Title: Eclipsed by Shadow | Author(s): John Royce | Series: The Legend of the Great Horse (Trilogy)| Publisher: Micron Press / Publication Date: 6-21-2008 |Pages: 292 (Print Edition) | ISBN: 978-0972412131 | Genre(s): Young Adult/ Science Fiction/ Historical Fiction |Language:English |Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 5-12-2016 | Source: Copy From Author