Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 09/2021
  • 9781662826146 B09F1PP9ML
  • 300 pages
  • $17.99
Gallant: The Call of The Trail

Young Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Gallant and Gracie have a special bond, rarely seen between human and horse. Separated by a bad accident when Gallant is five, each gets a second chance of happiness pursuing the long-distance sport of endurance riding, neither knowing they are leading parallel lives. Gallant's arch-nemesis, The Almighty Flash, threatens to destroy all that Gallant has worked for. His misguided ambition and greed, developed at the hands of an abusive owner, have created a darkness in his soul that turns to blind fury when his endurance career is threatened. When Gracie meets Jack, she realizes that nothing will ever be as simple as it used to be. The characters' lives are beautifully woven together against the backdrop of a sport that tests the physical and mental endurance of horse and rider like no other. Gallant: The Call of The Trail, is ultimately a saga of love, adventure, and self-discovery, with an unexpected ending that threatens to change everything.
Reviews
In the first of the Gallant trilogy, children’s author Eckard (Bentley and the Magic Sticks) details the heartwarming adventures of Gracie and her first love, an Arabian foal named Gallant. When Gallant is born on five-year-old Gracie’s ranch, Gracie creeps into his stall and nestles against him. Their bond strengthens over years until an accident causes Gracie’s parents to send him to a trainer. At first traumatized, Gallant won’t cooperate—but a trustworthy boy named Jack offers him a second chance, developing Gallant into an exceptional endurance racehorse before the all-important 100-mile Tevis race. However, a jealous, abused horse named Flash determines to beat Gallant, even by violent means, as the destinies of Gracie, Jack, Gallant, and Flash come together across some of the American West’s most challenging trails.

Eckard, who volunteers with homeless animals, describes a close-knit community devoted to horses’ wellbeing. The writing’s sentimental bent matches the novel’s dare-to-dream-of-greatness elementary grade genre, raising tension, evoking tears, and rewarding heroes at all the right moments. An abrupt cliffhanger ending will either exasperate readers or make them crave the sequel. Gracie is a wholesome and upbeat role model, but her submissiveness lacks nuance; when she at last shows some assertiveness the narration labels it as “sneaky and underhanded,” a point readers might debate. Regardless, readers will appreciate her intelligence, admirable sportsmanship, and faithfulness.

Endurance riding, which requires harmony between horse and rider, gives Eckard the opportunity to share numerous life lessons. Especially potent is the central theme: to complete any race is a victory, regardless of placement. Eckard juxtaposes the abuse and disposal of unwanted horses—never made graphic—beside ideal animal care to inspire activism in her audiences. Most enjoyable are the specific sport techniques she details, as well as the delightful imaginings of horses’ conversations. Phylicia Mann’s skillful, black-and-white illustrations complement pivotal scenes. Gracie and Gallant’s indomitable love and integrity are the stuff of legends, sure to enchant horse lovers.

Takeaway: An exciting horse drama with a contagious passion for endurance riding that young readers and horse enthusiasts will love.

Great for fans of: Enid Bagnold’s National Velvet, Valerie Tripp’s Love and Loyalty: A Felicity Classic.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 09/2021
  • 9781662826146 B09F1PP9ML
  • 300 pages
  • $17.99

Loading...