Micron Press (2013)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/15)
“Into the Dark” concludes the Legend of the Great Horse trilogy by John Royce. Time traveler Meagan finds herself waking up in Texas in 1861, where she meets Dan Beardon, owner of the Great Horse Red, and her future soul mate. As Meagan travels through some rough times with Dan she finds herself appreciating him more and more, and is devastated when she is pulled into her next adventure, which is in New York, in 1919. Then she is briefly off to war-torn Poland in 1939. Still seeking a way home, Meagan ends up in the dreary future, finding herself desperate to either go home or be back with Dan. It is in the future that she gains the most knowledge about the past. She also discovers that her special Great Horse’s gift was for time travel. Other Great Horses have different gifts, such as healing.
There is no easy way to have a “happy ending” for a character who was placed on a journey such as this. Meagan learns a lot as she travels through time and experiences each of the Great Horses, as led to her by her special horse, Promise. Meagan’s experiences mature her beyond her years, so that even when she is able to return home, she no longer feels like she belongs. She must decide in her heart where she really wants to be, and figure out how to get there. Her journey is truly incredible.
“Into the Dark,” allowed me to jump right into the third book of an incredible trilogy. Having grown up with an affinity towards horses, I found myself relating to the main character; I also gained a greater appreciation for these incredible animals, and the roles that they have played in helping mankind evolve. I noticed that some websites promoting this book categorize it as being for children from 8-12 years with a 3rd to 7th grade reading level. I have to note that I completely disagree with this categorization. While there is no reason a child should not read this book, I felt that the reading level was much higher and as an adult, I did not feel at all like I was reading a children’s book. I would have loved to have read a novel like this when I was in the age range listed, however, I do not believe that an average reader in that category will find it to be easy reading. No matter what, everyone who reads this trilogy will find themselves truly captivated by the story.
I highly recommend “Into the Dark” by John Royce. I think it is a wonderful story for families to share.