Welcome to another edition of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! I’ll be back Friday with another fantastic new book, MALAMANDER. Today though is devoted to THE FIRE STALLION.
Twelve-year-old Hilly has landed her dream job, riding on the set of Brunhilda, an epic film based on the fearless warrior of Icelandic legend. Norse fire ritual tells that on mid-summer’s day, animals and humans can shape-shift and one night Hilly finds herself connected to the young warrior and her fire stallion. As the two girls’ lives intertwine, Hilly soon realises that they’ll both have to risk everything for the love of their horses…
Inspired by real-life historical events, The Fire Stallion is an epic tale…
MY THOUGHTS: Author Stacy Gregg knows her horses. Since 2007 she has written more than twenty equine inspired stories. Her current offering has a dose of magical realism.
Hilly accompanies her mother on a trip to Iceland—quite the change from their homeland in New Zealand. Hilly could use a change of scenery after losing her special friend. Mom is working on a film set of a major movie being made about the life of Brunhilda. Hilly connects with Gudrun, an older woman who is the historical advisor for the film. Gudrun feels the movie depiction is inaccurate based on her research. She teaches Hilly how to go back in time where she experiences the real story by becoming Brunhilda. This happens in brief visits so the plot unfolds back and forth during these two time periods.
I enjoyed the present better than the past with details about making a motion picture and Hilly working as the horse rider stand-in for the main star of the film. Her love of horses comes through these scenes as does her time shape-shifting into Brunhilda.
The many characters, Icelandic terminology, and the intertwining story lines will be a bit much for emerging readers. Those more adept at intricate plots and who have a passion for horses will enjoy every page of this adventure. The gripping finale leaves one unanswered question for readers to mull over. Hopefully a sequel will carry on the story of present day Hilly.
PUBLISHED: 2019 PAGE COUNT: 304
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
THE FIRE STALLION by Stacy Gregg
- The connection one can make with a horse is brought forth in all its heartwarming and heartbreaking splendor. The cover hints at this special bond.
- Living in Iceland brings many challenges, the first is revealed in the opening pages: How do you sleep at night when daylight refuses to go away?
- Hilly tells the story and her narration is full of emotion and confusion.
- You’ll find only 16 chapters, perfect for anyone who prefers longer reads compared to the current trend of short 3-5 page chapters in middle grade books.
- A different font is used for the two time periods. It was a nice reminder of where you are at and where the story is headed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a young girl living in New Zealand Stacy Gregg wanted to be two things when she grew up – a horse rider and a writer. She now considers herself very, very lucky to be both at once!
Becoming a writer was the easy part – all she needed was an exercise book and a pen. Stacy wrote loads of poetry and short stories at school and then became a journalist, writing features for magazines and newspapers and working as a fashion writer (v. glamorous and lots of fun!) before her first book in the Pony Club Secrets series was published in 2007.
Since then Stacy has written 24 books. Her stories had taken her all over the world from Arabia to Italy, Spain and Russia. Her latest novel, The Fire Stallion, is set in Iceland and there is a new book due soon set in Berlin and Poland – Prince of Ponies. Stacy also does a picture book series based on the adventures of a very naughty miniature pony called Mini Whinny! (For more visit Stacy’s author web page)
I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Comment below, your thoughts are much appreciated!
Sounds like a great read with a great setting, horses, and time travel. I also like that there aren’t too many chapters, which is good for younger readers. I’ll have to try to get it at my library.
What an intriguing read — like the touch of magical realism. Like the idea of Hilly shapeshifting into Brunhilda. She talks to the historian, but becomes and experiences Brunhilda, Does this happen when she’s riding? It’s not like time travel?
My great granddaughter is a talented equestrian and devours a variety of horse stories — this will make a great Christmas gift.
Fire is the catalyst for her going back in time. I’m sure your granddaughter would enjoy this one.
I’m not a big horse fan, but this sounds really interesting and I love a little magical realism in a story.
I’ve long been fascinated with this history and enjoy a good horse story, so this sounds like a great book for me! Thanks for the recommendation, and happy MMGM!
Not many books out there based on Icelandic mythology, and it’s a time travel book to boot. Very interesting. Thanks for the review.
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