A gripping journey of a young girl and a foal who are raised together in The Valley of Hearts Delight. Gallant and Gracie have a special bond, rarely seen between a human and a horse.
Welcome to one of the November 22nd stops on the blog tour for Gallant: The Call of the Trail by Claire Eckard with iRead Book Tours (schedule linked.) Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
The Art of Writing from The Horses Perspective
When I started writing Gallant, The Call of The Trail, I debated whether to give my two main horse characters, Gallant and Flash, their own voice. But I soon realized that this was as much their story as it was Gracie and Jack’s, the two human leads in the book. So, while most books are written from the point of view (POV) of one main protagonist, I decided to step it up and write from the perspective of four! This was a bit risky, because as a debut author I already had my hands full with the usual challenges of plot, character arcs and trying to put together a story that would appeal to a broad audience. However, writing from the horse’s perspective came quite naturally! Maybe it was because I had been around horses my whole life (with a short gap for travelling and childbirth!), and maybe it was because I was just so inspired by my characters, and I KNEW them so well. The deep-in-your-soul kind of knowing, so you instinctively know what they are feeling and how they will react under various circumstances. Both horses are such different characters so I was able to explore the themes of how each was raised and how it would affect their views of the world around them. Just like people, these horses had to face their own struggles; Flash from losing his mother minutes after he was born and then being mistreated by a cruel owner, and Gallant who was born into an idyllic setting and loved passionately, however this ill equipped him to deal with the situation he then found himself in. Throughout the trilogy the horse and human characters grow and learn, often through the way they interact with each other. It was fascinating as a writer to watch the lives of these characters intersect and see how they each affected the other, and how the characters changed over the course of the books. This book has been hailed as an “emotional rollercoaster”, “exquisitely written” and “magnificently illustrated” by some of the top book reviewers in the literary world. I hope that means that I managed to give my equine characters the voices they deserved.
About the Book
The Call of the Trail
by Claire Eckard
Published 29 August 2021
Mill City Press
Genre: YA Fiction
Page Count: 229
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
A gripping journey of a young girl and a foal who are raised together in The Valley of Hearts Delight. Gallant and Gracie have a special bond, rarely seen between a human and a 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. Will Fate bring them together again? 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, has created a darkness in his soul that turns to blind fury when his endurance career is threatened.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads
I was granted complimentary access to Gallant by Claire Eckard as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with iRead Book Tours. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Gallant is the story of a little girl named Gracie and a young horse named Gallant who grow up together and felt like soul mates meant to be. When a riding accident separates them, however, Gracie and Gallant find their lives forcibly split apart. Gallant is sent off for training and doesn’t pass. Gracie is given her cousins’ rehomed, more gentle horses. Will these two kindred spirits ever see each other again?
Gallant is exactly the sort of book I was reading as a little girl and reading it now felt like a trip down memory lane. I’m so glad to see that this calibre of heartwarming and passionate girl-and-her-horse novels are still being written. Seriously, if this title had been available in the mid-90s, this would have been the book I was re-reading for the 5th time during silent reading in Mrs Ewart’s grade 4 class. (Instead it was all of Marguerite Henry’s books and a novelization of Man O’ War’s story by Walter Farley.)
Also, fun fact, my maiden name is Galland and just about everyone mispronounces it as Gallant, so I was instantly attracted to this title.
I absolutely loved the personality and very innocently horse-y personality Eckard wrote for the horse, Gallant. He’s perfect! You know how I mentioned I read a lot of Marguerite Henry as a kid? Henry is great at writing kids who love horses. Eckard is great at writing kids and the horses they love. Both sides of the relationship get an equal share of the spotlight.
About the Author
Award winning Author Claire Eckard combines her love of writing with her passion for animals to create memorable children’s books that are fun to read, but also include valuable life’s lessons. Claire grew up in England and moved to Hawaii in her early twenties where she married her husband of thirty-four years. Together they raised two sons, Mitchell and Matthew. Claire is inspired by her two Granddaughters Mila and Ella, as well as the beautiful backdrop of the Arizona mountains where she lives. Claire has a farm full of animals, and has spent many years as a board member and volunteer of her local animal shelter.
Enter to win a signed copy of GALLANT: THE CALL OF THE TRAIL! (one winner/USA only) (ends Dec 17)GALLANT: CALL OF THE TRAIL Book Tour Giveaway
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