The Black Stallion’s Blood Bay Colt

Our rating: ***

Jimmy Creech, owner of the mare “Volo Queen,” is awaiting the arrival of the Queen’s foal. Jimmy, his friend George Snedecker, and a young boy named Tom, hope that this foal will become a famous horse. Sired by the Black Stallion, the colt turns out to be all they hoped for, but when Jimmy’s stomach pains grow worse, racing the colt becomes their last hope for the money they need to pay for Jimmy’s doctor bills.

Wonderful! The huge race at the end is heart-pounding action clear through. Walter Farley gives his characters such depth in this story, you feel like you know them. Tom’s Aunt Emma and Uncle Wilmer are funny. Overall, I like this one very much. It’s one of the better Black Stallion books, in fact, one of my favorites, after The Horse Tamer and The Black Stallion.

The Black Stallion’s Courage

Our rating: ***

When Hopeful Farm’s main barn burns down, (and their insurance policy has ended) Alec Ramsay sets out to raise enough money to rebuild it. He takes Black Minx and the Black with him to New York. (Along with Henry Dailey.) Alec enters Black Minx in several races, but will she run like she did in the Kentucky Derby? Also, a three-year-old colt, Eclipse, has broken several records and a horse named Casey is winning himself to greatness. Will the Black be able to beat the two champions?

I found this book confusing sometimes. However, it’s still a pretty good book. You may find yourself sucked into this book near the end.

The Black Stallion Challenged

Our rating: ***

The Black has recovered from his foot, er, hoof injury sufficiently to begin training for racing again. Things are all set for the Black until Alec receives a letter from Steve Duncan asking for his help in getting Flame into the race, too. The Black and Flame finally have an opportunity to race against each other! Which one really is the fastest?

Yes! Believe it or not, Walter Farley finally does say which horse is better. He avoids it for the entire series, but he seemed to have written himself into a corner. But I think it’s one of the better of the series.

The Black Stallion Legend

Our rating: *

When Alec’s fiancĂ©e is killed in a car accident, Alec just snaps. Desperation drives him toward the west. Taking the Black with him, he travels on, looking for answers in the wrong places. Once they reach a desert, Alec and the Black meet a herd of wild mustangs, and Alec turns the Black free. All alone, Alec is in bad shape when a Native American boy finds him and tells him of a startling prophecy. A rider on a black horse will appear at the end of the world, and lead the tribe to safety. Convinced he is not the person, Alec tries to explain who he is, but the boy is stubborn, and the appearance of the Black matches the description of the horse. When a meteorite strikes, Alec must conquer his fears and lead the tribe to safety.

Unfortunately, this whole story is rather unbelievable. It makes interesting reading, but there are a lot of coincidences in it. It dwells a lot on the prophecy part of it, and on Alec’s psychological turmoil. Not to deter you, of course, do please read this. Every series has its highs and its lows. Of course, the Black figures prominently in all things, and there are some interesting things, like the water underground.

The Black Stallion and Flame

Our rating: **

On their way back from Europe, Alec and Henry’s plane goes down. Using a life raft, Henry, Alec and the crew make it out safely. The only problem? The Black and several other horses were on the plane with them. As Alec drifts about in the raft, his only comfort is that Henry saw the horses leaving the plane before it went down. Once the life boat reaches the island of Antago in the West Indies, Alec and Henry devote their time to finding the Black, before it could be too late.

This is a fun book. The only problem is the vampire bat. (Excuse me a moment while I go shiver.) The bat is infected with rabies, and plays a large part in the story line. As a heads-up, there are a few evolutionary statements about the bat. If you ever feel queasy about the bat, whatever you do, just keep breathing, it turns out okay in the end. I find it interesting how Walter Farley brought together his two most famous horses and manages to never say which horse is better. There are some tense moments, and, on the whole, this book is fun.