The Island Stallion

Our rating: ***

Steve and his friend Phil Pitcher (known as Pitch) go to Azul Island and discover a way to get into the interior of the island, which is surrounded by steep yellow walls. Inside, there is a pack of horses, led by a beautiful red stallion, Flame. Tom, Pitch’s step-brother, made a bet with them that if they actually stayed on Azul Island two weeks, as they planned to, he would give Steve his pick of the horses there. Will Steve be able to own Flame?

This book has underground tunnels, three stallion fights, discoveries… in other words, adventure. I found The Island Stallion to be confusing at points, but it’s still a pretty good book. The next book about Flame and Steve is The Island Stallion’s Fury.

The Island Stallion Races

Our rating: *

Okay….This book took me completely by surprise. When I picked it up, I was expecting a standard Walter Farley. The description on the back even pointed to it, by saying that Steve gets a chance to race Flame, but has trouble at the races with Flame attacking the other horses. That’s all true, however, it failed to mention that his opportunity is derived from two aliens/men from another planet. Yes, you read that right. Walter Farley goes science fiction. That sort of weirded me out. Actually, most of the story is based around the men from another planet, and the race is only in the last few chapters. I only rated it one star, but if you like sci-fi stuff, (and expect it coming!) it might be worth two stars.

The Island Stallion’s Fury

Our rating: **

Steve Duncan and his good friend Pitch have returned to their secret hideout on the uninhabited island of Azul. Pitch hopes to continue exploring and documenting the many tunnels of the island, while Steve can’t wait to be reunited with Flame, a wild stallion he befriended, who is the leader of a beautiful band of wild horses. But the trouble begins when Pitch’s step-brother, Tom, discovers their island paradise. Holding them as prisoners, Tom determines to tame Steve’s beloved horse, Flame, by force alone.

I didn’t like this one as much as some of Walter Farley’s other books, and it might not be entirely suitable for younger readers. I found the part where Tom is beating Flame with a whip over, and over, and over to be a bit sickening. However, the rest of it is pretty good.

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.