Wild Blood (Horses of the Dawn #3)
This conclusion to Kathryn Lasky's Horses of the Dawn trilogy will make your heart beat to the rhythm of thundering hooves, leaving you breathless as you join the herd's final fight for freedom.
Horses of the Ancient West
Estrella is trying very hard to find food for her hungry herd, but is not having very much luck. Even Tijo is looking very thin. She thinks that if she can get the herd across the Mighties, they will be able to excape the evil El Miedo and live in peace. Haru is still helping the group, but the spirit lodge she is inhabiting (in an owl) is becoming weak. Haru tells Estrella that the herd should be split in order to get across the mountains, but Estrella is loathe to do this. Little Coyote, now called Hope, befriends a bee and gets some insight into the antics of El Miedo, and later becomes the new spirit lodge for Haru. When Estrella and many of her herd are caught by the Ibers and enslaved, they are very worried that their adventures in the new land have come to a horrible end, but after the mules have a riot and El Miedo is tricked with some gold nuggets, the group escapes. They make their way across the Mighties, but things do not go smoothly. Angela, who hoof is lame, gets washed away in the river and killed by a bear. The horses grieve, but once they make it through the mountain passes, they come into a sacred land. Abelinda has a foal, and a girl appears to be a companion to Tijo.
Horse books are a middle grade staple, and it's hard to find enough books for children who go on a genre spree. Both Marguerite Henry's books and Jane Smiley's Horses of Oak Valley Ranch series offer lots of horse details from a human perspective, but Lasky gives us some early US history from a unique equine perspective.
Readers who are fans of Hunter's The Warriors series or Lasky's own Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and like to read books about animal interactions within the hierarchy of groups, or who like the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, will find this adventure in the ancient North American west to be both exciting and informative.