From the "The Wolf & The Warlander" series, volume 1
by and ; illustrated by
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A young horse and a wolf pup transcend their natural instincts to form an unlikely bond of friendship in the first of a three-part series for middle-grade readers.

When Ghost, a wild Warlander horse, and his father, Pegasus, stumble upon a dead female wolf and her litter of newborns, the young horse feels an inexplicable tie to the sole surviving pup. He persuades his father to bring him to their pasture to look after. As the little wolf, Seti, grows, he becomes Ghost’s playmate and companion, although the young horse’s parents warn him that one day “he won’t see you as a friend. He’ll see you as his prey.” A dangerous chance encounter with Seti’s father separates them and, during their time apart, Seti lives as a junior member of his father’s pack, learning how to be a wolf. Although tragedy brings the horse and wolf back together briefly, they can’t deny their natures and their separate destinies. The link between them, however, will prove unbreakable. This action-packed and compassionate story is credited to Davis, the founder of the multiplatinum-selling New Age music group Mannheim Steamroller; the text is written by TV and YA writer Valenti (Last Night at the Monarch Motel, 2013, etc.). It pulls readers into a human-free, natural world of wild forest and pastures where the young animals grow through friendship and adversity. The tale employs a deft blend of authentic animal characteristics and humanlike thoughts and speech (the latter rendered in italics). Realistic charcoal images by Taylor effectively complement mood and action; a subtle design of hoof and paw prints running throughout the pages underscores the theme of interspecies friendship. The book also includes information about the lives and histories of real-life Warlander horses and timber wolves, and a brief glossary of story-related words. In addition, there’s a 45-minute CD of “soft atmospheric effects”—rain and thunder, running water, buzzing insects, frogs, and birds—and a bit of musical pageantry and otherworldly sound effects that seem to represent the magical bond between Ghost and Seti.

An eventful coming-of-age novel with vivid, relatable animal characters and the promise of more adventures to come.

ISBN: 978-0-9656909-2-8
Page count: 107pp
Publisher: Mannheim Steamroller LLC
Program: Kirkus Indie
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