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The Black Stallion battles flesh-eating mares in this strange, off-putting addition to the late Walter Farley's series, written by his son.
Alec Ramsey andhis Black Stallion are playing the parts of Alexander the Great and his horse Bucephalus in a movie filmed in the mountains of Greece near a mysterious, heavily guarded "resort." When the Black pursues a strange albino mare across a stream, Alex andthe13-year-olddaughter of one of thestunt riders(whoseems to have no purposein thestory other than to keep it from being entirely populatedby adults) follow. They fall into a mysterious underground river and thence into a strange world where people stay young by drinkingmagical water and offeringhuman sacrifices to flesh-eating mares. It's meant to parallel the legend of Diomedes; unfortunately, none of it makes any sense.A graphic scene of horses consumingan elderly couplewill unsettle many readers. Farley's writing,simultaneously flat and full of hyperbole, would be right at home in a B-movie Western, as would hischaracters, who come straight out of central casting, bad foreign dialects and all.Even the Black has become a stereotype.
Readers are better off stickingto the originals. (Fiction. 9-12)