Thunder's Courage (Bella Sara Series #6)

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Journey to the world of magical horses . . .

Follow the valiant and powerful steed Thunder as he helps a young girl find the courage to face an evil sorceress who looms in Darkcomb forest.

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Overview

Journey to the world of magical horses . . .

Follow the valiant and powerful steed Thunder as he helps a young girl find the courage to face an evil sorceress who looms in Darkcomb forest.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
This fantasy of magical horses who fight evil is the sixth in the "Bella Sara" series for younger fantasy and horse lovers. Early on, the author interrupts her story to relate the underlying myth of the horse goddess, Sara, and how she saved a group of Caregivers from evil wolves and granted them immortality in the form of Valkyries. Back in the present, readers meet Sevi, a gifted young seamstress and designer who is about to come of age and must decide her future path in life. Should she try to revive the Caregivers or stay with her silk weaving family and perfect her gifts? The agony over her choice leads to adventures involving an evil spider-sorceress, her frightening accomplices, and the magical black stallion, Thunder. As is apparent, this mythology is linked to the Norse—this series and its byproducts originated in Denmark—and also suggests the chilling Swiss story Die Schwarze Spinne of 1842; mercifully, this one is much shorter. The characters are pleasant, though not well developed, while the hairy spiders readily evoke disgust. Least believable is the magnificent lightning-struck Thunder, who acts as deus ex machina, and the pencil illustrations are pallid. As an incentive to read on, a chapter from Book Seven (unrelated to this tale) is included, as is a code for the series website, where captivated readers can find a whole range of products to buy, interactive games, and further activities. It is quite an industry! Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061673320
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/24/2009
  • Series: Bella Sara Series , #6
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Bella Sara #6: Thunder's Courage

Chapter One

Sevi Dahlstrom sat in a room above her parents' silk shop, putting the finishing touches on a beautiful silk gown. Outside, the afternoon sun shone brightly, casting a brilliant glow over Darkcomb Valley.

From her window, Sevi could see in the southwest the striking pink towers of Rolandsgaard Castle stretching high into the sky. Sevi was awed by the magnificence of the castle, which stood at the center of the Trails End estate. One of the things she used to love was riding her horse friend Balin on a long trail that took them past the castle and up into the nearby Whitemantle Mountain range.

I wish I were out riding Balin now, Sevi thought.

Sevi had been just eight years old when Balin appeared in the yard behind the silk shop one warm summer evening. He was a beautiful, gentle horse. His honey-colored coat had gleamed in the softening light, and his hazel eyes had sparkled with warmth and curiosity. When Sevi offered him an apple, he'd gobbled it up, right out of the palm of her hand. Ever since then she and Balin had been inseparable. Together they had explored all the forests, mountains, and villages around Darkcomb Valley.

But a year ago, Balin had fallen and broken his foreleg while jumping over a stream with Sevi on his back. Although she'd done her best to nurse him, the leg was too badly broken to heal. Unable to walk, Balin had weakened and died.

Sevi's eyes sparkled with tears as she thought about her friend. I miss him so much, she thought. If only I'd been able to save him.

The sound of the door banging open snapped herback to the present. Cody, her nine-year-old brother, bounced in, carrying a mug full of purple berry juice in his hand.

Cody worshipped his big sister. From the moment he could walk, he had followed Sevi around. She had taught him how to ride when he was just five years old, and now he was almost as good with horses as she was. Before Balin's accident, they used to go riding together around Darkcomb Valley and Trails End almost every day. Sevi rode on Balin, and Cody rode on Felix, a tall, rangy, gray-spotted stallion.

Since Balin's accident, Cody kept offering to take Sevi out for rides with him on Felix. She went sometimes, but more often she found excuses to avoid going. She knew that Cody didn't quite understand why, and that he was hurt by her ignoring him. But she couldn't help herself. Being around Cody and Felix reminded her too much of her sadness.

"Hi, Sevi, what are you doing?" Cody asked. Without waiting for an answer, he babbled on, "Want to go for a ride with me and Felix? Let's go for a ride, Sevi. Come on, please!"

Sevi held up her hands. "I'm busy! Can't you see?" she said. Ordinarily she found Cody's enthusiasm sweet, but right now, in her sad mood, she could do with a little less of it.

"Are you still working on that dress? Aren't you done yet?" Cody asked.

"Almost," Sevi told him. "Be careful with that mug, Cody. If you spill juice on my coming-of-age gown . . ."

The floor-length dress she was working on was extraordinary. The design was simple, but it was made from the finest silk in Darkcomb Valley. Into this beautiful cream-colored fabric, Sevi had embroidered intricate patterns in rich golden thread. The embroidery alone had taken her more than five months to complete, but it had been worth it. This was the dress she would wear to her Age Ceremony, after all—the ceremony that marked her thirteenth birthday.

"I won't spill!" Cody protested. He stepped closer—and stumbled over a low stool that was hidden under the folds of Sevi's gown. He pitched forward, and the juice flew out of his mug in a long, shining arc. Splat! It hit the sleeve of the gown. The purple of the juice almost glowed against the creamy silk.

For a moment both children stood entirely still. Cody's eyes grew as round as two saucers. Then . . .

"Cody!" Sevi screeched.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Cody cried. He backed away. "It was an accident!"

"I told you to be careful!" Sevi yelled.

Their mother, Joani, hurried into the room, drawn by Sevi's raised voice. "What's happened? What is wrong?"

Sevi pointed at the juice-splashed silk, fighting back tears of frustration. "Look what Cody did, Mama. My dress—it's ruined!"

"Oh, my," Joani said. She clucked her tongue as she studied the spreading stain. "That is bad."

"I'm sorry!" Now Cody was almost in tears, too. "I tripped. It was an accident. I'm so sorry, Sevi."

Sevi knew Cody meant it, but at the moment she couldn't find it in her heart to forgive him. More than five months of work down the drain. And the Age Ceremony was only three days away!

Tightening her lips, she turned away from her little brother's pleading gaze.

"We can fix it, Sevi," Joani told her daughter. "I don't think we can weave any more of the cream silk before the ceremony—we don't have the right thread in stock. But we can soak out most of the stain. And I can help you embroider over what's left of it."

"What's the point?" Sevi said bitterly. "It won't be right."

Whirling, she ran out of the room and downstairs to the shop. She almost went out to the pasture where Balin used to graze. But then she remembered: He wasn't there anymore. Rushing through the front of the store, where all the family's silk cloth and embroidery work was displayed, she dashed into the stockroom and slammed the door behind her. She stood there for a moment in the dimness, breathing deeply.

Bella Sara #6: Thunder's Courage. Copyright (c) by Felicity Brown . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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