The spirit of Connemara shines in four exciting novels about a girl and a foal during the time of the Norman invasion. In Book One, Lara, the kind-hearted daughter of a cattle baron, tends to her family's herd in the Irish highlands, where she rescues an orphaned foal. In a heated battle, both are kidnapped by a warring clan. In Book Two, as the foal matures, Lara becomes a competent horsewoman and decides to search for her family, only to find that her homeland has been destroyed. Book Three finds Lara back with the clan. Recognized for her great skills, she is traded, along with the horse, to Norman invaders. In Book Four, the series concludes as Lara finds purpose in training nuns to breed horses.
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Kathleen Duey is the author of numerous books for young readers.From Booklist:
Gr. 4-6. This book completes the Hoofbeats historical fiction quartet that began with Lara and the Gray Mare (2005), Lara and the Moon-colored Filly (2005), and Lara at Athenry Castle (2005). The concluding volume of this episodic story follows Lara and her horse after she leaves Athenry Castle in disguise. When she meets her father on the road and he takes her home, her story seems to have come full circle. But Lara is no longer the girl she was and, in the end, she chooses her own future. Vivid writing seamlessly incorporates the research in this paperback series. A sure attraction for young readers with an interest in horses, this has much more to offer: swift, sure character portrayals, a convincing medieval Irish setting, and a continuing story of high adventure. Carolyn Phelan
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