Sky Stallion Synopsis

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Sky Stallion is the fantastical adventure story of a young teenage girl, Nellie, who ultimately tames the bad temperament and unfeeling heart of a wild unicorn stallion, Nightcloud, through patience and compassion.  Sky Stallion is the sequel to the fantasy novel Cloud Filly and continues the adventures had by two teenagers, Drake and Nellie, transported to the land of Uni.   In the magical land of Uni, the locals are a multitude of various flying unicorns, horses, sorceresses, and other mythical creatures. Written by a teenager for "tween" readers, Sky Stallion is a fast paced read, heavily illustrated with beautiful drawings.  Just as she did with the first novel, the author uses several unique points of view to allow the reader to get into the mind of the humans as well as the unicorns.  She allows us to feel what they are feeling and why.  Cloud Filly and Sky Stallion can be read independently or out of sequence. 
The novel begins where the climatic ending of the first novel left off.  Drake, Nellie's 15 year old brother, has successfully trained and raced a wild unicorn filly named Cloudberry.  Cloudberry is a natural racer and is doing very well, winning monetary rewards for Drake.  She is still sore from injuries she sustained while battling her evil brother, Nightcloud, at the dramatic end of the first novel.  Nightcloud vengefully tried to kill Cloudberry, the two falling over a great cliff into the ocean.  Nightcloud is rendered unconscious where he could have been left to die.  However, Cloudberry's compassionate nature forced her to save her unconscious brother from drowning, despite his cruelty to her.  At the last minute, she dragged his limp body onto shore where she left him.  He was nearly dead, but managed to survive.
Nightcloud awakens on the shore, exhausted.  He has a severe shoulder injury and discovers that his horn was broken during the fall from the cliff.  It is a horrifying event for a unicorn to break their horn as he will be scarred for life with a half gone and jagged horn.  He can only vaguely remember what happened, but he is more determined than ever to get revenge on Cloudberry.  We are reminded he is out for revenge because of the neglect he received as a firstborn child after Cloudberry was born.
Meanwhile, Cloudberry is recovering enough to win more races with Drake.  They make enough money to buy a racing saddle, silks and a jockey license.  They are now set to run some of the larger and more profitable races.

Feeling confident and at ease after their wins and with Nightcloud no longer a threat, Drake, Cloudberry, Nellie, and Alidar (a sweet portly unicorn) take an afternoon stride into the woods.  There they meet an annoying boy named Devon who harasses them and challenges them to a race.  Devon rides a dragon, which he obviously abuses.  They agree to a race, set for the next day.  The next day the poor dragon fails to show for the big race.  He has run away.  After confronting Devon on his abuse of the dragon, the group goes into the woods to search for the missing dragon.  Instead they find the injured Nightcloud.  He is still proud and defiant and says he wants to get revenge on Cloudberry.  Even though they part peacefully, there is a sense of foreboding.

During the course of the two novels, Alidar has become quite fond of Cloudberry.  She, however, must gently let him down by explaining that she is too young for a mate and that they really are not suited for each other.  Alidar takes it well, as he is used to failure, but he feels well loved anyway.  Clouberry is a beautiful filly and throughout the story there is underlying humor as stallions show interest and she continually rebuffs them.

Cloudberry continues on her winning streak in racing and everyone is joyous.  They go to a restaurant that serves humans and creatures and have a great time celebrating.  Nellie is despondent because she cannot get the beautiful, majestic Nightcloud out of her mind.  She so wishes she could get to know him.  Nellie begins to have a series of dreams involving him and becomes quite infatuated.  In one dream she actually becomes him and feels his emotions as he runs through the rolling hills with all the terror that exists in his mind.  She begins to understand him through these dreams and isn't so certain he is crazy.  Nellie develops great compassion and understanding for him.

Everyone is prepared for Nightcloud to return to attack Cloudberry, so it comes as no surprise to the group when one of the stallions from a neighboring herd warns them that he saw Nightcloud nearby.  Nellie's heart leaps.  This is her chance!  She can't resist trying to meet him if possible so she decides to go for a walk.  While walking in the woods, she bumps smack into Nightcloud and is immediately terrified.  He looms over her, dark and threatening.  He challenges her verbally.  After several scary exchanges he tells her he wants to learn to race so he can beat Cloudberry.  He has decided that beating her at racing would be the best way to get revenge on her.  He promises to never hurt Nellie if she will agree to be his jockey.

Nellie couldn't be more excited.  But, because of the clashes with Nightcloud and Cloudberry in the past, she has to keep her relationship a secret, not tell her brother Drake or the others.  She begins sneaking away to meet Nightcloud in the woods.  With great trepidation and gentleness she gains his trust.  She finds that he is very typical of a shy horse as he is really afraid of some of the simplest things.  The authors skill with horsemanship comes to light in the detailed descriptions of how Nellie is able to gain the trust of a very skittish unicorn.  They spend many hours just being together talking and her introducing him to books, oats and even perfume.  She discovers he has hoofs in great need of trim, but he will not hear of it.  Throughout the encounters she is always very wary of him as he still shows great anger and will rear at any time.  In a very tender moment he allows her to begin calling him Night instead of Nightcloud.

One night, during one of their secret meetings, Nightcloud smells an evil Nightmare lurking in the woods and becomes very wary.  Nellie leaves to go home and realizes that the Nightmare is closing in on her.  She began to run feeling quite terrified and angry at Nightcloud for letting her be in such danger.  Nightcloud, after much self arguing, decided to follow her in case the Nightmare showed up.  The Nightmare jumps in front of Nellie and is so close she can feel its breath and realizes she is about to be eaten. Right then, out of nowhere, Nightcloud slams his front hooves into the Nightmare and knocks her away with Nellie only receiving a gash from her fangs.  A very dramatic fight ensues and the Nightmare is driven away. Nightcloud comes back with great concern for Nellie and she realizes then that all the hard work had paid off and he truly did care for her.  The bond between them is forever sealed and she is allowed to give his neck a very emotional and long overdue hug.  The stories dramatic climax comes forth as a young girl who is so much in love has finally gotten through to the evil stallion that has been so misunderstood by so many for so long.

That night, Nightcloud decides to allow Nellie to mount him and she has the ride of her life.  They fly through the starry night on a beautiful full moon.  She realizes that he is responding to her unencumbered love and will no longer be a threat to her.  They agree to be a jockey and racehorse team as Nellie wonders how to tell the others about her new friend.  But that is another story yet to be written............

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