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The White Horse Talisman

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192 pages
In The White Horse Talisman, Chantel, Adam, Holly and Owen must help Equus, the great white horse, find his mate and foal and regain his magical talisman. But as the horse rises, so does the dragon. The age-old battle between good and evil threatens the bond between Chantel and Adam and endangers the quest. This is fantasy as its best, a story that raises hairs on the back of the neck and sends satisfying chills up and down the spine, a story that, while clearly drawn from the rich world of make believe, feels truer than true.
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Book One The Summer of Magic Quartet The White Horse Talisman
A n d r e a S p a l d i n g
Book One The Summer of Magic Quartet
The White Horse Talisman
AN D R E A SP A L D I N G
O B P RCA OOK UBLISHERS
Copyright © 2001 Brandywine Enterprises BC Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication DataSpalding, Andrea. The white horse talisman
(The summer of magic quartet; bk. 1) ISBN 1-55143-187-4 (bound) — 1-55143-222-6 (pbk.)
I. Title. PS8587.P213W44 2001 jC813’.54 C2001-910959-8 PZ7.S7319Wh 2001
First published in the United States, 2002
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number:2001092686
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for our publishing programs provided by the following agencies: The Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP), The Canada Council for the Arts, and the British Columbia Arts Council.
Cover design: Christine Toller Cover and interior illustrations: Martin Springett Printed and bound in Canada
IN CANADA: Orca Book PublishersPO Box 5626, Station B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
03 02 01 • 5 4 3 2 1
IN THE UNITED STATES:Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468
Dedicated to Gavin and Janet Clarke, a much loved brother and sister-in-law. For years they uncomplainingly hosted our many trips to England, providing beds, food, laughter, love, and the loan of a car. They even hid their sighs of relief as we drove off on our travels! Thanks — this book is one of the results.
Acknowledgements
As always, many people helped me research and write this book. I would particularly like to thank my husband Dave, who encouraged and helped me along every step of the magi-cal journey and found incredible research material. Our friend Tim Sands was an entertaining and knowledgeable companion on one of our research trips, and took some terrific photos. Special thanks to Professor Paul Smith of Memorial University, who was able to locateThe Scouring of the White Horseby Thomas Hughes, and to Professor Bill Sarjeant, who lent his copy of S.G. Wildman’sThe Black Horsemen. The amazing women in my life are always a source of sup-port. My daughter Penny patiently read and commented on my many (many) drafts, Cheryl Oke several times provided wonder-ful meals on days she sensed I was snowed under, and fellow writers Sheryl MacFarlane and Georgina Montgomery always provided an ear and advice when I hit a problem. Thanks also to all the members of my family, who shower me with love and approval (even on days I forget they are coming) and provide grandchildren who ask for another book. Grateful thanks to the Orca pod for its support and encouragement on what has turned out to be a long-term project, and to Canada Council and BC Arts Council for their support.
NOTE:Celtic spelling was used for two names in the story. “Myrddin” is pronounced “merthin” and “Halydd” is pronounced “halith.” “Traa dy liooar” is Manx, the Celtic language of the Isle of Man. It means “time enough” and is pronounced “trae de lure.”
Table of Contents
PrologueThe Wise Ones …1 Chapter 1One for Sorrow …5 Chapter 2Two for Joy …18 Chapter 3The Broken Talisman …32 Chapter 4Three for a Girl …41 Chapter 5Four for a Boy …57 Chapter 6Wayland’s Secret …71 Chapter 7All Mixed Up …81 Chapter 8Five for Silver …92 Chapter 9A Dastardly Deed …104 Chapter 10That You Must Not Seek …121 Chapter 11Together Again …137 Chapter 12Six for Gold …146 Chapter 13 Power Struggles …161 Chapter 14for a Secret … Seven 178
prologue The Wise Ones
Before the gods that made the gods Had seen their sunrise pass, The White Horse of the White Horse Vale Was cut out of the grass. fromThe Ballad of the White Horse – G.K. Chesterton
In the Place Beyond Morning, terrible trouble arose. The Dark Being marshaled her forces and stood before the great Gates of Sunrise, poised to seize power. Inside the silver citadel the Wise Ones held council. The Lady fingered the heavy turquoise, amber, and colored glass necklace around her throat, and watched while the tools of power were laid on the stone table before her. Equus dislodged the gold talisman from his forelock,
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Myrddin surrendered his staff, and Ava lowered her head so the silver circlet could be removed. The three objects were placed reverently before the Lady. “Without these tools of power, the Dark Being will find victory brings nothing,” said the Lady. “Destroy these, and we are nothing,” responded Equus. The Lady gave a smile as brilliant as sunshine. “Not destroy, conceal.” Three pairs of eyes stared at her. “In a galaxy known as the Milky Way spins Gaia, an almost unnoticed misty blue planet. On it are many places of great beauty, among them an island known as Angel Land after the fair-haired race that inhabits it. Those people will honor your tools and keep them safe. The talisman, staff, and circlet will be hidden in the center of Angel Land.” “And the necklace, Lady?” Myrddin asked. “That I must guard. A smaller isle lies off the coast of Angel Land. It is home of a mage called Manannin who keeps his island hidden within a cloak of mist. I will hide there. “Go swiftly and safely on the wings of dawn, my friends. Conceal your magic tools in Angel Land, trust in the hu-mans, then leap for the stars to watch over them.” “Come with us, Lady,” Ava pleaded. The Lady shook her head. “The necklace and I must sleep behind Manannin’s cloak. As long as the beads and I stay linked, so shall the magic link us all.” “We must help Angel Land keep the old magic alive,” warned Myrddin. Ava and Equus nodded agreement.
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A gigantic roar erupted as the forces of the Dark Being battered the Gates of Sunrise. “Fly!” cried the Lady. “All others are gone from our citadel. Only we remain.” She stretched out her arms in blessing. “Traa dy liooar, let there be time enough.” The great gates shattered behind them as the four leapt for the stars. So the Wise Ones departed the Place Beyond Morning. Hiding among sunbeams and traveling along moonbeams, they hurtled through galaxies towards the misty blue planet and Angel Land.
Foiled, the Dark Being vowed to search to the ends of time for the objects of power.
Ages passed.
In Angel Land, the people welcomed the Wise Ones and created ceremonial places to honor the magical tools entrusted to them. The talisman was held by the People of the Horse, who rode the valleys between the chalk downs. They carved a great white horse to honor Equus. Ava’s circlet was concealed within a small sanctuary guarded by a henge of stones. Myrddin’s staff was laid to rest at the center of a laby-rinth. A mountainous tor was raised to protect the spot. Behind Manannin’s cloak of mist the Lady slumbered. A castle rose over her resting place.
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