When orphaned Anthea Cross-Thornley receives a letter from a long-lost uncle, she wonders if she will finally find a true home. But she is shocked to learn that her uncle secretly breeds horses--animals that have been forbidden in her kingdom for centuries. More alarming is Anthea's strange ability to sense the horses' thoughts and feelings, an ancient gift called The Way. Confused and terrified, Anthea is desperate to leave, but when her family and kingdom are put at risk, can she embrace The Way and the exciting future it might bring her?
Why I Wrote It
I wanted a horse. I wanted a horse SO BADLY as a kid you don’t even understand! Or maybe you do? Maybe you, too, asked Santa Claus for a horse every year, and wished for a horse on every birthday candle? If you did, this book is for you! But it’s mostly for me . . . like all my books! My first stories were about beautiful young girls and their beautiful, powerful horses. And this book is actually one of my first stories. I started to write it when I was thirteen, in a Cabbage Patch Kid diary. I came back to it over and over again, this story about an intrepid young girl and her brave horse, forced to live with a wicked, wicked uncle! Then, about eight years ago, I read an article about World War I that said it was the last time that England used cavalry horses, because it was the first time that Germany used tanks. And voila, a story was born. Horses vs. tanks! Except . . . I don’t like to do research! So I had to make my own world . . . and I did!
So here’s my horse story, after so many years, my childhood wish fulfilled! A girl and her horse, together at last!
All of the mares are named after flowers, like Bluebell, Holly, and Blossom . . . which also happen to be the names of some of the original My Little Ponies. Instead of buying me a live horse, my parents bought me many, many tiny pastel ponies! I have all of them still, and I looked to them for names for my mares. I think Minty also makes an appearance . . . if not in Rose Legacy than in the sequel. She was always my favorite, so I have to include her!
One of the mares, though, is named Campanula. That was the original name of one of my Twelve Dancing Princesses in Princess of the Midnight Ball. My editor asked me to take it out, because she thought it sounded more like a skin disease than a flower, and I think that princess became Violet. I had used it originally because it’s the name of Lady Tottington in Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and it’s hilarious if you say it with a British accent!