Beginning to end, Karai Madill’s The Stolen Herd is a wonderful young adult adventure and coming of age story, with beautifully drawn characters that engage and delight the reader. While the genre of young adult fantasy might put some readers off, Madrill easily crossed the age gap with a well-told story that is open to readers of all ages.
Madill’s story is the fantasy adventure of Mandamus, an foal parted from his herd when they are captured by the Rakhana as slaves. Mandamus grows up under the guidance of Mareva a queen and Daleth, her general, two strong mares who lead and guide their herd.
Mandamus isn’t aware of his true origins until the day he accidentally “spies” on a princess of the Night Mares, a nomadic herd or dangerous mares. Although innocent, Mandamus must flee the Night Mares queen’s wrath. Along his way to find a herd of bachelor stallions, Mandamus comes across a man, Luco, who agrees to aid him and befriends him through the dangers of the wide open world.
Madill’s characters are very real and wonderfully engaging. Her story flows from scene to scene and adventure to adventure. The Stolen Herd will make readers want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next, as Madill brings to life such wonderful human and animal characters, and explores the definition of true friendship and companionship.