The best fantasy novels for horse lovers

Why am I passionate about this?

“Horse Crazy” isn’t a description; it’s a way of life for me. I’ve loved horses since I could remember, selling Girl Scout cookies to finance my way through three years of horse camp, working weekends cleaning stalls, even pursing a degree in Equine Science. Discovering fantasy books with magical, sentient horses not only introduced me to fantasy fiction, but also just made my own experience with horses seem real. Currently, I write equestrian fantasy as well as equestrian literature (horse books for those who chose not to grow out of being horse crazy” and live on my homestead with my herd of rescue horses, who inspire me every day.


I wrote...

The Pegasus Project: A Musimagium Story

By Kit Caelsto,

Book cover of The Pegasus Project: A Musimagium Story

What is my book about?

Former concert pianist Sonia Morales never dreamed she'd be anything more than a distant caretaker to a herd of Pegasus until a storm puts them in danger and reveals the fate of a young filly. If the Pegasus doesn't bond with a human and fly, she'll die. Sonia's magic and heart are willing, but can a disabled woman and a Pegasus with PTSD bond enough to fly?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Magic's Pawn

Kit Caelsto Why did I love this book?

It’s the early 1990s, and a “horse crazy” teenager discovers a fantasy novel with a striking white horse and a handsome, dark-haired young man on the cover at her local K-Mart. Okay, so I’ve dated myself, but I’m not going to lie. A horse and a cute boy got me into reading Mercedes Lackey’s tales of Valdemar, and Magic’s Pawn was the first book I discovered. A fantasy novel with a horse that could talk to you and magic powers was the perfect escape for a teenager, and I’m not alone. Many readers discovered Valdemar, and more importantly, a gay protagonist, through these books, and Mercedes Lackey’s work has touched us all in the decades since.

Keep the tissues handy, but this series remains one of my favorite comfort reads. Reading any Valdemar book is like coming home to old, dear friends, and Vanyel’s story sets the stage for so many things that happened in the later books, that I believe it’s a great place to begin your journey home to Valdemar.

By Mercedes Lackey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Magic's Pawn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Groundbreaking epic fantasy series in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar universe • Lambda-Award winning novels with heartfelt high adventure and magic  
 
Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wasn’t no part in such things. Nor does he seek a warrior’s path, wishing instead to become a Bard.
 
Yet such talent as his, if left untrained, may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the fame Herald-Mages of Valdemar.
 
But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a…


Book cover of Virtual Mode

Kit Caelsto Why did I love this book?

Having enjoyed Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series, and again finding a horse on the cover, I remember picking up this story at Waldenbooks. (Oh look, I’ve dated myself again!). In this case, the book requires a content warning for mental health issues and self-harm, but the heroine struck a note with me, and when she befriends a telepathic horse and goes on adventures, I was hooked. 

By Piers Anthony,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Virtual Mode as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Romance, danger, adventure, and intrigue intertwine as fourteen-year-old Colene and Darius, a stranger who dresses oddly and speaks an unfamiliar language, travel through alternate realities where anything is possible


Book cover of The Mountain's Call

Kit Caelsto Why did I love this book?

The author of this book is a horsewoman herselfI follow her on social media just for her horse stories—and it shows in this volume. Where white horses are gods and a girl dresses as a boy as she is called to serve them, this book introduces a lush world with a rich depth of character and mythology. It’s always refreshing to read horses in fantasy written by someone with equestrian knowledge, and this book doesn’t disappoint.

By Caitlin Brennan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mountain's Call as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan released on Aug 25, 2004 is available now for purchase.


Book cover of The Lady

Kit Caelsto Why did I love this book?

It may not be fantasy, but Anne McCaffrey is well known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, among other books (like The Ship who Sang with Mercedes Lackey). Take one English countryside farm, mix in a headstrong girl who wants to ride champion hunters and jumpers, a bit of romance, and fine horses, and you have a tale that demands to be on the screen. 

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amidst the grandeur of the emerald countryside, a magnificent story unfolds. . . .

They are the Carradynes, who for more than 200 years have bred and trained horses of the finest caliber on Cornanagh—a land so beautiful it inspires the soul.

But all is not idyllic at hearth and home. At the center of the conflict is Catriona, the youngest child, a girl who dreams of riding her family’s big jumpers and show horses. Her father, Michael, is keenly aware of her immense talent, and he urges her on—only to lock wills with his insufferably pious and overbearing wife,…


Book cover of By the Sword

Kit Caelsto Why did I love this book?

If Magic’s Pawn introduced me to Valdemar, then By the Sword, based on the ballad Kerowyn’s Ride, stole my heart forever. This is a standalone book in the world of Valdemar, and Kero spoke so much to me as a tomboy that it instantly became my favorite Mercedes Lackey book. If you don’t want to start out with a trilogy, and yet want a taste of Ms. Lackey’s writings, then By the Sword is a great place to start.

By Mercedes Lackey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked By the Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. When an attack on her home leaves her father slain, her brother wounded, and her brother's fiancee kidnapped, Kerowyn prepares to face the enemy who has shattered her family's dreams.


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The Blade in the Angel's Shadow

By Andy Darby,

Book cover of The Blade in the Angel's Shadow

Andy Darby Author Of Me and The Monkey

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Fantasy lover Psychonaut Cat dad Designer Metalhead

Andy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Dr Dee has designs for a British Empire that will dominate the world for ages to come ushering in Revelation, and with the aegis of the Angels, he has the power to make it a reality.

But, two elements are missing, and through blackmail and occult ritual, infamous swordswoman Captain Lament Evyngar and her giant Dutch comrade are forced to journey to the war-ravaged Spanish Netherlands on a quest that will reveal the truth about strange entities that use humans to fight out their eternal conflicts and in doing so alter Lament and the course of history forever.

The Blade in the Angel's Shadow

By Andy Darby,

What is this book about?

Infamous swordswoman Captain Lament Evyngar awaits execution in the Tower of London, charged with heresy and attempted regicide, but all is not as it seems. Unwittingly entangled in the schemes of the Angels, she recounts her tale to the Queen's sorcerer, Dr Dee, who is more than a little responsible for her predicament.

Dr Dee has designs for a British Empire that will dominate the world for ages to come, and with the aegis of the Angels, he has the power to make it a reality. But, two elements are missing, and through blackmail and occult ritual, Lament and her…


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