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Booktalking "To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion" by Diane Lee Wilson


To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion by Diane Lee Wilson, 2000

In 640 BC, in an ancient Assyrian kingdom, 13-year-old Soulai created horses and other animals out of clay and decorative harnesses. Soulai's father said that he should never have been born, and continues in that vein when he sells Soulai to a king in order to repay a debt. His father's apology does little to mollify Soulai's shock and pain as he is wrenched away from his family. It is every boy's worst nightmare, sold into slavery at age 13 and freed at 18. Five years of bondage to repay a father's debt. Beaten and bloodied, Soulai nurses his wounds. Five years of looming incarceration weigh on his mind. However, at least Soulai gets to care for horses, including a beautiful parti-colored stallion with one blue eye and one gold eye. Ti, one of the stallions, is a sliver of sunlight in the hell that Soulai suddenly finds himself in.

Ti is ornery and evades Soulai's attempts to show affection to him, but Ti is brave and fights with lions. Mainly, he is the mount of Habasle, a prince who gives Soulai orders. Funny, he looks so much like Soulai. It's almost an accident of birth to determine who is a prince and who is a pauper. The slavery is hard to take. Soulai runs away on Ti and returns to his parents' abode, only to find that he no longer fits in there. Finally, he returns to the kingdom with Ti. Will he find the money to buy his freedom or just simply try to survive until his 18th birthday?  

To Ride the Gods' Own Stallion by Diane Lee Wilson

The Assyrian monarch returning from battle., Digital ID 1619801, New York Public Library



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