Famous Black novels
The Black Stallion, known as the Black or Shêtân, is the title character from author Walter Farley's bestselling series about the stallion and his young owner, Alec Ramsay. The series chronicles the story of an Arab sheikh's prized stallion after he comes into Alec's possession, although later books furnish the Black's backstory.
The first book in the series, published in 1941, is titled The Black Stallion. The subsequent novels are about the stallion's three main offspring: his firstborn colt, Satan; his second colt, Bonfire; and his firstborn filly, Black Minx; as well as about the Black himself. Along with the Black, the series introduces a second stallion that is considered the Black's only equal - The Island Stallion, Flame. This is a separate storyline until Flame and the Black meet in two books - The Black Stallion and Flame, and The Black Stallion Challenged. However news of Flame's win in an international race in Cuba, and his mysterious disappearance, are mentioned at the end of The Black Stallion Mystery, which serves as the first introduction of this rival for the later books in which they meet.
The first two books, as well as the final book of the series, were adapted for film:, and .
The Black Stallion was described as "the most famous fictional horse of the century" by the New York Times.
The Black Stallion books
The original Black Stallion series listed here was written by Walter Farley. The Young Black Stallion, about the Black's early years, was co-written with Farley's son, Steven Farley, who continued The Young Black Stallion as a series for younger readers after the death of Walter Farley. Steven Farley subsequently has also written additional Black Stallion novels, which are not included here.
- The Black Stallion (1941) - In the series' first book, teenaged Alec Ramsay, returning from India and a visit to his uncle, and an untamed, apparently wild black stallion, age uncertain in the first book, meet when the Black Stallion is loaded onto the ship at an Arabian port. The pair are subsequently stranded on a desert island after their ship sinks. Dependent on each other for survival, the boy and horse learn to trust and love each other as they establish an amazingly strong and close lifelong emotional bond. After being rescued, Alec befriends retired racehorse trainer Henry Dailey, who lives near Alec. Henry recognizes the Black's superior breeding, and he and Alec secretly begin training the Black to race. But without a documented pedigree, Alec and Henry can only compete the Black as a mystery horse in a match race between two champions, Cyclone and Sun Raider.
- The Black Stallion Returns (1945) - Now famous for winning the match race, Alec discovers that two men are after the Black. One, an Arab sheikh, claims he is the Black’s rightful owner, while the other attempts to murder the beautiful steed. The sheikh proves he legally owns the Black and takes him back to Arabia, but Alec is determined to see his horse again. Following the pair to Arabia, Alec encounters great evil and intrigue, as only a horse as spectacular as the Black could inspire.
- Son of the Black Stallion (1947) - When Alec receives the Black Stallion’s first offspring as a gift, he believes that his dreams have come true. But Satan’s savage and wild nature makes him dangerous and unpredictable. Still, Alec, aided by Henry Dailey, is resolved to gain the fiery colt’s trust, even if it means risking his own life.
- The Island Stallion (1948) - This novel introduces the stallion Flame. A boy, Steve Duncan, and his archaeologist friend, Pitch, spend two weeks on a desolate Caribbean island, called Azul (blue in Spanish) Island, where they discover an entrance to a hidden valley through underground tunnels built by Spanish Conquistadors. There they find a wild, flame-colored stallion and his herd, descended from the Spaniards' horses.
- The Black Stallion and Satan (1949) - After Alec Ramsay inherits The Black, he has an opportunity to discover which stallion—the Black or his colt, Satan—is the fastest when Satan, the Black, and other famous thoroughbreds, must race for their lives to escape a raging forest fire with only one witness to prove their speed—Alec Ramsay.
- The Blood Bay Colt (1951) - Veteran harness race driver Jimmy Creech, an aging driver and trainer who is reluctant to accept that Standardbred harness racing has moved from the county fairs to the big night-time, moneymaking raceways, pins his comeback hopes on Bonfire, the Black Stallion's second colt. His dreams are threatened by ill health and his young apprentice Tom's inexperience. Jimmy hopes that the great Black Stallion has given his son the speed and will to win.
- The Island Stallion's Fury (1951) - Pitch and Steve's secret island valley is discovered and invaded by a hard, vicious man, ( Tom - Pitch's stepbrother) who sees Flame and his band as creatures to be conquered by force.
- The Black Stallion's Filly (1952) - Henry Dailey buys the Black's first filly to train for the Kentucky Derby. But Black Minx, like her sire, has a mind of her own and challenges Henry and Alec to train her in ways they have never used before.
- The Black Stallion Revolts (1953) - When his restless black stallion revolts against the routine and schedule of stable life, becoming a potential killer, a plane crash thwarts Alec's plans to give the Black free run in the desert, and bringing danger to both boy and horse.
- The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt (1954) - Bonfire and Tom are injured in a racing accident, leading Alec Ramsay and Henry Dailey to try harness racing. They train the Black's second colt for the Hambletonian Stakes, harness racing's most prestigious race, equivalent to thoroughbred racing's Kentucky Derby.
- The Island Stallion Races (1955) - Two aliens from another world enter the secret valley of Azul Island and offer Steve an opportunity for Flame to compete against the world's fastest race horses.
- The Black Stallion's Courage (1956) - With Henry and Alec needing money to rebuild their destroyed, uninsured barn, the Black is brought out of retirement for a match race against two other champion racers, Eclipse and Casey.
- The Black Stallion Mystery (1957) - When three yearling colts arrive in the U.S. that are carbon copies of the Black, Alec believes that his world-famous black stallion's sire may still be alive. His quest brings him to an unidentified location...