- The Black Stallion
The Black Stallion, known as "the Black" or "Shêtân", is the title character from author
Walter Farley's bestselling series about the wild stallion and his young friend Alec Ramsay. The series chronicles the story of the prize stallion of an Arab sheik, although it is the later books that furnish the background story of the Black.
The first book of the series was published in 1941, titled "The Black Stallion". The subsequent novels tell of the stallion's three main offspring - his firstborn son, Satan; his second son Bonfire, and his firstborn daughter, Black Minx - as well as of the Black himself and his history. Along with the Black, the series has a second stallion who is considered the Black's only real equal - The Island Stallion, Flame, who has a separate storyline until he and the Black meet in two books of the series - "The Black Stallion and Flame" and "The Black Stallion Challenged".
The Black Stallion books
"These are a list of the books written by Walter Farley himself, although The Young Black Stallion was partially written by Walter Farley's son Steven Farley. Steven Farley continued The Young Black Stallion series - about the Black's colthood - and wrote one or two Black Stallion novels, but they are not included here."
# The Black Stallion (1941) - In this first book of the series, young Alec Ramsey and the Black are 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 amazing friendship that lasts a lifetime. After they are rescued, Alec befriends a retired trainer, Henry Dailey, and they begin training him to race in secret. They enter the Black as a mystery horse in a match race between two champions, Cyclone and Sun Raider, which turns out to be the race of the century.
# The Black Stallion Returns (1945) - Now famous for winning the match race, Alec discovers that two men are after the Black. One claims to be the Black’s rightful owner and one is trying to kill the beautiful steed. The Arab chieftain proves his ownership of the Black and takes him away, but Alec is determined to find 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 son as a gift, he believes his dreams have come true, but Satan’s savage arrogance makes him dangerous and unpredictable. Still, Alec is resolved to gain the fiery colt’s trust, even if he must risk his life to do it.
# The Island Stallion (1948) - This novel introduces Flame, the Black's most dangerous rival. A boy, Steve Duncan, and his archeologist friend Pitch spend two weeks on a desolate Caribbean island where they discover an entrance to a hidden valley through underground tunnels built by Spanish Conquistadors, and a wild flame-colored stallion.
# The Black Stallion and Satan (1949) - Alec Ramsay gets the chance to discover which of his two stallions--the Black or his son, Satan--is faster when Satan, the Black, and other famous horses, must race for their lives from a raging forest fire with only one witness to prove their speed--Alec Ramsay.
# The Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt (1951) - Veteran harness-racing driver Jimmy Creech, an aging reinsman who refuses to be reconciled to the fact that
sulky-racing has moved from the county fairs to the big night-time, moneymaking raceways, pins his comeback hopes on Bonfire, the second son of the Black Stallion. His hopes are threatened by ill health and the inexperience of his young apprentice, Tom, and he must hope that the great Black has given his son the speed and will to win.
# Island Stallion's Fury (1951) - Pitch and Steve's secret island valley is discovered and invaded by a hard and vicious man, who sees Flame and his band as creatures to be conquered by force.
# Black Stallion's Filly (1952) - Henry Dailey buys the Black's first daughter to train for the Kentucky Derby. But Black Minx, like her sire, has a mind of her own.
# Black Stallion Revolts (1953) - When his wild black stallion revolts against the routine and schedule of stable life, becoming a killer and a threat, a plane crash thwarts Alec's plans to give the Black a free run in the desert and brings danger to both boy and horse.
# 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, working the second son of the Black toward the Hambletonian.
# The Island Stallion Races (1955) - Two visitors from another world enter the secret valley of Azul Island and provide Steve with a chance to see how Flame can do in competition with the world's fastest horses.
# Black Stallion's Courage (1956) - With Henry and Alec needing money to rebuild their barn, the black stallion comes out of retirement to run a match race against two of the greatest horses of all time.
# The Black Stallion Mystery (1957) - The arrival of three strikingly handsome colts in the U.S. leads Alec to believe that the sire of his world-famous black stallion is still alive. His quest takes him back to Arabia.
# The Horse Tamer (1958) - Henry Dailey, the trainer of Black Stallion, tells young Alec Ramsay about his brother, horse tamer Bill Dailey, who deals with many vicious and badly trained horses and tries to expose the tactics of one unscrupulous horseman.
# The Black Stallion and Flame (1960) - A plane crash leaves the Black stranded on a desert island with that other legendary Farley stallion - Flame. Their struggle for power turns into a struggle for survival when the two horses fight a deadly vampire bat.
# The Black Stallion Challenged (1964) - Alec , racing the Black in Florida over the winter, receives a letter from Steve Duncan, which results in the Island Stallion's challenging the champion. Steve and Alec have never met before, but what the boys don't know is that their stallions have, and their hate for each other turns into focused rivalry as the two race to see who is the greater stallion.
# The Black Stallion's Ghost (1969) - A peaceful Florida vacation is transformed into a nightmare, when Alec Ramsay and the Black stumble upon a mysterious horseman and his grey mare, the Ghost, in the heart of the Everglades.
# The Black Stallion and the Girl (1971) - Hopeful Farm’s success has greatly increased Alec and Henry’s workload. Finally, Alec decides to seek help. When Pam Athena applies for the job, Alec has a hard time persuading his partners to retain the girl he hires as a trainer and even harder time convincing them to let her race the Black Stallion when Alec is suspended as a jockey.
# The Black Stallion Legend (1983) - Driven out of his mind by the loss of Pam, Alec and the Black flee to the desert. There, the black stallion helps save an Indian tribe during a time of disaster, thereby fulfilling an ancient prophecy.
# The Young Black Stallion (1989) - A prequel to "The Black Stallion", we learn the story of the Black before he was shipwrecked with Alec. Born in the mountain stronghold of Sheikh Abu Ishak, the colt shows great promise. During a robber band's attempt to steal him, the colt escapes and learns to survive on his own in the high mountains. Befriended by Rashid, a young Bedouin, the stallion journeys to the desert, attempting to elude the rival groups of horse traders that seek him.
Movie and TV adaptations
*The Black Stallion (1979), based on the first novel.
The Black Stallion Returns(1983), based on the second novel.
Adventures of the Black Stallion(1990), somewhat based on the movies, independent from the novels.
The Young Black Stallion(2003), based on the final novel.
Satan was the last of the Black's line to be born and bred in the sheik Abu Ja Kub ben Ishak's stables in Arabia, as his sire and grandsire were. As the Black sired Satan while in Arabia, it is stated that the Black was bred to the sheik's Arab mare Johar (The Black Stallion Returns, Son of the Black Stallion).
Bonfire's mother bore the bloodlines of champion Standardbred racehorses.
Hopeful Farm (Henry Dailey and Alec Ramsay) purchased the blood-bay Thoroughbred Wintertime after an injury ended hisracing career, largely because their filly Black Minx was "in love" with him; presumably, he sired her foals; onlythe black filly Black Pepper is mentioned (The Black Stallion and the Girl).
Storm, the fourth foal and third son of the Black, is an invention of
Walter Farley's son Steven Farley, and is not considered canon.
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