By: Written and photographed by: Carol J. Walker
Publisher: Living Images by Carol Walker, LLC
Publication Date: March 30, 2022
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 13, 2022
Carol Walker, animal lover and advocate for America’s wild horses, offers her latest work, Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert, that will educate readers about the plight of these majestic animals, as well as bring tears to one's eyes.
Blue Zeus is the fascinating story of a wild stallion that stole Carol’s heart the day she first laid eyes on him. A beautiful blue roan, with numerous battle scars that told the story of fights he’d had with other stallions, the horse stoically guarded his small band as Carol photographed him, as well as his mares and foals.
Carol set to work photographing this mesmerizing band of horses and the pages of Blue Zeus are loaded with great photographs of them. Images of the mares peacefully grazing, Blue Zeus standing guard, and even a young filly “clacking” in submission to the herd sire, engage the reader and brings them into the world of wild horses. The author has done a fantastic job of capturing the life of a herd of wild horses.
About half the book is devoted to the daily life of Blue Zeus’s herd but then the narrative switches to recounting the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) roundups and removal of wild horses. Carol describes the heartbreaking sight of the roundup of wild horses by helicopter, as well as sharing photographs of the event. Terrified horses, mares and foals, confused and panicked, being herded into trap sites from which there is no escape. “It is the harsh reality of seeing wild horses that you know and love,” recounts Carol, “running for their lives from helicopters...It is a horrible feeling of helplessness…as I see a horse go down or rider roping a foal and dragging it in.” (pg. 79)
I first became acquainted with the artistry of Carol Walker when I discovered her book Horse Photography: The Dynamic Guide for Horse Lovers. She then wrote two books dedicated to wild horses, Wild Hoofbeats: America’s Vanishing Wild Horses and Galloping to Freedom: Saving the Adobe Town Appaloosas. All three are excellent, “not to be missed” books that feature Carol’s beautiful photographs to help tell the stories, particularly about America’s wild horses. The author has made it her mission to help save our nation’s vanishing wild horses and her books, including Blue Zeus will undoubtedly help bring attention to the cause. She does an excellent job of telling the herd’s story and gets the reader to care about their plight. Her recounting of the incredible frustration of dealing with government officials as she tries to save Blue Zeus and his herd from a very bad situation is enough to anger all readers. Let’s hope that this book will help bring much needed attention, and indeed change, to help these majestic animals live out their lives in the wild as they were meant to. Kudos to author Carol J. Walker for helping to bring the fight to the attention of so many through her beautiful book Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert.
Quill says: Stunning photographs and a compelling and fascinating story combine to make Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert a book that every horse lover, and indeed, every animal lover needs to read.
For more information on Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert, please visit WildHoofbeats.com