Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

American author of adult fantasy and science fiction. She is perhaps best known for her Pern series about dragons and their riders. Born in Massachusetts in 1926. She first worked as an actress and studied voice, before beginning to write short stories which were published in sci-fi magazines. Her first novel was soon to follow: This was written as a protest against the ridiculous portrayal of women in the science fiction novels of the time. It was the beginning of a highly successful writing career.

Although best known for her fantasy work, she has also penned romance and historical titles. It is into these genres that her horse related books fall, including a couple of adult romances and a young adult historical novel set in Arthurian times.

In the 1970s she emigrated to Ireland where she lived on a farm and indulged her love of horses by running a private livery stable and riding her own piebald mare Pi.

There have been three biographies that I know of written about her, including one by son Todd, and a literary guide to her work (I will be adding these to the web page shortly). There is also quite a lot of info about her on the internet, including Anne's own website/blog, from which most of this biographical sketch is sourced.

Horse & Pony Books:

RING OF FEAR
(DELL PB [USA] 1971)
(1st UK edition MILLINGTON 1979)
Reprinted in paperback by Ace.& Futura.
Reprinted in hardback by Brandywyne in 1984.
Also a large print edition.
Still in print as a print-on-demand edition.
The book was additionally published as part of an omnibus edition with 2 other of the author's books (see below).
SUMMARY: Adult romance/thriller. Ever since Nialla's father was murdered, someone had been trying to destroy Nialla as well. Not only her, but the thoroughbred horses she inherited from him. When Nialla meets the handsome and wealthy Rafe and falls in love with him she find she life becoming - if possible - even more complicatedů

THE LADY
(BALLANTINE [USA] 1987)
Reprinted in paperback by the original publishers a few times.
SUMMARY: Adult novel set in Ireland. Young Catriona longs to ride her family's big jumpers and show horses. Her father recognizes her gift but her mother hates the very idea. All is in a stalemate until Lady Selina Healy enters their lives and provides for Catriona and her father a stunning example of how the reins of power can be held by a glorious, fearless woman

BLACK HORSES FOR THE KING
(HARCOURT [USA] 1996)
(1st UK edition DOUBLEDAY [UK] 1996)
ILLUSTRATED BY DAVID SHANNON
Reprinted in paperback by Del Ray in 2004 and Graphia in 2008 (USA)
Reprinted in paperback by Corgi (UK) in 1997
Still in print in the USA.
SUMMARY: Historical novel for young adults set in Arthurian times. Young Galwyn is apprenticed to his uncle, who puts the boy to work on the high seas. But horses, not ships, are Galwyn's passion. Lord Artus (later to rule as the legendary King Arthur), a passenger on board ship, sailing across the ocean to search for new horse stock, befriends Galwyn. Impressed with the boy's handling of horses, he persuades the boy to leave his ship-board life behind and come to help him.

Other Editions:

THREE GOTHIC NOVELS
aka THREE WOMEN (Paperback edition)
(UNDERWOOD MILLER  [USA] 1990)
Reprinted in paperback by Tor in 1992 when it was re-titled.
SUMMARY: Ring of Fear is included with two other of the author's (non-horse) novels,
Mark of Merlin and The Kilternan Legacy

Collector's Info:
All of the books are easy to find in the USA and in the UK. Ring of Fear is in print as a print-on-demand edition in the UK and The Lady is also still available new.