Black Horses for the King

Anne McCaffrey, Author
Anne McCaffrey, Author Harcourt Children's Books $17 (240p) ISBN 978-0-15-227322-4
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
McCaffrey steps out of her niche as a Hugo and Nebula award-winning fantasy writer to tackle her first historical novel for young adults, retelling the Arthurian legend-minus the Round Table, Guinevere and Merlin-through the eyes of Galwyn Varianus. A Roman Celtic youth, Galwyn helps the future king of Britain, known here as Lord Artos, acquire the legendary Black Horses of his legions. The author's tender reverence for equine history (she raises horses in Ireland) makes for vivid descriptions of frightened steeds in the hold of a ship across the English Channel; it also allows an undue amount of horsey jargon. A teenage boy interested exclusively in horseshoes rings not quite true, yet the well-drawn story moves along at a compelling trot, climaxing in a battle in which horses help Lord Artos reclaim Britain for future mad cows and Englishmen. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
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