Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Black Horses for the King

by Anne McCaffrey

A blurb on the cover of this one reads, "The story of King Arthur as it has never been told before..." This is true. It's true because this book seems to be as much about King Arthur's horse as it is about him. Now like I said before, I've never found horse stories to be all that interesting. Arthurian tales, however, I find to be quite enthralling. Mixing the two turned out quite successful and yielded an enjoyable tale. (Of course, Ms. McCaffrey's ability to create interesting characters might have helped a little...) The book tells the tale of a boy named Galwyn. As the story starts, he has lost his father and is apprenticed to his shipowner uncle. His uncle's ship has been hired by King Arthur--or Comes Artos as he's called here--who is heading to a horse fair down near the Pyrenees Mountains to buy some top quality African horses. Galwyn is totally unsuited for a seafaring life, but his skill with horses and knack for picking up languages makes him an ideal helper for Arthur. The story follows Galwyn's development as a servant for Arthur and the development of Camelot's new cavalry. I quite enjoyed the "behind the scenes" setting of the story. Much as I enjoy reading about the knights of the round table, I know that if I had ever been living around Camelot, I would never had made the cut. But I still would have wanted to do my part for the kingdom, in whatever trade I would have found myself in. So Black Horses for the King offers wish fulfillment of a different sort. I'm really glad I could check this one out.

LibraryThing link

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