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The Dark Horse

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  556 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
SIG IS A boy in a coastal tribe, the Storn, long ago in a Northern land. On the day of the wolf hunt, the life of the tribe changes forever, for Sig rescues a small girl, more like the wolves who shelter her than a human. Sig’s family adopts her and names her Mouse, and he becomes a loyal brother to this girl with mysterious powers and a secret past. The shocking discovery ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 11th 2003 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published July 18th 2002)
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Aurora Fenzl Sorry to say this book has nothing to do with horses. It is a prehistoric coming of age story with skewed point of view chapters to mess with the…moreSorry to say this book has nothing to do with horses. It is a prehistoric coming of age story with skewed point of view chapters to mess with the reader. It is about betrayal and survival (those are the only good words I can find to describe the way the book ends).(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,137)
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Sep 18, 2015 Rochelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Wow. This is the first Marcus Sedgwick book i have read and i was blown away.
There was not one single boring sentence in this whole book. I just could not put it down once i started. It was only 187 pages long and i read it within three hours.

The blurb reads: A girl snatched from the wolves, a sealed box that can only be opened by one perosn, a sinister stranger with black-painted hands, and a boy destined to lead his clan are woven together in this riveting story of betrayal and ancient magic
Dannuel Saùl Delizo
Wow. A marvelous story of ancient magic - with a hint of belongingness and betrayal. I should've finished this a long time ago. I thought it was boring! It made my thoughts travel back to the time when brochs were built to be homes. The beautiful story of the Storn tribe gave me blissful shivers as I closed the book. This is a novel about an orphan, Mouse, who possessed some kind of magic and a dark past. Sigurd, as her foster brother, tried to understand and protect her. But magic is an inevita ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Alyssa rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
"The Dark Horse" is a story about betrayal of family and how in the end a tribe works through the darkness to make their lives better and their tribe even stronger. Mouse, who is an orphan girl who the tribe found in a wolf cave turned out to be an enemy whom they were living with all these years. With Mouse comes a mystery of where she came from and why she has magical powers. Also there appears to be a box that no one knows what it is except Mouse. In the end she stayed family to the Lawspeake ...more
Feb 12, 2016 Eskana rated it it was ok
This novel was all about the flavor- it had a Norse feel, the threat of the Viking-like marauding tribe of the "Dark Horse", the use of magic, but with no real purpose. the plot feels unconnected, full of unexplained turnings that in the end are really not very satisfying.

The story centers on Sig, a boy living in a coastal village, and his adopted sister, Mouse, who was found living among wolves and who can speak to animals (essentially.) They find a box with... stuff? magic? Memories?... in it,
Nov 26, 2015 Linden rated it it was ok
Recommended to Linden by: The author's other work

Before there was written language, Sigurd's tribe, the Storn, lived a traditional life by the sea. Fishing and farming fed them, songs made a record of their history, healers kept most of them well, and the Lawspeaker gave them right actions and helped them honor the luck of successful lives.

This is how it was until Horn took the Lawspeaker's work from Sigurd's father. By chance some time later, they found a young girl living in a cave with wolves. Sigurd's family took her in and named her Mouse
Jan 12, 2012 Faye rated it it was amazing
my first book :D totally loved it
Jan 20, 2012 Sandie rated it liked it
The writing is done in short chapters so that things move along very quickly, much in the way James Patterson does his chapters in his teen/young adult books. Also like Patterson, at least in his Witch Wizard books, the story is told in two different texts, every other chapter. This can be confusing at times but not to badly. I personally do not mind short chapters and fast paced books.

This is my first book by this author and I liked it enough to give him another try. The book was not quite wha
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I was intrigued to read this book as I have read another of his books, the first in the Raven Mysteries series, and I was not let down. He is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

The story is told in two books and with two different texts, one style of text is told from the pov of Sigurd and the other is the Narrator. At first this is a little confusing. Sigurd’s pov starts before the Narration of the book and fills us in on eve
May 11, 2012 Kulsuma rated it really liked it
This is the first book that I have read by Marcus Sedgwick and I was impressed with the world he created. The story focuses on Sigurd who finds a small girl living in the caves with wolves not too far from his village, Storn. Due to her continuous silence, he decides to name her Mouse and treats her like a sister after she is adopted by his family. The bond of affection grows between them throughout the passing years and while Mouse is glad to have a brother, Sigurd grows to love her.

When Sigurd
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Ms Smith
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Sep 22, 2010 Peyton rated it it was amazing
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Apr 23, 2015 Wizzy rated it liked it
This book was let down significantly by the overly ambitious and completely pointless narrative switches. The characters were flat and remained undeveloped and the story was, on the whole, weak. The seting was confusing, and explained poorly, and the "Dark Horse" was never really mentioned other than in phrases such as "we thought they were just a story".
I have to admit I am slightly disappointed :(
Jun 29, 2014 Caydon rated it did not like it
A genuinely awful read. The characters showed little to no development, Mouse managed to deteriorate rather than develop. The plot was boring and at times ridiculous. The characters showed no emotion and could be replaced with cardboard boxes. Nothing really happened until the last few chapters of the book and even then it was a HUGE let down.
Sarah Bishopp Velez
Jan 14, 2016 Sarah Bishopp Velez rated it really liked it
This is definitely not as good as Sedgwick's Midwinterblood (it's hard to beat), but certainly a great read. It has a similar feel to Midwinterblood; it's dark, mysterious, and has that slight tang of an old tribal folktale. However, it is rather straightforward, as in you can kind of guess what's coming. Still, a recommended read.
Khairah Boukhatem
Simple yet brilliant, this tale of war and home has truly warmed my heart. I have come to the conclusion this book is much like a folk tale with the undertones of Norse myth. A quick yet fulfilling read, I would highly recommend this for anyone with a taste for magic, morals or who simply wants to seek the meaning of home.
Mar 17, 2010 Robyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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 Abril Sol
It was a quite interesting book but I feel things were solved a little bit fast and abruptly... I didn't had a problem with the story as I did with the ending. It wasn't an awful ending either but it was quite simple for my taste... Overall it was a nice story and I did enjoy Marcus Sedgwick's writing.
Nov 11, 2014 Zayneea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l-teens-fiction, 2014
This story is about a boy called Sigurd and his 'sister' Mouse. Mouse is a girl who was found with wolves and they had taken back to the village with them, and asked Sig to be her brother. The first half of the book is about the discovery of a box. A simple wooden box which seems to be empty inside. The second half of the book is about The Dark Horse. These are warriors. It isn't until the very last few chapters of the book where it all falls into place and you find out who Mouse really is.

Jan 23, 2015 Gimena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uno de los tantos libros que compré en un supermercado, sin saber nada del autor, ni del libro en sí, sólo porque llamó mi atención.
Un libro de fantasía que disfruté mucho y que recomiendo.
Oct 19, 2014 Gabrielle rated it really liked it
Interesting storyline and short chapters that go into details but doesn't drag out for too long. Took me three days to read and finish mainly cause I enjoyed it so much... sad when it finished
Sue Mitchison
Aug 27, 2014 Sue Mitchison rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Another great read from Marcus Sedgwick. I've enjoyed exploring his work this year! Will be recommending to certain members of my class who show an interest in this type of genre.
Jan 23, 2015 Nina rated it it was amazing
Great atmospheric book for 8-12 year olds.
Jan 14, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in an ancient community in the far north, this book is more about the relationship and mystery revolving around a foundling and her foster brother. When crops go bad and the village is threatened by raiders, it is Mouse whose dark secret decides the fate of everyone. The chapters are short so this is a fast read and there is a small amount of dark magic going on that gives the story a fantastic edge. All the characters make mistakes and several of them take some unexected turns. A good read.
Shaz Lewins
Aug 02, 2013 Shaz Lewins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book of Marcus Sedgwick the other one was Floodland(If you loved this book give Floodland a read)I loved this book and i loved how you had different chapters for Sigurd's . I only finshed today. The ended kinda spruised me I didn't think Mouse was like that. Half way in the book I thought Mouse was going to trun into a wolf but I am happy she didn't. I knew Sif & Sigurd was going to get married. It really shocked me of how many people died and how they died. This a must r ...more
Jan 05, 2011 Flabnbone rated it really liked it
This was a nice very fast-paced read. The story revolves around Sig and Mouse.
It underpins the cruelties of human nature such as the loss of those you love, betrayal from those you trust but also brings out leader-like qualities and courage to withstand the pain and continue on as demonstrated by protagonist, Sigmund. The ending was beautifully crafter, almost lyrical in a sense. Overall, a nice and enjoyable read.

Un libro bastante corto y muy flojo. Me pasó que mientras leía, tenía la sensación de que en algún punto la historia se tornaría más interesante, arrancaría en forma, vaya; sin embargo, nunca fue así. Lás páginas se acaban, dejando detrás situaciones no resueltas y multiples sinsabores, entre ellos que los personajes en su conjunto sean totalmente anticarismáticos y predecibles.
S.C Alley -  Author
Jan 11, 2012 S.C Alley - Author rated it it was amazing
A very short book which is easy to read and quite addictive. It is in two parts and the actual appearance of The Dark Horse only truly occurs in Part Two. I would have been interested in reading an Author's Note to learn of what inspired the book but there wasn't one. This was a sad, touching and violent tale with a great twist. As ever, Marcus Sedwick has given us a great read!
Sep 03, 2008 Ronja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who likes to have a little fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
I liked this book and still I didn't quite like it. It had so much in it that it could even have become a much longer story but now it felt like Sedgwick didn't have energy to keep writing it and just stopped in the middle of everything. I think that he could have carried the story so much more so I'm a bit disappointed that he decided to end it at this point.
Neill Smith
Aug 11, 2011 Neill Smith rated it it was amazing
Sigrud’s tribe discovers a small girl living with some wolves and bring her to live with their tribe. Mouse, as she is called, has an affinity with wild animals that is almost magic. Although she is an outcast to the tribe it is her powers that become increasingly important to the destiny of Sigrud’s people.
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Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Hea ...more
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