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The Black Riders

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4.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  28 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Paperback
Published 2005 by Girls Gone By (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

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Tessa
Nov 24, 2012 Tessa rated it it was amazing
There is something magical about Violet Needham's writing. Ever since I was a child, she has been effortlessly transporting me to mysterious lands filled with brave, noble characters who will sacrifice everything in the fight for what is right and just.

The Black Riders is probably one of my favourite books of all time. The hero, Dick, is so noble and brave despite his young age and Far Away Moses won my heart round about the same time he won Dick's. Every time I read this book (which has been ma
...more
Kathryn
Jun 08, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
My first Violet Needham book, and still my favourite, with its exciting tale of Richard Fauconbois alias the Stormy Petrel aiding revolutionaries in a fictitious central European country. Orphan Dick is the central character with his steady grey eyes, his loyalty, his fortitude and his steadfast refusal to betray his friends; but it is his relationships with father-figures Count St Sylvain and the intimidating Jasper, Governor of the Citadel, which are the real heart of the book.
Jennifer Kloester
Nov 16, 2013 Jennifer Kloester rated it it was amazing
Who can ever forget the characters in this book? Count Jasper and Far-Away Moses and the boy protagonist, Dick Fauconbois, better known as the Stormy Petrel? Perhaps the best of Violet Needhams books for children, it's a great adventure story with layers of deeper meaning. A definite keeper!
Christine Ottaway
May 06, 2016 Christine Ottaway rated it it was amazing
I love this book and have done ever since I first read it aged 11 - many years ago. It may be dated but it is still an exciting adventure story set in the Ruritanian country of The Empire.

It concerns Dick, the Stormy Petrel, who became involved with the Confederacy and was their chief runner and go between trained by the wise and gentle Far Away Moses who in reality fathered the orphan Dick. He trains him so well that when the Confederacy is 'busted' and Dick faces his real fear, the enigmatic
...more
JoJo
Apr 14, 2014 JoJo rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood-fave
Re-read after forty years or so and enjoyed all over again, although perhaps not quite as much as when I was ten... The characters (Dick the Stormy Petrel, Far Away Moses, Wych Hazel, Jasper the Terrible et al) had really stuck in my mind however and it was fun to revisit them. Vastly adventuresome, and I remember clearly how the tension of the Confederation characters being undercover and always in danger of discovery made the book so hard to put down at the time. I bought the Girls Gone By edi ...more
Sue
Jun 02, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
The hero of this book is 11-year-old Dick, an orphan in an unnamed empire, presumably somewhere in central Europe in the early part of the 20th century. He befriends a mysterious man who is part of a political uprising against the current governor, and finds himself caught up in an underground resistance movement where he passes on messages, walks many miles, risking his life, and stays strong to some important promises.

It's not really my kind of book, but it's one my mother loved as a child an
...more
Heather
May 27, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ggb
This is a very unusual book. I've read extensively many Children's Adventures stories but never have I read one like this.

I'd not heard of Violet Needham but thanks to GGB I got to read this fascinating, unusual story.
notgettingenough
I happen to have a copy of this analysis of Needham's work:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

which I don't need any more. If anybody would like it, please leave a comment.
tinlondon
Jun 28, 2007 tinlondon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: rereads, childrens
Still one of my all-time favorite books. I reread this a couple of times a year.
Birgit De
Sep 30, 2013 Birgit De rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites as a child. The password is Fortitude.
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May 08, 2016
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Dec 31, 2015
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Aug 25, 2015
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Author of 19 books for children published between 1939 and 1957. Although she came to writing late — she was 63 when her first book, The Black Riders, was published — her books achieved immediate and lasting popularity with young reader
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