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Blood Red Horse
K.M. Grant
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Blood Red Horse (The de Granville Trilogy #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,484 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews

You need three things to become a brave and noble knight:

A warhorse.

A fair maiden.

A just cause.

Will has a horse—a small chestnut stallion with a white blaze in his brow. Ellie is a fair maiden, but she’s supposed to marry Will’s older brother, Gavin. And as for the cause, King Richard is calling for a Crusade. The Knights of England must go to the Holy Land to fight.


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Published January 1st 2005 by Recorded Books (first published February 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,556)
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Jul 04, 2007 nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Intense ten year olds and up
Overall good, and a good message (hey, Muslims are people too! And you know war? What is it good for? I mean, aside from proving one's love to God/Allah/Baby Jesus? ABSOLUTLY NOOTHINGGG.) but a pretty tough read for the age intended (10+), and at times seemingly neverending... Or maybe it's just that one battle seems about the same to me as any other. Anyway, I never suspected I would like a book about the crusades, and I definitely never thought I would take interest in a book where a horse pla ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-uns, ya
How about that cover! That cover had me at hello. With the crusaders coming on and the golden keyhole doorway? The title and tagline--"Two boys. One girl. The adventure of a lifetime"--didn't hurt either. I passed it on an endcap in a bookstore almost exactly four years ago. I actually completed an about face when I saw it, coming to a screeching halt to admire the general loveliness. The book came out in 2004, but it took me a couple of years to cotton onto it. I'll tell you one thing though--I ...more
Duffy Pratt
I liked the idea of this book: a YA novel focusing on a young knight who accompanies Richard the Lionhearted on the Third Crusade. And it wasn't badly done, but wasn't very good either. The characters, with one exception, are flat and exactly what you would expect. The story lacks any drama, and feels more like Grant is ticking off boxes in the considerable historical research she has done. And uniting it all is the disturbing notion that one particular horse is more worthwhile than any of the p ...more
This adventurous book is about the journey of two brothers, Gavin and Will de Granville, their father, Sir Thomas de Granville of Hartslove, and a horse, Hosanna. It takes place in the third installment of the Crusades. It starts when Gavin and Will are young, and Will (the younger of the two brothers) is finally able to choose his very own stallion. The young men soon fight in the Holy War led by King Richard the Lionheart. The journey to the Holy Land is tough and harsh; knights and horses los ...more
Jun 12, 2007 Sammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-the-best
Okay. This book was awesome... but I have to say it's a very specific drama... or at least it's not really going to hit all readers. If you like horses, you'll like this book. If you like history, especially English history, even more specifically history about the crusades, you like this book. When it all comes down to it, that's really what this book is about. But even if you aren't interested in those things, I must say you should really give this book a chance, because it was excellent.

The c
Oct 25, 2014 Magnus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Over all I did not enjoy reading this book. I thought the language was was way to rich and thick for this type of book. I'm not one hundred percent sure if I read it right or maybe I just need to try it again. When I read it we had to write a sticky note for every single page of the book, It destroyed its chances of become a good book in my eyes. But the first time I read it just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Overall my high expectations of this book were not reached nor in the ballpark ...more
Nov 09, 2008 Lira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. I was clinging to it, barely willing to put it down for any reason. It was suspensful, amazingly written, and I connected with the characters.
Originally posted here.

I became curious about Blood Red Horse by K.M. Grant back when Angie did a Retro Friday review of it. It seemed like a very interesting, under-the-radar historical fiction novel. I was delighted when I found a bargain copy of it in one of the used bookstores in Manila. I thought the cover looked great and I liked the gold accents in the design. That copy has been patiently waiting in my TBR pile for years. Since I’ve been trying to be better about reading books that I have
Apr 10, 2011 Steph rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Worst. Book. Ever. Lit teachers wouldn't know a good book if I throw it at their faces!
Alex Schmidt
Okay, before I proceed to explain why I gave this book only two stars, I would like to make it clear that the de Granville Trilogy as a whole is absolutely fantastic, and definitely worth your time if you're into heroic fantasy/ historical fiction (or horses)!

However, "Blood Red Horse" by itself isn't that great... Let me explain.

It's too "fast" One of the main problems with this book is that it covers a relatively long time period (from 1185 to 1193) in just 200-something pages. As a result, th
Dec 03, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 6th-9th-grades
William and Gavin de Granville are adolescent brothers who live in Hartslove castle in England. Destined for knighthood, they both love riding horses and have natural competition between them. When William, the younger of the two, finally gets the chance to choose a Great Horse—a horse used in battle (Gavin already has one named Montlouis)—he ends up choosing a beautiful smaller horse instead. Everyone is shocked by this decision, as William has wanted a proper battle horse forever. However, Hos ...more
Jun 09, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a trilogy set in 12th century England, this book introduces us to the de Granville brothers, William and his older brother Gavin, and the girl, Ellie, who has grown up in their household after her parents died. Ellie comes from a rich family, and is expected to marry Gavin--but she is better friends with William. It's also the story of a brilliant red horse named Hosanna, who becomes William's battle horse when he is knighted and sent off on Crusade to Jerusalem. Very good historical no ...more
Jul 31, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book while I was going through grad school, and I absolutely loved it! It's the first part of a trilogy called the DeGranville Trilogy. I love a good Historical Fiction novel, and this one is set during the Crusades: Will has a horse—a small chestnut stallion with a white blaze in his brow. Ellie is a fair maiden, but she’s supposed to marry Will’s older brother, Gavin. And as for the cause, King Richard is calling for a Crusade. The Knights of England must go to the Holy Land to fig ...more
Dec 08, 2013 Aimee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-zephyr
For once, a book lives up to its billing. It's a grand adventure that takes place during the time of the Crusades. It's advertised for middle school students and it truly is. There are deep moral questions but also exciting battles, which are too vivid for younger children. Horse lovers will find a lot to love in this story. This is the kind of book that you remember for a long time, and would lend itself well to classroom discussions. I can imagine that if I had read it as a child, I would stil ...more
Jun 28, 2007 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't as beautifully written as some YA fiction, but that said, the author skillfully and naturally worked in lots of great words like "chivied" (I'm always on the look out for good vocabulary) and the story is compelling. My favorite aspect of the book is the way the author presented both sides of the third crusade fairly and without creating good guys or bad guys. As a middle school teacher, I also like the fact that the author's representaion of the fighting over the Holy Land betwe ...more
Monica Rico
Nov 26, 2015 Monica Rico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this first book of The de Granville Triology, Will, a young knight goes off to fight in the first crusade along with his Father, and his brother Will. Every knight has his own warhorse and when Will finally is able to choose his own, he chooses a small hazel colored horse unlike any other and names it Hosanna. They might seem like the weaklings among the rest of the knights but they soon prove themselves worthy as they march on wards to battle to reclaim the Holy Land. They fight with all the ...more
Hannah Bendull
Blood Red Horse, by K. M. Grant is about a boy and a horse. The Third Crusade is starting and every man is stepping forward to do God's work under King Richard's command. William, the second son of a noble family, is about to ride into war and needs a reliable mount. Enter Hosanna, a deep red chestnut horse who although small and fast, has everyone convinced that the stallion is not meant for war due to refusing to be tamed. While Hosanna and William bond over bruises and mishaps, his brother G ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Jared rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A historical fiction following the events of two brothers, William and Gavin, and William's extraordinary horse Hosanna as they travel to the Holy Land to battle alongside Richard the Lionheart as he attempts Jerusalem, this novel is good for teenagers or younger who have an interest in history, the crusades, and horses. It is a neat account of how devotion towards a similar idea (such as a horse) can bring the unlikeliest people together -- or how caring for an animal can temper one's own fault ...more
ACS Librarian
Lots of adventure, backstabbing intrigue, and buckets of blood. Those are the highlights from this story of the Crusades. Grant zooms in on the brutality, cruelty and greed that were an integral part of God 19s War, with historically accurate details concerning how and where events unfolded.

On the other hand, it 19s difficult to care too deeply for the teenagers at the center of the story, especially the young men. They bounce too quickly from one emotional extreme to the next, and seem too qui
Aug 06, 2014 Colleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Blood Red Horse turned out to be a pretty good book, but quite frankly, I was mildly disappointed it didn't live up to its initial promise. It was quite funny in the beginning and I was looking forward to getting to know the characters, especially those that made up the "love triangle"--William, Gavin, and Ellie. Character development was good in two--Gavin and Ellie, but not so for William. There were fleeting moments when I thought he might be interesting, but here's the problem, and it's a bi ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Olivia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
This book easily goes down as the worst book I have ever read and probably ever will read. I forced my way through half of it and quit because I had had homework passes and didn't have to do the accompanying assignment. I do not recommend this book to anyone who would like to keep their brain cells. I feel horrible for writing such a horrible review, but it is my honest opinion.
Jul 09, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well written and fast paced. But I got the impression that the author was telling us there were more paths to God then through Christ alone? Didn't Jesus say "I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me"? Definitely not a "Christian" book, but an interesting historical read all the same.
Apr 11, 2014 Tigertiger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few years back, but I can still say I absolutely loved this book.

The book goes back to the late 12 century, during the time of the third crusade to the Holy Land. It begins with two noble brothers, Gavin and William, who are sent off to fight against the Muslims. William gets a horse named, Hosanna, who everyone deems as unfit for a warhorse. Eventually all the men, including a Muslim, Kamil,find Hosanna as the best horse on the battlefeild.

All three men become faithful friend
It is the time of the Crusades in the 12th century. On opposing sides are William, a Christian knight in Richard the Lionheart's army, and Camille, a Muslim in Saladin's army. Tying the unlikely pair is a beautiful red horse, Hosanna, stately and strong, and seen as a kind of good luck talisman by both sides in the battle. Hosanna is first William's horse, his first steed. William is devoted to Hosanna and is crushed when the horse is captured in battle. Now Hosanna is under Camille's care and h ...more
The writing style and approach is definitely junior fiction, but the topic is definitely a heavy one for younger kids. I mean, I guess these days kids are reading The Hunger Games at 10, so a bit of extreme violence, starvation, maiming and death during the Crusades isn't shocking. It does seem strange to me that at times, the horse seems to matter more to everyone than things like losing your arm or all the people dying, but I suppose it is somewhat symbolic.

I actually liked reading it and am
Aug 01, 2007 Leonore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
Words cannot express how much I love, love, love this book.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Apr 26, 2015 Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-14
I'm seriously conflicted about this one. I listened to it on CD but I think it needed to be read on paper. I can read faster than someone can talk, and the dragging dragging dragging parts would have made for quick reading. (My brother says I skim instead of read, but that's a lie!) Like many other YA novels I've read, there are too many passages of internal angst expressed as questions. Will I ever have a life? How can I stand this? Will I ever see home again?

So. It's a fabulous story--characte
Keri Francis
Feb 23, 2014 Keri Francis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Social Studies teacher
Recommended to Keri by: Mrs.Phillips
The book Blood Red Horse by K. M. Grant gave a great look into the 1800 times. When war was more occurring. This book is about two boy, one girl, and a horse. Both boys being brother; Gavin the older brother and William the younger brother. In between the brothers is Ellie who has feelings for William, but is betrothed to his older brother Gavin. A crusade is announced and the brother are to go to battle.

The fist few chapter give you the basics about the three main characters. It begins with wh
Mar 24, 2010 Meredith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-reads
Will is a young noble growing up in England, where he knows two things: he must follow King Richard in the Crusades, and he needs an amazing warhorse to accomplish that. When his father finally gives him the chance to pick a charger, something draws him instead to a small red horse. No one expects this horse, named Hosanna, to be much of anything; some mock him for making the choice to take such a puny horse into battle. But time and time again Hosanna saves not only Will but those around him. H ...more
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K. M. GRANT was inspired by her own family history to write How the Hangman Lost His Heart. Her ancestor, Colonel Francis Towneley, or Uncle Frank, was the last man in Britain to by hanged, drawn, and quartered. His head was passed down for generations of her family until it was finally reunited with his body just after World War II, when it was buried at St. Peter’s Church. It was Uncle Frank’s c ...more
More about K.M. Grant...

Other Books in the Series

The de Granville Trilogy (3 books)
  • Green Jasper (The de Granville Trilogy, #2)
  • Blaze of Silver (The de Granville Trilogy, #3)

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