Black Horses for the King
Lord Artos--later to rule as the legendary King Arthur--knew he could defeat the Saxon invaders if only he could find a race of horses swift and strong enough to carry warriors in full regalia, fast and far. And so he set out for the Continent, in se...more
Covers the importation of heavy war horses who could carry the limited armor of the era plus the soldier. They used what the book called Libyan horses, but were of what they now call Friesian-type or Spanish-type.
Then the challenge was how to keep their feet healthy. The breed was...more
Anne McCaffrey was never going to write an Arthurian story, because she felt put off by the Hollywood-style image she had of the legends, presumably that put about by films like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In this novel, written for the 'young adult' market, she has changed her mind. But she has not really written an Arthurian novel; the setting (other the fact that it is early medieval Britain, with the presence of a charisma...more
Pros first: the historical research is impeccable, including Roman place names and established trading posts. It includes amazing detail of shipping practices, the travel of Jews and Arabs (later reviled and curtailed by Christian influence), and the importance of good horseflesh to military practices. The characters comment on each other's physical build, armaments, and accoutrement...more
This book is one of her ventures into both fantasy (the legend of King Arthur) and historical fiction. The intended audience is probably young adults and was likely written for her son. It covers the time before Arthur was a legend, when he was building Camelot and the legend.
I would highly recommend this book to horse-mad young teens. It was obviously well-researched in terms of blacksmithery and farrie...more
I think it's because the main ch...more
If you are a big fan of Arthurian fiction, I wouldn't particularly suggest this book. While it does have a little to do with Arthur (Artos, Comes Brittanorum, as he is known in thi...more
In her 'Foreward' M...more
A great little historical novel about the early years of King Arthur, imagining how he acquired horses large enough to carry his Companions. Absolutely of the quality fans of McCaffery have come to expect.
It's a little odd for an Arthurian novel, as it has nothing to do with the now-traditional focus of the stories on Lancelot and Guinevere, and barely even follows the well-known characters -- the minor characters among Arthur's knights are original ones, while Bed...more
As to be expected from McCaffrey, well-written, with engaging characters and plot. I especially enjoyed her efforts to base it more on the historical Arthur than the legendary man. Plus, I was fascinated by the historical significance of the king's "black horses" and the horse shoes, and the remnants of those times stil...more
If, as some theorize, King Arthur, in the 5th century, imported impressive Libyan horses to Britain from the Middle East, how did he deal with the problems which would have occurred when animals used to a dry, desert climate were transferred to wet and soggy England? Hoof rot and mold & all kinds of horsey health issues would undoubtedly have occurred.
McCaffrey gives us her how-it-might-have-happened, through the stor...more
Galwyn Varianus's life has never been easy. When his father died he was apprenticed to his cruel uncle on a trading vessel, though all he wanted to do was stay shore-bound and work with horses. But when Lord Artos calls upon Galwyn to help him bargain for horses for his Companions, Galwyn's life changes completely.
Once Lord Artos - the man who will become the legendary King Arthur - sees Galwyn's calming way with horses, Galwyn is invited to join th...more
But, having read this book as a way to pass an otherwise boring afternoon spent in the library as a junior in high school (what can I say, I was a major geek, and hanging out in the library was more fun then staring at a wall during study hall) I was immediately drawn into the story.
needs, he hires a young ship's apprentice, Galwyn. Awesome writing.
Every book is different, a new book, a new chapter; a new life. Don't compare them.
I read this book when I was fifteen and never even seeing a horse before I could feel a velvet smooth nose and hear their puffing breaths; know how much it might hurt to ride one as it ran and jostled you on its back. To me this is what matters in a book. An this book even as I read it again yesterday; still lets me feel like...more
If you like horses, or are even perhaps intrigued by them, this is a little slice of 'history' that will pique your interest, it certainly did mine, and I highly recommend it as a nice little read.
Very informative, and as always, the heart is pulled.
Not a big interest of mine. But McCafferey's writing style and character development made it very readable.
Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two...more