Cindy's Reviews > The Black Arrow

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
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's review
Mar 14, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: classics, teen, hist-fiction, 2010
Read from August 22 to 26, 2010

This is a rowdy boy's adventure story set during the Wars of the Roses between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians in England. (My 15 year old had never heard of the War of the Roses, so I'm offering a little explanation here.) Dick Shelton is an orphan who is being fostered by a tough warrior type. Then he finds out that a band of outlaws has targeted his benefactor and others as being responsible for the deaths of many people, including Dick's father.

So who can Dick trust? Practically no one, it seems. That part is kind of dark. But there's a romance too, and plenty of fight scenes thrown in for no apparent reason whenever the story slows down. Don't look for a lot of plot continuity in here. There isn't much. But there are plenty of sword fights, being captured and then daring escapes, a guy disguised as a leper, and lots more. I got kind of tired of it, really. Too much going on. I was glad to be at the part with Richard of Gloucester, the Crookback, who became King Richard III. But he doesn't show up until the end of the book.

I would recommend this if you like adventure type stories and if you don't mind loosely plotted book. Or if you want to see what kid's books were like once upon a time. For the modern reader, I think it's a little tougher going.

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