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Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey

Black Horses for the King (1996)

by Anne McCaffrey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
916209,587 (3.53)1 / 38
  1. 00
    Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff (FAMeulstee)
    FAMeulstee: The story of Arthur, no magic, but just the hard work of a leader who gathers an army to fight the Saxons.
  2. 00
    Kingmaking by Helen Hollick (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Historical novels addressing what the real Arthur might have been like. Hollick's novel is geared towards adults (and is the first in a series), and McCaffrey's is young adult - but a very engaging read.

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I would use this book in a fifth grade classroom or in a middle school classroom. I would use this book at these grade levels because of its difficulty level the story spans over several years and would be confusing to younger students. This book would be a great book to use as a class read aloud book in a history lesson and a great way to connect language arts with history. this book would appeal to students who are very interested in history, King Arthur or in horses but for the most part it would not be a great independent reading book because it is a historically based book. ( )
  LRetzlaff | Apr 3, 2016 |
It's a slow-paced tale about (Welsh/Roman) King Arthur's farrier. IDK you're either here for it or you're not. ( )
  Stebahnree | Mar 13, 2016 |
It's a slow-paced tale about (Welsh/Roman) King Arthur's farrier. IDK you're either here for it or you're not. ( )
  Stebahnree | Mar 13, 2016 |
A straight historical novel which focuses solely on one point - horseshoes.
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 story of Galwyn, a young man who throws his lot in with the Comes Artos - partly to get away from his apprenticeship to his nasty mariner uncle, and partly because he loves horses and is impressed by Artos. He learns from Artos' experienced horsemen and smiths, and a radical new technique - shoeing horses in iron - is developed. Galwyn becomes one of the first experienced farriers.
There's not really too much of a plot here - the most evil villain is a resentful and vindictive guy who was fired from Artos' service and wants to get back at the company and the horses - and if you have no interest in the specifics of things equestrian, this book probably won't interest you much. However, if you're a fan of horses in general, this short book is a quick read which definitely reflects the author's own love of horses. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
YA. Galwyn is a young Roman-Celt in the time of Arthur. This is his story more than Arthur's. He becomes the blacksmith to the King. ( )
  bgknighton | Jul 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne McCaffreyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Shannon, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tweddell, KevinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Apart from their love of Pern,
Marilyn and Harry Alm
are long-term friends and fans,
and thus it is my pleasure
to dedicate this book to them
in appreciation of their many
kindnesses and courtesies over
the years of our association.
First words
"Galwyn's feeding the fishes again," the mate called as I emptied the odorous bucket overboard.
No hoof, no horse.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345422570, Mass Market Paperback)

Anne McCaffrey is back with this precious, well-researched yarn that follows a Celtic lad in service to King Arthur. Set in fifth-century Britain, McCaffrey's first historical novel for young adults rejects a fantastical, Hollywood treatment of King Arthur in favor of realism and solid storytelling. Take away the Round Table and the usual knights-in-shining-armor hoo-hah, and you're left with an engaging, endearing chapter from the life of Artos, Comes Britannorum, a young war leader in search of horses strong enough to carry his armored warriors into battle against the savage Saxons.

The story is told through the eyes of polite, earnest young do-gooder Galwyn Varianus, who has fled the service of his cruel, brutish, seafaring uncle to take up with the charismatic Artos. Galwyn quickly proves his value with his affinity for languages and horses, and he accompanies Artos and the Companions (proto-Knights of the Round Table) as they execute their plan: acquiring and then breeding a handful of fabled Libyans, the horses of the book's title, and then mastering and disseminating the knowledge of horseshoe-making. The action revolves around Galwyn's role in this plan and never rises above the pace of, say, an after-school special. But rich details, McCaffrey's obvious love of the subject matter, and involving characters go a long way to make up for the story's slow trot. (In particular, you'll find yourself waiting eagerly for the comeuppance of one character, a sneering rider named Iswy, Goofus to Galwyn's Gallant.) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:41 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Galwyn, son of a Roman Celt, escapes from his tyrannical uncle and joins Lord Artos, later known as King Arthur, using his talent with languages and way with horses to help secure and care for the Libyan horses that Artos hopes to use in battle against the Saxons.… (more)

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