Will longs to be a knight, like his older brother Gavin. Then he could ride a charger, fight bravely in the Crusades for King Richard, and win the heart of a fair maiden. All he needs is a horse. And when he chooses one, he chooses well - a small chestnut stallion with a blaze on its forehead. There's something different about Hosanna - but Will doesn't know how important Hosanna will be to him, to his family, even to Saladin.In the Holy Land, Will learns that being a knight is bloody, brutal and often terrifying. His father is killed, his brother desperately injured, and Will finds himself closer to his enemy than he ever expected - but his small chestnut horse teaches him what it really means to be brave, to be noble, and to be fair.
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Katie Grant, a writer for the Scotsman newspaper, is one of Scotland's best known political journalists. She lives in Glasgow with her husband and two sons. Blood Red Horse is her stunning debut novel.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. In the tradition of Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy and Catherine Jinks' Pagan novels, this epic of the Crusades offers a historical perspective on modern conflicts, and lays bare the gap between propaganda about the Crusades and the "dismal, stinking nightmare" of warfare's reality. Onlookers scoff when 13-year-old William de Granville chooses Hosanna, a charismatic red stallion with a puny, impractical build, for his first warhorse. But after what seems to be a miraculous recovery from a grave injury, Hosanna earns widespread respect and a celebrated place in the campaign for Jerusalem, which William and his elder brother, Gavin, have zealously joined. Left behind is Ellie, who is promised to Gavin but feels more connected to William. Awaiting the Crusaders is the noble strategist Saladin and his young ward, Kamil, who eventually lays claim to Hosanna--and is similarly inspired by the horse's soulful presence. The parallel coming-of-age stories are compelling, and Grant portrays both sides of the conflict without demonizing or idealizing either. The novel's only false note is the overdone mysticism surrounding Hosanna; in the end, perhaps the stallion's most amazing achievement is the way in which its story--the first in a planned trilogy--transcends boundaries of gender and genre, with something to offer fans of equestrian fare, historical fiction, and battlefield drama alike. Jennifer Mattson
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Book Description Puffin, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M014131706X