The book of the week is another historical read (something else for next week, promise!), and it's a doozy.
Blood Red Horse by K. M. Grant
Set in the time of King Richard, the opening volume of this series surveys life in Britain from the perspective of the landed nobility. (Some knowledge of historical events prior to reading would be a definite plus.) Ellie, Gavin, and William are all privileged far beyond the average peasant. The products of a fairly lax up-bringing, the story concerns the trials each faces as they become adults. Events in the book are woven around Hosanna, the red horse of the book's title. The stallion's presence is both an inspirational and pacifying influence on the book's two and four-legged characters.One thing I really liked about this book? The horse is an inspirational figure for everyone - very much central to the story. But he's still a horse.
I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction, but this was a decent enough treatment. It's a bit heavy in places, but the depictions of the horrors facing the crusaders as they traveled are riveting. I was a bit disappointed by how easily Ellie's predicament was resolved -- from a promising opening, her role in this installment of the series is fairly negligible. For the most part though, the characters are, if not fully fleshed out, at least engaging enough that I wanted to finish this volume to find out what happened to them. No, I probably won't make the effort to track down the next book for my own leisure reading, but I'd certainly read it if the opportunity presented itself.