The author of Bambi and of Hound of Florence has chosen a white stallion as his hero in this new book. It is almost as different from the other two as they were from each other. Almost it reads like historical fiction, so authentic a part of his period does Florian seem to be. The setting is Austria during the last twenty years of the reign of the emperor Franz Joseph, and the reader gets a novel view of the Austrian court and its ramifications through the picture of the imperial stud farm where the white Lipizzan horses are bred, the Spanish riding school, the imperial stables. Through the story, interwoven with every event, goes the white stallion, Florian, and with him his adored companion, the white terrier Bosco, and the stable boy, Anton. Then the war and the dismemberment of Austria brings destruction to the stables, and Florian descends to the status of a cab horse, later a truck horse, and finally ends his days in the meadow adjoining his owner's house. The story has the simple charm of Bambi with the fascination of colorful detail that the Austrian setting supplies. Sell to those who like horse stories -- and to those who will find this new slant on Franz Joseph and those who made up his court, an added attraction.