THE BLUE ROAN CHILD by Jamieson Findlay

THE BLUE ROAN CHILD

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Findlay’s debut is a fantasy full of horses and magic. Syeira, an orphan who is probably about ten, lives in the stables where she works all day and much of the night. Arwin, an Arva horse, one of a wild and powerful breed, forms an attachment to Syeira and through scent can place images in her mind. When the evil warlord Ran steals Arwin’s colts, Syeira and Arwin go in search of them. On a long and complicated journey, they meet gypsies, hacklers (master horsemen), herbsmen, and Grulla, the fighting crone. While each of these does advance the story, they tend to disappear when their part is done, occasionally returning to round out a plot line. Eventually, Syeira comes to where Ran is experimenting with hot air balloons (called warboys) and with making mechanical fighting horses. There Syeira finds the colts and plots to free them. After more complications and a terrifying capture, her victory is secured by the sudden appearance of winged horses only hinted at throughout the narrative. Further reflections about the power of dreams and memory will be lost on younger readers eagerly following the horse lore, which is rich and colorful, but the quest will still carry them along. (author note) (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-62752-4
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2004