Black Horses for the King
This new edition of McCaffrey’s foray into the Arthurian legend is the latest in Del Rey’s Imagine series for younger readers, age twelve and up. Set in the time of the actual dux bellorum (war leader) of the Britons (5th century), Black Horses for the King is told from the viewpoint of young Galwyn Varianus, who has a gift with languages, horses, and over time, blacksmithing, making himself invaluable to Lord Artos and his plans to defend his country from invading Saxons.
Galwyn’s Cinderella story comes complete with a wicked step-uncle who wants to make a slave of him, and a rise in power aided by the iron, not glass horseshoes that keep Artos’ sleek Libyan steeds surefooted in battle. A gallant hero serves a picturesque tale only slightly marred by its occasional slip into anachronistic psychobabble like “sufficiently restored my self esteem.” (ouch!)