Red Horse is a novel of the English Civil War that approaches the conflict from the Parliamentarian point of view through the eyes of two main characters: burly, rough-around-the-edges Hollie Babbitt and the rather more elegant and refined, but inexperienced and young, Lucifer Pettitt, a relation of the Parliamentary leader the Earl of Essex. They make an unlikely pair and indeed, as you would expect, they hate each other on sight, but events and circumstances throw them together.
What follows is not a story laden with politics and intrigue, but one concerned with these two characters and those around them. The plot is simple, the rendering is enjoyable and extremely readable.
In Hollie Babbitt we have a character reminiscent of Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe, rough and considered unpleasant but necessary to his betters. He is a formidable fighter whose sidekick is a large, ill-mannered horse called Tyburn. In Lucifer Pettitt we meet his opposite, sweet, charming, elegant, green. His ideals are tested, and we follow him as his eyes are opened through war.
Amazon had messed up the file I downloaded (which will hopefully be rectified), but don’t let that put you off. Mel Logue is an accomplished writer. She has created a set of characters who are whole, who, in the midst of war, carry on life as if battles were an inconvenience to be met head on and who fight because, well, that is what they do.
Reading this novel will not particularly widen your knowledge of the causes of the English Civil War, but you will understand what ordinary soldiers experienced as part of an army, the hardships and camaraderie. And you will have come to know some wonderful characters.