Sunday, 10 January 2016

Katherine Roberts

This is my first Katherine Roberts read and I know it won't be my last. 

I am the Great Horse

My  review - 

I've read a little about the exploits of Alexander the Great, both factual and like this one, fictional. I particularly loved Mary Renault's The Persian Boy which gave me the Alexander legend through the eyes of another character. In I Am The Great Horse, our narrator is the fierce warhorse Bucaphalas. Katherine Roberts makes this story for young adults come alive by her observations of horse body language, and the parallels her great horse draws between human and horse behaviour. For example, the armies gathered to fight one another are, to Bucaphalas, herds. Alexander's hair is, of course, his mane. This could become twee and annoying if overdone but it's really well-judged here and I enjoyed it a great deal.

This book is one I'd have devoured in my teens, yet there I am, fifty years later, absolutely loving it. A good YA book never writes down to its readers and this is very good indeed. The 'voice' of the horse, all the way through, is that of a friend of Alexander's, though a wise, knowing one who often makes wry observation on the strange behaviour of his rider. I heartily recommend this story to those interested in history, whatever their age. 

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