Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review: The White Horse King

The back of the book advertises The White Horse King as “a mythic adventure story that stirs the imagination and races the heart.” So—I was expecting to read of an adventure, something like First Knight or The Three Musketeers set in Viking times. Instead I got a documentary. There’s nothing wrong with documentaries, but when you’re expecting an epic story, they are disappointing.

That first reaction set aside, as an historical biography, The White Horse King is well-researched and thoroughly presented. I don’t know if the author ever read You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack or not, but he followed her instructions for a biography to the letter, starting with known facts about Alfred the Great and adding cultural and historical information to complete the story, to help the reader understand what he probably did, felt, and thought about events during his time. Notes set to the side of the text, drawings, maps, and pictures add interest to the book. Each of the eight chapters begins with an historical ballad, poem, or quote relevant to the content. The book also includes a bibliography and index.

If you enjoy learning about the Vikings, early Anglo-Saxon kings, and the history of England along with the origins of some of its early myths, The White Horse King is a book you will want to read.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of this book for me to review.

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