This book is aimed at young adults, but still definitely shows an interesting take on the King Arthur legends. I really enjoyed it though in rereading it again, I noticed a definite similarity mainly with the young antagonist to the one in Ms. McCaffrey and her son's recent Dragon's Fire.
Interesting view of King Arthur, as told by one of his stableboys. Fast-paced, interesting read.
A straight historical novel which focuses solely on one point - horseshoes.
If, as some theorize, King Arthur, in the 5th century, imported impressive Libyan horses to Britain from the Middle East, how did he deal with the problems which would have occurred when animals used to a dry, desert climate were transferred to wet and soggy England? Hoof rot and mold & all kinds of horsey health issues would undoubtedly have occurred.
McCaffrey gives us her how-it-might-have-happened, through the story of Galwyn, a young man who throws his lot in with the Comes Artos - partly to get away from his apprenticeship to his nasty mariner uncle, and partly because he loves horses and is impressed by Artos. He learns from Artos' experienced horsemen and smiths, and a radical new technique - shoeing horses in iron - is developed. Galwyn becomes one of the first experienced farriers.
There's not really too much of a plot here - the most evil villain is a resentful and vindictive guy who was fired from Artos' service and wants to get back at the company and the horses - and if you have no interest in the specifics of things equestrian, this book probably won't interest you much. However, if you're a fan of horses in general, this short book is a quick read which definitely reflects the author's own love of horses.