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Silver and the Ghost Horse by Koos Verkaik

Robin Hood is one of those characters that has sparked interest in many for decades if not for over a century. The thought of a man stealing from the rich to help the poor is something that many can easily get behind. I know I for one am a fan of two movie versions of the hero, the first being “The Adventures of Robin Hood”. This version was made back in 1938 and stared actors, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland.  I also am very fond of the 1973 Disney animated classic, “Robin Hood”. I point this one out second as the fact Disney decided to use animals as their lead characters made this version charming.

You may wonder where I am going with this review and I wanted to use that opening to bring you into the world of Angie and her wonder horse Silver, along with her friend Joe and his bear Bruto. So, if you have not determined by this point, the reference to Disney the book I am reviewing here is a children’s book by Dutch author Koos Verkaik.  The book is part 3 in the Saladin Series which tells the stories of Angie and Silver and is titled, “Silver and the GHOST HORSE”.

The book’s title does not make one think of Robin Hood and this is why I wanted to open by mentioning the thief(hero) known to have a golden heart, and honor. The reason being is this book takes place during the period of Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood, and his band of men. A period in which many stories have taken place, and where this children’s book finds a great home.

“Silver and the GHOST HORSE”, will start by letting us into the mind of Prince John as he must deal with the demands of his daughter and Robin Hood. The Prince will find himself taking the advice that will lead us to some fun encounters within the pages of the books. The choice will be to replace the current Sheriff of Nottingham with a monster of a man, or a giant. His name is  Buck Bains and the man truly fight, drink and eat. He, however, will need to have the Prince’s advisor Counselor Rupert with him to help give Bains direction.

The books adventures will take off from here and I found it quite interesting on who would tell Angie about Buck Bains. The now-defunct ex-Sheriff of Nottingham who is under a tree enjoying a beautiful day and no longer chasing Angie, Silver or Robin  Hood. Instead, the man will become a fountain of information due to his bitterness over being fired.

“Silver and the GHOST HORSE”,  is a unique tale set in the era of Robin Hood. Angie will be found to be quite an energetic, caring and brilliant girl. Her friends rally to her help and with all of them pulled together there will be some interesting and exciting adventures to come. I mean how can one not find themselves reading a book that features a wonder horse, a bear named Bruto and so many other interesting characters. There will be battles of wit, and others of simple lessons in the nature of people.

Author Koos Verkaik does a very good job in pulling a reader, regardless of age, into the story he unravels thru the pages. The characters are well developed and those you may know from past Robin Hood Stories are found to live up to the character you may remember. Verkaik also does a great job in introducing readers to Angie and Silver. The primary characters in the book will be found to be resourceful and loyal to her friends, including both Joe and his bear Bruto.

As it’s a children’s book I do not wish to give too much of the plot away. I will share there are other new characters to find in the book. There is a Sultan who has his eyes on the wonder horse for his master back in another land. There, of course, are townspeople who will have involvement as well, and many find reasons to laugh at Bains. The book is pure fun and something that both child and adult will enjoy. As for the ghost horse in the title, well again do wish to keep a bit of mystery for when one reads the book.

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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Reviews

 

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Blade of the Destroyer by Andy Peloquin

Blade of the DestroyerThere are those that work on the fridges of society that want cash up front for a job they will do. They may not ask many questions but will do the job and see it through the end no matter the cost involved. There are also those that you may see as the scum of the Earth due to their brutality, yet they use some of their payment to help others.  The kindness may not out weight the darkness but at least they are “trying” to help others less fortunate.

Blade of the Destroyer will introduce the reader to just such a character, the Hunter. The city of Voramis knows his name to well and those with enough sense fear the hunter. Those with enough coin can hire the man and know that he will complete his assignment.  They know not to try and trick the man as he will come for them next if they fail to pay. At the same time this dark and deadly man cares for those he calls friends much like a dark Robin Hood.

The Hunter tracks his targets through the help of a magical blade. The blade feeds thoughts to the Hunter and seems to have an unending thirst for blood. If a person is killed with that blade their soul is taken to a place far worse than any hell. The Hunter uses a specific method to get the blade onto the scent of the target and travels across Voramis to find and kill the target on how the contract may wish. In any case the worst thing any man, or woman, can do is become the target of the Hunter.

There are those that live within some of his safe houses that do benefit from the coin he earns. He will help the wretches of society by putting a roof over there home, and even provide bandages. They do not live like kings, but at least better than those on the streets through his bit of kindness. They may not know who he truly is but he does call them friends and his coin helps protect them. –

There however is one major flaw in how the man takes on an assignment. He does not ask questions and one such very rich assignment will lead him to the point of a deep despair. He will find that he has stepped into a well built trap that will lead to danger for himself, his friends and potentially all of Voramis.

Blade of the Destroyer is written by author Andy Peloquin and takes the reader into a well built world.  Peloquin builds a world with a great mythology that will come apparent within the pages of the book. The Hunter will even find out more about who he is within the book and will face even more choices before the book ends. There is darkness and death within the pages but the well developed characters shine through.

Blade of the Destroyer is one of those books that when you start reading you may struggle to put down. The way in which the book is written takes the anti-hero, the Hunter, to a point that you will hope for him to win. You will shudder at first at his lethality but by the end of the book you want him to win. This is something that many authors do struggle with and Peloquin does masterfully.  The book is certainly a great read of those who enjoy a fantasy world, but at the same time just those who love a great story.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Reviews

 

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