Monday 4 June 2018

A Discovering Diamonds review of The Conquistador's Horse by Barry Cole

AMAZON US $4.19  

Young adult / US Settlement
early 16th Century
North America, Arkansas River

It is always difficult to review a Young Adult book because the parameters are entirely different from the adult genre, as are the potential readers. This book is aimed at 10 – 14 year old children and so it seems churlish to mention the amount of repetition in the story or the couple of footnotes which normally spoil (for me) a full-on adult story.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the book very much; it tells of Tall Bull, a young Cheyenne warrior who, on a raid that goes wrong, sees a horse for the first time in his life. Finding that he can approach the animal and eventually ride it for a short while, he is thrown and the horse runs away. But the experience stays with him as he grows to full adulthood and, once again during an attempt to find the buffalo herds, he encounters another horse and takes it back to his tribe. 

This is a very simplistic tale and a good story for the age group it is aimed at. However, it is only seventy-seven pages long, with an even shorter, unconnected, story included coming out at just over one-hundred pages in total – which is probably fine for a ten-year-old reading-span length but  I do query the price for such a short-length children’s book as being a little too high.

The cover is very striking, which is good to attract younger readers, and the subject matter is ideal for both boys and girls.

© Richard Tearle

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