When Will The Slaughter End?
Mmm. Shoot an apple off his friend’s head or lose his food, horse and clothes? Some decisions require little thought.
Archer is the sort of boy things happen to. Orphaned as a baby, his gifts make him different to other kids. He doesn't understand why he's so much stronger and faster than other boys; why a sword feels so right in his hand; or how every arrow he looses at a target will hit the centre, even if his eyes are closed. At the Beltane ritual, he must fight his friends to see who is most worthy. But his real battle is with an enemy whose callous disrespect for the natural order brings dangerous consequences.
Swashbuckling medieval adventure with a twist, Archer is Book 1 in The People of the Horse series by Jacky Gray and it really is one to enrich the imagination. There are dashing sword fights, arrows that find their mark, a destiny to be fulfilled and a host of unforgettable characters, with Gray proving her ability to create a compelling and immersive reading experience for young minds. Blending the requisite elements of a traditional medieval tale often suffers the curse of clichés but Gray admirably manages to avoid this with her alternative slant. Weaving Archer’s tale through uncontrived narrative threads, she captures the verisimilitude of her imagined world as his quest unfolds. Quickly gathering momentum, there’s plenty of archetypal symbolism, but nothing is ever lost or difficult to grasp. It’s well conceived and vividly rendered and whilst not particularly long there’s an economy to Gray’s prose that encourages the imagination to find full form whilst she weaves a delightful web of intrigue.
Enchanting to the last page, Archer has the feel of an epic saga in the making and is sure to find an enthusiastic following amongst younger readers. Definitely deserving of a place on your bookshelf, it is highly recommended.
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Archer: Book 1 Hengist, People Of The Horse
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