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It's amazing and true how one extraordinary animal can change the hearts and minds of men so much. Even the reader finds themself falling in love with this horse, and worrying whether it will survive, or if it will heel, or what will happen to it next! Don't read this book if you stress out really easily. Seriously, when this book comes out, get it!

Blood Red Horse - Wikipedia

It was an awesome read that was well worth it. Feb 21, GenreGroup rated it liked it Shelves: This adventurous book is about the journey of two brothers, Gavin and Will de Granville, their father, Sir Thomas de Granville of Hartslove, and a horse, Hosanna. It takes place in the third installment of the Crusades. It starts when Gavin and Will are young, and Will the younger of the two brothers is finally able to choose his very own stallion. The journey to the Holy Land is tough and harsh; knights and horses los This adventurous book is about the journey of two brothers, Gavin and Will de Granville, their father, Sir Thomas de Granville of Hartslove, and a horse, Hosanna.

The journey to the Holy Land is tough and harsh; knights and horses lose their lives along the way. After a two year Crusade, the two brothers return home to find that things are not how they left them. Gavin finds that the steward who was left in charge was trying to seize control of the estate, so they release him of his duties. Will is made an earl and Gavin becomes a count and marries Ellie, to whom he was betrothed.

Tweens and adults alike can relate to this book in one way or another because at one time or another everyone has felt like an outcast. Hosanna the horse is the unsung hero of the story. Gavin and other trainers considered Hosanna an outcast because he was smaller than other stallions and seemed incapable of carrying out a horse's duties, but Will sees something special in Hosanna. It isn't until a jousting tournament that the people realize exactly what Hosanna is capable of accomplishing.

Tween, as well as almost anyone, can relate to being underestimated and then proving people wrong when they come through with flying colors. Oct 22, Magnus rated it did not like it. Over all I did not enjoy reading this book. I thought the language was was way to rich and thick for this type of book. I'm not one hundred percent sure if I read it right or maybe I just need to try it again. When I read it we had to write a sticky note for every single page of the book, It destroyed its chances of become a good book in my eyes.

But the first time I read it just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Overall my high expectations of this book were not reached nor in the ballpark Over all I did not enjoy reading this book. Overall my high expectations of this book were not reached nor in the ballpark of my expectations.

View all 3 comments. Nov 09, Lira rated it it was amazing. This book was amazing. I was clinging to it, barely willing to put it down for any reason. It was suspensful, amazingly written, and I connected with the characters. Jul 23, Chachic rated it liked it. I became curious about Blood Red Horse by K. Grant back when Angie did a Retro Friday review of it.


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It seemed like a very interesting, under-the-radar historical fiction novel. I was delighted when I found a bargain copy of it in one of the used bookstores in Manila.

MORE BY K.M. GRANT

I thought the cover looked great and I liked the gold accents in the design. That copy has been patiently waiting in my TBR pile for years. Blood Red Horse is set in the time period when Richard the Lionheart serves as the king of England and he leads his men on a crusade against the Muslim leader Saladin. I liked how the book starts with Ellie, Will and Gavin as young children and how we see them grow and develop throughout the course of the book.

The boys were thoroughly excited to be knights of the crusade, not knowing that war is such a bleak and miserable business. Ellie was left at home but she was destined to have adventures of her own. Even at a young age, Will has the skills that make him a fine horseman. However, I thought it was a bit strange how fixated everyone was on Hosanna.

I just thought it was a bit much for a non-magical horse. If Hosanna had magic, I think it would have made more sense why he inspires such strong emotions in people. As expected, there's some violence in there but in an understated way. What I did like was how readers get to see two sides of the war, instead of being biased towards one side. What we have instead is two groups of people fighting for what they believe in. Apr 10, Steph rated it did not like it. Lit teachers wouldn't know a good book if I throw it at their faces!

Apr 03, Grace rated it really liked it Shelves: When I read this book as a young teenager it traumatized me. Now it's kind of hard to see why I had that reaction. I honestly don't know. It doesn't seem all that traumatizing now. I still loved this book a lot, though. I love the crusades so much. The Third Crusade in particular is my specific weakness, and so many of the good things are here: Personally, I would have preferred to see some more of the Conrad of Montferrat vs. While I am really invested in how Will and Gavin's relationship evolves over time I also find it pretty hard to forgive Gavin for his actions in the earlier half of the book.

What an absolute twit. I also think it's pretty funny that the book wants us to believe Richard was magnanimously writing letters bestowing honors upon his faithful crusaders while in Leopold's prison. Like, maybe he was? I certainly never met Richard the Lionheart. The dude was King of England and spent like 6 months total of his life in England. Sounds like an attentive monarch to me, right? I'm excited to go on to the sequel because nobody except Robin Hood ever writes the story of what happens after the crusade ends. May 14, Alex Schmidt rated it it was ok.

However, "Blood Red Horse" by itself isn't that great It's too "fast" One of the main problems with this book is that it covers a relatively long time period from to in just something pages. As a result, the way the events are described turns out being superficial - the author barely touches on the important events in the characters lives, and the book doesn't really immerse you in its plot or its world, making it very difficult for you to connect emotionally to any of the characters.

So, when one of the characters dies, you hardly feel anything. The author doesn't do a very good job telling us what makes the horse so special. Or maybe I just don't know anything about horses. Will and Gavin As I mentioned earlier, the characters in this novel are rather underdeveloped - the two main ones especially.

Gavin is his foil - a bully that always gets in trouble and can't do anything right. Both Will and Gavin's respective qualities are exaggerated to the point where the characters no longer seem human. Kamil Kamil is pretty much the Muslim version of Will - a hero with noble intentions, albeit a little more bloodthirsty.

No central conflict Unlike the next two books in the trilogy, there is no central conflict in this book to unite all of the described events into a single coherent novel. Will, Kamil, and Ellie experience some minor conflicts throughout the book, but they didn't seem to connect to one another very well, and there was no buildup or satisfying climax - it's just a rather bland description of what happens to Will, Gavin, and Kamil on crusade.

Despite my disappointment with this particular book, I must absolutely recommend it for one reason - the next two installments are absolutely thrilling! So, please, just try to survive this one - the next two are really worth it! You won't regret it! William and Gavin de Granville are adolescent brothers who live in Hartslove castle in England. Destined for knighthood, they both love riding horses and have natural competition between them.

When William, the younger of the two, finally gets the chance to choose a Great Horse—a horse used in battle Gavin already has one named Montlouis —he ends up choosing a beautiful smaller horse instead. Everyone is shocked by this decision, as William has wanted a proper battle horse forever. However, Hosanna, as this horse is named, is not quite the typical horse and everyone begins to feel a special bond with him.

They battle the Muslim leader Saladin and one of his young emirs named Kamil. Kamil manages to steal the magnificent Hosanna because he is so beautiful and renames him Red Horse. Blood Red Horse is the first book in the de Granville Trilogy. The author shows the reader how futile war is as she shows us the parallel lives of the de Granville boys and Kamil. The unique link between them all is Hosanna, the Blood Red Horse. Jun 03, Christina rated it really liked it Shelves: First in a trilogy set in 12th century England, this book introduces us to the de Granville brothers, William and his older brother Gavin, and the girl, Ellie, who has grown up in their household after her parents died.

Ellie comes from a rich family, and is expected to marry Gavin--but she is better friends with William. It's also the story of a brilliant red horse named Hosanna, who becomes William's battle horse when he is knighted and sent off on Crusade to Jerusalem. Very good historical no First in a trilogy set in 12th century England, this book introduces us to the de Granville brothers, William and his older brother Gavin, and the girl, Ellie, who has grown up in their household after her parents died. Very good historical novel about honor, and war, and love--and horses.

Hosanna is a spectacular horse, and even spends time as the mount of a "Saracen" or Muslim soldier in the battles. The crusades are depicted very realistically, with lots of horrific action and inaction, too, as they wait months for supplies or ships to arrive, etc. William and Gavin are headstrong and have a lot to learn as they become soldiers. I can't wait to read book two! Dec 08, Aimee rated it really liked it Shelves: For once, a book lives up to its billing. It's a grand adventure that takes place during the time of the Crusades. It's advertised for middle school students and it truly is.

There are deep moral questions but also exciting battles, which are too vivid for younger children. Horse lovers will find a lot to love in this story. This is the kind of book that you remember for a long time, and would lend itself well to classroom discussions. I can imagine that if I had read it as a child, I would stil For once, a book lives up to its billing. I can imagine that if I had read it as a child, I would still remember specific scenes. A great choice for anyone who likes historical fiction or anyone who needs to be introduced to the joys of historical fiction.

Jul 31, Heather rated it it was amazing Shelves: I read this book while I was going through grad school, and I absolutely loved it! It's the first part of a trilogy called the DeGranville Trilogy. I love a good Historical Fiction novel, and this one is set during the Crusades: The Knights of England must go to the Holy Land to fig I read this book while I was going through grad school, and I absolutely loved it! But through it all, two things will be constant—Ellie, and a blood-red horse called Hosanna. This book isn't as beautifully written as some YA fiction, but that said, the author skillfully and naturally worked in lots of great words like "chivied" I'm always on the look out for good vocabulary and the story is compelling.

My favorite aspect of the book is the way the author presented both sides of the third crusade fairly and without creating good guys or bad guys. As a middle school teacher, I also like the fact that the author's representaion of the fighting over the Holy Land betwe This book isn't as beautifully written as some YA fiction, but that said, the author skillfully and naturally worked in lots of great words like "chivied" I'm always on the look out for good vocabulary and the story is compelling.

As a middle school teacher, I also like the fact that the author's representaion of the fighting over the Holy Land between Muslims and Christians provides a great way to discuss the political climate in today's world. Jun 21, Jessica rated it it was ok. Well written and fast paced. But I got the impression that the author was telling us there were more paths to God then through Christ alone?

No man comes to the Father but by Me"? Definitely not a "Christian" book, but an interesting historical read all the same. Mar 12, Olivia rated it did not like it Shelves: This book easily goes down as the worst book I have ever read and probably ever will read. I forced my way through half of it and quit because I had had homework passes and didn't have to do the accompanying assignment. I do not recommend this book to anyone who would like to keep their brain cells.

I feel horrible for writing such a horrible review, but it is my honest opinion. Words cannot express how much I love, love, love this book. Sep 30, Richard rated it really liked it. I have read nearly all the fiction covering the Crusades and recently discovered this title.

This book contains a lot of authentic type storytelling, which I really enjoyed.

A galloping romp

However, the mystical slant the story takes was a bit hard to swallow. May 24, Emily rated it it was ok Shelves: I think it might just be timing, but I just could not get into this book at all. I didn't feel attached to any of the characters, I'm not much of a horse person and this is a pretty horse-centric story, and I just have too much on my plate right now to try to push through it. I didn't hate it, it was well-written, it just wasn't keeping my attention.

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Jul 25, Megan rated it really liked it Shelves: I read this years and years ago back in my late primary school years and really loved it. The school library had the third book in the trilogy, but unfortunately not the second book. Maybe one day I'll go back and revisit the series from start to finish. Nov 28, Justin McGuire rated it liked it. I thought the book was a good read, just kind of difficult to follow. The action didn't seem to take off as I expected, but a good read all together. Dec 07, Miriam rated it it was amazing. A captivating book I could not put down the minute I started reading it.

I enjoy historical novels and this one did not disappoint. Jul 29, Colleen rated it liked it Shelves: Blood Red Horse turned out to be a pretty good book, but quite frankly, I was mildly disappointed it didn't live up to its initial promise. It was quite funny in the beginning and I was looking forward to getting to know the characters, especially those that made up the "love triangle"--William, Gavin, and Ellie. Character development was good in two--Gavin and Ellie, but not so for William.

There were fleeting moments when I thought he might be interesting, but here's the problem, and it's a bi Blood Red Horse turned out to be a pretty good book, but quite frankly, I was mildly disappointed it didn't live up to its initial promise. There were fleeting moments when I thought he might be interesting, but here's the problem, and it's a big one William is perfect, William never does anything wrong, William might as well have a halo hovering over his head. His brother, Gavin, is the absolute opposite and far more interesting for it.

Gavin is mean, Gavin is jealous and vindictive, Gavin is reckless. Gavin made me mad as hell at times, but at least he was more like a human, less like a god. When he was being mean, jealous, vindictive, and reckless, at times he seemed to revel in it, and at other times he was ashamed of his behavior--just like a real human. You never knew how he was going to act or react. William, however, was always predictable--he always took the high road, he always treated people and animals with respect except when he was slashing them to death during the Crusade , he was always making lofty, soul-inspiring pronouncements.

Ellie had the potential to be an intriguing character, but we don't get to know her as well because she gets left at home during the Crusade. I'm quite sure she could've kicked some butt on that Crusade, if given the chance. Maybe in one of the next books The plot was quick-paced and action-packed, especially once Gavin and William took off on the Crusade.

Blood Red Horse

The trip just to get to the Holy Land, where the Crusade began, was especially horrifying--people and animals packed into barely-seaworthy wooden ships, battling terrible storms while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Storms on the Mediterranean Sea? I always picture cruise ships meandering along under a sunny, blue sky--ha ha! I didn't know much about the Crusades before I read this book but the author does a good job depicting war's pointlessness and the hypocrisy of these so-called bloodbaths in the name of religion.

There is a parallel plot featuring a Muslim boy named, Kamil interesting while he's avenging the death of his family, but sadly degenerating into William's boring Muslim equivalent who's approaching this from the opposite viewpoint which really highlights the pointlessness of the Crusades. Although the engrossing plot was the best part of Blood Red Horse, I was often thrown by the abrupt transitions. Bam--a main character dies or even worse, you hear about it second-hand , bam--an enemy appears and attacks.

I missed the anticipation leading up to those events. I would be remiss not to mention the meaning of the title, Blood Red Horse. He is a brave, transcendent little stallion named Hosanna who unites all, and I mean all, the characters in this book--Christian and Muslim alike. Unfortunately, he's the animal equivalent of the human character beloved by all, spreading sunshine and rainbows wherever he goes. I never felt I really got to know Hosanna--he was too lofty--but I suppose I'm being anthropomorphic. If I put myself in my middle-grade shoes, though, I loved books about horses, and I would've loved this one.

This was filed, strangely, as a young adult book at my library. That, it is not. It's definitely a middle-grade novel. Perhaps the publisher or the librarian thought middle-grade readers wouldn't be interested in a medieval novel about the Crusades. But I think this book has enough excitement and adventure in it to satisfy them. I'll read the next two books in the trilogy--other reviewers have said they're much better.


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  • Jun 06, Arminzerella rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The de Granville boys, Gavin and Will, are always fighting. And Eleanor, the young lady who is being raised along with them is almost as wild. Will finally receives permission from his father, Lord Thomas, to pick out his own Great Horse that he can ride into battle, but he chooses a small blood red stallion, who is hardly the bulky great horse he had envisioned, but whose gaits are smooth and intelligence is high.

    They call him Hosanna. Gavin returns from war disgruntled and frustrated and rides Hosanna into the ground, nearly killing him. Hosanna is sent to live with the monks who eventually nurse him back to health. Then Will rides out with his father and brother to join King Richard in his fight for Jerusalem. They never take it. Instead they suffer many hardships and Gavin becomes more and more withdrawn. Lord Thomas dies, and Will is nearly taken by fever.

    Hosanna is captured by a wild and dangerous Muslim warrior, Kamil. Meanwhile, Ellie is desperate to get word of them. Constable de Scabious, the person left in charge of the de Granville estates, is untrustworthy, and is attempting to gain support that he might take over the lands and titles. As she has land and titles of her own, she is a tasty morsel for the Constable, who wants to force her into marrying him.

    Woven throughout it all is the nobility and gentleness of the horse Hosanna, who seems to be a miracle wrought by God. Hosanna calms his owners and teaches them things they never thought to know — patience, compassion, care — even Kamil comes to know some peace through his association with the horse. At the end the English fight a pitched battle against the Saracens on borrowed horses, one of which is Hosanna.

    Richard is about to defeat the Saladin, when Hosanna is shot out from under him. Both Will and Kamil race to the horse to see if he can be saved. Perhaps no one ever wins a war. The common people hate the Saladin in some places just as much as they hate the Christians — for both sides have caused great damage and death. Hosanna survives, as do Kamil and Will and there is even some understanding between them.

    The de Granvilles return home to a relieved Eleanor. Gavin, who has lost an arm, initially feels he is not man enough for Ellie, but she gladly embraces him. And Richard honors them with further responsibilities and lands. The Muslims and Christians really came to understand one another better by the end of this book — both sides realized that they'd been mistaken in their opinions about one another, they'd done terrible things, and each had their fair share of good and respectable people as well.

    For the love of a horse men were able to put aside their differences and embrace their similarities — not forever and not always, but for a moment. One wonders at how much things can change and yet how much they stay the same. Mar 24, meredith rated it liked it. Will is a young noble growing up in England, where he knows two things: When his father finally gives him the chance to pick a charger, something draws him instead to a small red horse.

    No one expects this horse, named Hosanna, to be much of anything; some mock him for making the choice to take such a puny horse into battle. But time and time again Hosanna saves not only Will but those around him. H Will is a young noble growing up in England, where he knows two things: He has a miraculous quality about him, one that calms and soothes the spirit as well as gives courage to men going into battle.

    The English warriors look to Hosanna for strength, until one day he is taken from Will. The book begins in and finishes in Eight years in the lives of children is enough to make them adults and this is a coming-of-age book in ancient mythic tradition, with a tinge of the ripping yarn of old.

    Geographically, the narrative stretches from Hartslove, the estates of Sir Thomas de Granville, in north-eastern England, to Jerusalem. The story follows the two De Granville sons and the orphaned heiress Eleanor, who lives with them and is betrothed to the older brother, Gavin, while being closer to the younger one, Will, as they grow to adulthood during the period of the third crusade. Richard Lionheart, that old favourite of many a children's historical tale from Robin Hood onwards, leads the armies in which Sir Thomas meets his death and his two sons survive to become brave, humane heroes.

    Eleanor, known as Ellie throughout the book a name that conjures up a particular class of modern English girl rather than medieval maiden , has to hold the fort at home and stave off, as Maid Marian always had to do with the Sheriff of Nottingham, the unwanted advances of the constable left in charge of the estates.

    At the same time, she is taught to read by a monk. Cantering, sometimes galloping, sometimes collapsing, through the various human journeys is the blood-red horse of the title, a smaller than usual war horse called Hosanna. With his fiery coat and white star on his forehead he is a kind of 12th-century Black Beauty, whose travels take him from one owner to another and bring a divine spark of healing into all their lives.

    The question with all historical fiction is where the history ends and the story begins and vice versa.

    About Blood Red Horse

    In the most successful work of this genre the characters and their story compel the reader's attention while the sense of period provides the texture and substance of the era into which one is drawn. Language plays an important part in this evocation. In Blood Red Horse the language tends to the plain and modern.