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****The King's Swift Rider

by Mollie Hunter

Reviewed January 19, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002 (#1, Young Adult Historical Fiction)
HarperTrophy, 1998.  322 pages.

I bought this book for Josh for Christmas upon reading the recommendation in the Chinaberry catalog.  I was not disappointed.

This is a historical novel, set amid the conflict of Robert the Bruce of Scotland fighting against the English kings.  Our protagonist, Martin Crawford, does not wish to fight, but he does support the king’s cause.  So he becomes the King’s Swift Rider, carrying his messages and spying out the forces and plans of England.

This is an excellent book, exciting, action-packed and well-written.  Some of my friends have said that they don’t really enjoy books with lots of battles.  This one does have plenty of battles, though our hero does not take up a sword.  He does wrestle with questions of conscience as to when a war is justified, which takes the book a little deeper than a simple “Kill the bad guys” book.  I do feel that now I know much more about the history of that time in Scotland than I ever did before.

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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