SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 630 Left Horse Black, by S. J. Reisner Book Review |

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Left Horse Black, by S. J. Reisner
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Archebooks
Published: 2005
Review Posted: 7/30/2005
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

Left Horse Black, by S. J. Reisner

Book Review by Hillary Smythe

Have you read this book?

Left Horse Black is a story that brings together some of the best aspects of fantasy with plenty of action and adventure coupled with mystery, magic, and colorful characters. This is a character driven novel with various underlying themes. It discusses terrorism, and explores the human psyche when pitted against religious fanaticism and dark sorcery in the struggle to survive in a harsh, pre-industrial, yet magical world.

Prince Aragel of Sherok is a young man whose life has been tailored to someday take over the throne. Unlike many fantasy princes, he's not your typical whiny, conceited brat. He's quite practical and sensible. When he uncovers a plot that would have both him and his uncle assassinated, he immediately takes responsibility and leaves his homeland behind him to gather reinforcements from a neighboring ally.

Tnasha fen'Schoitt is a young sorceress and soldier, struggling with her own identity and abilities. She fears that she is a disappointment to her father because of her gender. In an attempt to prove herself to her father she concocts a poorly thought out battle plan, with the help of her friends, to save a kidnapped girl. The plan backfires and she is captured by the enemy.

The story follows the prince through his struggle to save his kingdom, and the sorceress in her struggle to escape her capture and accept who and what she is until the two of them, and their cohorts, meet by accident and realize they are on the same mission to stop a religious zealot from enslaving humanity and starting a sorcerers' war.

While this may sound like the start of a typical fantasy, it is anything but typical. Reisner does an excellent job of getting into the characters, their relationships with one another, and their motivations. Both of the main characters are plagued by the inexperience of their youth and the fear of the unknown, and are left no choice but to react to their situation, using their instincts to survive. The reader genuinely cares about what happens to them and will find the motley crew of characters likable and believable. Even the bad guys have realistic motivations that are clearly developed and explained. I particularly liked Morvack who is driven to his ghastly deeds in pursuit of love and family acceptance.

The world is cleverly conceived and makes the reader feel at home. Reisner does not spend pages and pages of laborious description to transport the reader. The details and imagery are dispersed throughout, transporting the reader comfortably.

The plot was also well conceived and complex in a well-told story that really kept me on the edge of my seat. My only gripe about this story is that it ended. I believe fantasy fans, and readers who simply enjoy good stories will really take a liking to Left Horse Black.
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Comments on Left Horse Black, by S. J. Reisner
Posted by Andi on 10/11/2005
I loved this book and can't wait for the next one! Thanks for the recommendment.