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Left Horse Black, by S. J. Reisner Book Review | SFReader.com
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
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
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.
Click here to buy Left Horse Black, by S. J. Reisner on Amazon