Galwyn Varianus is down on his luck. His father is dead and his fortune gone, so Galwyn must apprentice to his uncle, a boat captain. He hates life at sea, but seeing no other option, does his best to fit in and work hard.
Then, his uncle agrees to take on passengers – passengers who will change Galwyn’s life forever.
Lord Artos (who will become King Arthur) is looking for horses. Big horses, which can carry fully armored knights into battle against the hated Saxons. The horses in England are not big enough, nor are they strong enough.
Horses! Galwyn’s reminded of life in his father’s villa, when he had his own horse, which he loved. Using his gift for learning languages, Galwyn claims a place in Lord Artos’ group to help them find the horses they need. Which also means he deserts his uncle’s ship – knowing his uncle would never agree to let him go.
Thus begins an adventure through Europe, transporting horses back to Britain and eventually to Camelot.
Fans of King Arthur will get glimpses of his future greatness in Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey, but the story centers around Galwyn and his role in building up the British cavalry.
Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.