There is something so romantic about the horse–the way they move, their spirit, the bond we form with them. More than any other animal, the horse is interwoven into our stories and history. We needed them to work and to travel, but not only that they have been our partners and friends.
Such is the bond told in The Horse Healer. Diego and Sabba are almost soulmates and have a grand life adventure in Spain during the Crusade era of the late 1100s.
I found the subject matter of this book extremely interesting. It is historical fiction, and while the main character was made up–the events and royalty/nobility are based on real people. The story is also extremely culturally diverse. Toledo, which is where much of the plot takes place, is the “City of Three Cultures,” and there is a constant battle between the Christian and Muslims (Moors), especially, as that is the main focus of the book. There is some reference to the Jewish circle, but it is mainly pointed at business.
One thing I did find particularly intriguing is the group of Muslim soldiers called Imesebelen. They were extremists, as explained by one of the Moor characters, and the description he gave echoed so closely to our modern day description of ISIS. I just found it so interesting that even back in early history, Christians misunderstood the violence by those extremists so badly that it caused a whole prejudice of a culture. And it is still going on today…when we have access to way more information.
I did find the book a little rocky as far as writing style. Sometimes it would be really great and fun and easy to read, other times I’d be really confused or bored. Great subject matter though, and something I’d like to research more.
One more note about this–It comes out April 14, and the original publication is in Spanish! The ARC I’m reading has been translated into English.
Fulfills PopSugar #44: A book that was originally written in a different language
Disclaimer: NetGalley provided this ARC in return for an unbiased review.