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The Blue Roan Child Hardcover – June 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House; 1st American edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439627524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439627528
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,069,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–Orphaned Syeira, about 12, has grown up in the royal stables of the Hayselean kingdom and developed a talent for working with horses. She especially admires three wild horses just captured by the king's handlers: a blue roan mare, so called for the white hairs mixed through her blue-black coat, and her two foals. When the evil lord of a neighboring kingdom steals the foals, Syeira frees the mare and joins her quest to find her young. The relationship between Arwin and the girl deepens until Syeira has become like another child to the blue roan. Never anthropomorphized, the horses communicate with humans wordlessly, through a highly original language of smells and scent pictures. Lots of olfactory details enrich the well-realized, preindustrial setting. The story is overstuffed with interesting characters and situations, including an herbalist addicted to a memory-enhancing plant, hot-air balloons used as war engines, winged horses, a murderous small bird turned third-rate artist–and that's not even the half of it. Some of these great ideas sidetrack rather than enhance the plot, and the generally lyrical writing style breaks down in places, but overall this is an enjoyable fantasy from a new writer to be watched.–Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Balms and potions abound in this first novel, among them Medic Synonyma, a tincture that causes a "treeful of synonyms to bloom in [the] mind." There is certainly a bountiful harvest of words to be enjoyed in Findlay's prose, which invites readers to visualize the "confetti meander" of butterflies in flight or the "lemon-bright" glow of a sunny day. Such images enhance his vision of a rustic fantasy world where horses of rare, ancient stock can communicate with certain highly sensitive humans. It is such a bond that sends Syeira, a preteen orphan girl, on a dangerous quest to reunite a mare with her colts, cruelly stolen by a warmongering ruler. Along the way, Syeira encounters a series of eccentric characters whose assistance helps her both free the colts and, inadvertently, galvanize a civil war. Although Findlay's lingering affection for dense description, symbolism, and stories within stories may put off some readers, many fantasy devotees will relish his richly embroidered imaginings. Try this on fans of Mary Hoffman's equestrian fantasy, Stravaganza: City of Stars (2002). Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written fantasy adventure that can be enjoyed by good readers as young as ten and by adults. I would definitely not recommend it for children under the age of 8 as the vocabulary and the themes are far too advanced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I think this book could be read by children much older than eight and they'd still enjoy it. If you like horses and adventure stories, you'll like this! Jamieson Findlay is a wonderful author!
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By Tina Drucker on September 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Blue Roan Child (By Jamieson Findlay) is beautifully written, and a breath of fresh air for those of us who are tired of reading variations of the same idea in fantasy books. I don't know about you, but I sure seem to be reading a lot of books where the only thing going for them is a good action scene here and there.
The Blue Roan Child is marvelously imaginative, with a cast of unforgettable and pleasantly weird characters, which Findlay brings to life with a unique and beautiful style of writing.
Now, for those of you who aren't exactly enthusiastic about "horse books" Don't let that aspect of the story turn you off. While, yes, this book will definitely attract and be loved by horse fans, there is SO much more to the book than the relationship between horse and human. To name a few of these other aspects: Original fantasy, action, a little good vs. evil, and a coming-of-age story.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and/or animals!

The Basic Plot:

Syeira is an orphaned girl of about 11 years whose only family are the horses she cares for in the King's stables in the town of Haysele. Vague memories of her mother's love are all that connects her to her mysterious past. She lives a rather uneventful life, where her only joy is in the wild scent of the untamed and equally mysterious Arva horses that nobody but Syeira can really understand or come anywhere near to. Syeira seems destined to live out a life, not quite content or miserable, forever tending to the King's horses, when the evil Lord Ran (unbeknownst to him) interferes. He has decided to come to Haysele in search for more warhorses to fight in his endless battles waged to win himself more land. However, it's not just warhorses he is after this time, but Arva horses!
Read more ›
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By Deirdre on April 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a 13 year old girl who is crazy for horses. This is a wonderful book especially if you love horses. Some people complain that there's no plot or anything, but that might be because they aren't interested in horses. I actally think it wasn't long enough. Although, I read books with 1000 pages so... anyway it was a great book. I couldn't put it down. I think it was wonderfully written and I hope Jamieson Finlay will write more about maybe Arwin or Arva or something. Or maybe even Sir Gemynd, he was an interesting character. I recommend this book to horse lovers, people who love fantasy books, or just want a fun read. I also though it interesting that my name is DEIRDRE and the forest is the forest of DEIRE. Funny. Wonderful book. You have to read it! I give it 30/10!
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