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The Grey Horse Paperback – February 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: e-reads.com (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585860409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585860401
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,321,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Grey Horse is one of the standouts in the recent crop of modern fairy tales. MacAvoy explores the same Irish angst that more mainstream writers like Brendan O'Carroll and the McCourt brothers have tackled. However, she avoids bludgeoning the reader with the misery of being Irish. If you don't care for the Big Themes, you can just read it as a love story with a lot of horses.
Around the end of the 19th century, an Irish horse fairy falls in love with a mortal woman and tries to win her affection by assimilating into the communtity. MacAvoy, in exploring the puca's attempts to fit in, reveals how the Irish themselves are estranged in some way from their country and their communtity. Parents don't understand their children, men don't understand women, the gentry fit in with neither the English nor their lower class neighbors, the rural population distrusts outsiders, and so forth.
I liked that the love interest is the strong smart woman instead of the fatuous blond. The story is written for adults, but I wouldn't hesitate to give it to an adolescent. Prissyness info: I can't remember any bad language. A few people get damaged or killed in morally appropriate circumstances. It is mentioned that horses are not monogamous, and women should consider the consequences of certain actions involving men.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
R.A. MacAvoy, whose debut novel was "Tea with a Black Dragon," has written another charming, but lesser known fantasy called "The Grey Horse." Its story takes place in 1881, in County Connemara, Ireland, during the time when the Irish National Land League was trying to oust foreign (English) landlords and teach the local farmers to stand up for their rights to fair rents and fixed tenure on the land. Irish revolutionaries are an integral part of MacAvoy's landscape, but they enhance the fantasy rather than intrude upon it.
As the novel begins, the old horse trainer, Anrai Ő Reachtaire discovers a púca (fairy horse) on his way to the village of Carraroe. He mistakes it for a strayed Connemara pony stallion, standing alone on a hill, without hobble or halter. The púca kneels, inciting Anrai to mount (what horseman could resist such a fair invitation?), and off they gallop on one of Fantasy's best and funniest wild rides.
Anrai finally manages to throw a rope halter over the pony's head:
"Anrai felt a jolt as through the horse had shied in place. Its sides went as stiff as wood. It hopped and trembled and before Anrai's eyes began to steam. Startled himself by this reaction, Anrai very warily tied the lead rope to both sides of the mouthpiece, making a sort of bridle out of the halter. 'Don't tell me you're a stranger to the old rope halter, my lad,' he whispered gently, close to the horse's ear. He saw a round eye ringed with white, and the long, unkempt yellow tail switched left to right. Anrai had a sinking feeling there would be a fight between himself and this horse on the stones of Knockduff Peak.
"But he had to go home. At this season, there were no more than two more hours of light and likely no visible moon after that.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "wyvernfriend" on July 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Set in the early part of the last century in Ireland this is a love story with a difference. A shapeshifter is looking for love and finds it with one of two sisters. Engrosing, well written and my copy is well read, the details of Irish life are interesting without being condescending.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robin C. on October 2, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read R.A. MacAvoy's "Tea with the Black Dragon" many years ago, and it remain one of my favorite books. So I was so glad to see some of her other books being reissued.

The Grey Horse is a lovely, charming fantasy that works on so many levels. Set in an 1881 village in Ireland, it is the story of a fairy horse, Rauri, who falls in love with a village girl and wants to marry her. And yet it is so much more than that!

What could have been a trite, two-dimensional story by another writer comes alive in the hands of R.A. MacAvoy for her characters are alive and vivid. Rauri is not an elegant, ethereal fairy, but an earthy, sometimes confused man who shares much of the stubborness and behavior of the sturdy Connemara pony he often turns into. Not innately clever, he has "horse sense" and a good nature that is very appealing. His heart's desire, Maire, is likewise not the usual fairy tale heroine. She is a big girl, stubborn, and full of fire, not as pretty as her petite sister, but of infinitely more worth.

Underneath the romance between Rauiri and Maire lies the struggle of the Irish people to assert their independence against the English overlords. The struggle of the Irish peasants to keep their connection to their land while dealing with a foreign culture (English) and the struggle of the fairy to fit into a foreign culture (Human) while retaining his deeper and more ancient connection to the land gives the book an interesting dynamic tension.

This book is one of the more interesting fantasies, and will retain a place on my bookshelf for future reading!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Herbert on December 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Not only an engrossing tale, the author's style of writing and word play captivate you from page one and makes you wish for more at story's end. In the middle of my second reading, I find it even more enjoyable the second time around.
Highly recommended.
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