Title: The Silver Horse
Author: Kate Forsyth
Series: The Chain of Charms #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading,
Gypsies, Historical fiction
Dates read: 17th – 21st January 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: You think that’s why she never strays?
It is the fifth year of the Lord Protector’s rule and while life has always been hard for the gypsies, since Oliver Cromwell has seized control of England, life has become harder than ever.
Emilila and Luka Finch’s family have been accused of vagrancy and murder, and thrown into gaol with only three weeks to live. Emilia and Luka’s grandmother believes that only the collection of six ancient gypsy charms will see them escape the hangman’s noose.
Emilia and Luka are now on a dangerous quest to find all six charms and with a little bit of luck – or, as Emilia believes, magice – save their family from the gallows. They have the first, an old gold coin, but now they seek the second precious charm.
The charm, they believe, lies with the horse-trading Hearne family. But the Hearnes are reluctant to help, let alone give up their treasured talisman. With Coldham close on their heels, Emilia and Luka must race against time to win the support of the Hearnes – all the while trying to keep a grumpy old brown bear out of sight and out of trouble.
The second book in this exciting six-book series about the adventures of two daring children, a monkey, a dog and a dancing bear in search of the chain of charms.
I found this story kind of sad. Emilia and Luka are on the next step of their journey to try and find help for their family. And yet, the people who are supposed to be closer than kin are the very ones who turn their backs on the children. And also decide to take advantage of them. No matter that it is a family trying to take care of themselves, my heart broke a little for both gypsy children the further the story unfolds.
This is a reread of the Chain of Charms series, and although it has been over a year between rereading the first story, The Gypsy Crown, and this, the second, I still get that same great joy of the tale. And, as I’ve gotten older and revisited this story, I am realising more and more how amazing Forsyth’s talent is at mixing historical fact with imaginative fiction. The blending of the two, and the notes at the end of the story which highlight the facts and fiction intertwine beautifully.
As a child, there was something intriguing and alluring about being a gypsy. Probably for me, the no shoes and no permanent abode. I’ve mostly lost that intrigue (I can’t have a library like mine if I lived on the road). But, there is still something of that childish and innocent desire to explore the world. That nostalgia for a time and peoples that I’ve never met or experienced. It makes me incredibly excited to pick up the next in this story and continue my very enjoyable journey down nostalgia-lane.
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