1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
superior insight and research, 17 Oct 2011
Byerley Turk happens to be a gem of a surprise. Not simply for a horse racing fan that could deem the story being not focused on Racing. It surely isnt. But the Racing follower is intrigued by the title, a well known (one of three) foundation stallions for the Thoroughbred breed. A person that loves the horse for what he is will be enthralled with the read. If you combine the love of a horse with the love of adventure, travel and history then this story will captivate you. Obviously well researched by the author with a bibliography longer than some chapters, Jeremy James also reveals what he knows about horses in overland travel, especially long distance rides. Once you start this novel, dont be dissuaded by the use of multiple foreign terms. There is a handy glossary for use and you will become familiar with the terms. The extensive footnotes only add to the adventure and should not be missed or overlooked. This is a book you will take your time reading, and enjoy !
For the historical horse person, Im not convinced that the Byerley Turk was an Akhal Teke or that he was not Arabian. I dont know and I dont think anyone does, but the research into where this horse and his groom came from along with the Eastern horsemanship methods are realistic and believable. I'll warn though that to attempt, and succeed in reading this book one must be a horse lover, enjoy history and at least armchair travel.
I cant forget to warn those sentimental about a horse, the last chapter may require having a tissue handy !