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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, heart warming
This is one of the best books i have ever read. I read it when i was young, and read it about once every year. (it's quite a quick book to read). despite it being a children's book it contains an underlying theme that is quite adult in it's context.

it is part of a 4 book series and is the first one in the series. It follows an orphan girl through the...
Published on 2 Nov. 2009 by K Brown

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic it's held up to be
For starters this is not a horsey book - so if that's what you're looking for, based on Peyton's other works, you might be in for some disappointment. Personally I also didn't find it to be the great and multi layered classic it's lauded as. It might be that this is a book it's better to have come to as a child or if you haven't already found the themes it encompasses...
Published 28 days ago by Tales of a Librarian


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, heart warming, 2 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Flambards (Paperback)
This is one of the best books i have ever read. I read it when i was young, and read it about once every year. (it's quite a quick book to read). despite it being a children's book it contains an underlying theme that is quite adult in it's context.

it is part of a 4 book series and is the first one in the series. It follows an orphan girl through the beginning of the 20th century and is about her going to live with her uncle and 2 cousins in the country. As the book progresses she gets much older and the book follows her through a dramatically changing society from an ordinary girl who knows little of politics or real world situations perspective. I loved the way in which the book shows her naivety about life. it's honest and refreshing because it shows what a sheltered life she and many other girls in her time led and the mistakes she makes are believable when you look at the way she is bought up.

The series deals with the war, suffragette's and class issues in a thought provoking and heart warming way. You also see the effect that these three issues have on the other characters ranging from poor servants at a time when servants were becoming less and less of a need for in smaller households and the wars effect on her family and cousins.

It's a great book for kids and adults and i would recommend it to anyone but it's perfect for parent and child reading.

The cover makes it look like a silly horse book but it isn't so don't buy it thinking that's what your going to get because you won't.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only a quarter of excitement and is amazing!, 30 Dec. 2011
By 
This review is from: Flambards (Paperback)
I have read all the flambards books. I am 11 and i love them!:) the first book may not be the most exciting out of the 4 but is the most important! By that I mean it holds all key information you will need for the next books or you will not understand them.

About the book.

Orphan Christina moves to Flambards when she is twelve. There she falls in love with horses and riding (especially hunting!) William (one of her two cousins) has a passion for aeroplanes and Mark (her other cousin) also has an interest in horses.Through this book you learn about the ups and downs, romances and tragedies Christina experienced. This book shall indeed MAKE you be hungry for the next three sequels.............heres their names in order.

Flambards
The edge of the cloud
Flambards in summer
Flambards divided.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books in the world, 30 Oct. 2008
This book deserves to be as famous as the Narnia books, or any of the Frances Hodgsen Burnetts. it is a virtually perfect, clever, witty, romantic and truthful story. Wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, lots to interest a reader, 25 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Flambards (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed reading this first book in the Flambards trilogy very much. Firstly, it's a book about horses (always a winner with me); secondly, it's a book about my next great passion - country houses. It's also a book about changing times and England just prior to the first world war, class systems and what would really be the last years in the great country estates of England.

Already in the book, Flambards is "dying", subsiding into decay due to the owner's inability/disinterest in maintaining it. There's a stark contrast outlined in the story between the traditional values of the hunting field, the lower working classes who are striving so hard to keep the upper classes in comfort, and getting sparse thanks for their efforts, and the inexorable march of progress as embodied in the development of the aeroplanes which William is so interested in, and the early warnings of the onset of the war "to end all wars".

The story is told by Christina, cousin of Mark (embodying the traditional) and William (representing the new times to come). At first, it seems she has a foot in each camp: she adores the horses and the hunting field, but finds Mark strangely uncouth and repellant. There are also certain aspects of this "traditional" class system of values which she finds very hard to swallow: Dick's family, for instance, gets an extremely rough deal out of it all with his mother ending her days in the workhouse, Violent being sent away in disgrace and Dick being sacked for a very tenuous and arbitrary reason. Instead, it is William's sensitivity she ultimately finds more appealing. Indeed, in the end, (inevitably) progress wins the day, ending in Christina leaving Flambards and her beloved horses behind.

This is a very easy to read book (intended for children in 1967 when it was originally published) but it contains much that would be of interest to adult readers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic it's held up to be, 29 April 2015
This review is from: Flambards (Kindle Edition)
For starters this is not a horsey book - so if that's what you're looking for, based on Peyton's other works, you might be in for some disappointment. Personally I also didn't find it to be the great and multi layered classic it's lauded as. It might be that this is a book it's better to have come to as a child or if you haven't already found the themes it encompasses done better and with more sympathetic characters elsewhere. So if you've read Eva Ibbotson's adult books (or you watch Downton Abbey) for example, this might be a bit unsatisfactory.
Still, it was a quick easy read and I basically enjoyed it (apart from two areas where I became so disgusted with the characters' behavior that I was fuming - in that sense perhaps the book did do well in representing the social injustices of the time.)

The horses are there more as a comparison with the air craft: neither are given too much depth (although I could have done with about a quarter of the description of fox hunting tbh - not a supporter. Great British past time my a**e) but they serve to represent the old ways of the gentry and country side in comparison to the new coming ways of social equality, technological advancement and comparative freedom. There's no clear winner and there's a definite sense of sorrow for the passing of the times when a semi feudal state meant a land owner looking after his land and people and lived close to the land that supported him. (Not that the Russel family are great representatives of this but that is the beau ideal) this aspect of a nation already being pulled in two directions pre WWI was done well.
I enjoyed the start - orphans are rich fodder for stories of course and Christina couldn't have had a worse start at Flambards. I liked her practicality and resilience. And that's where it stopped because after that first hunt she falls into the same lazy way of thinking and acting as the rest of the family. She has moments of 'I ought to do something' but she doesn't follow through. In the end her willful ignorance, complete inability to show a hint of spine and flashes of gross cowardice nearly made me put the book down. I think she only appeared to advantage compared to the other other characters - her uncle a bitter, broken drunkard who is violent and intractable, her brutish and stupid cousin Mark and her arrogant and thoughtless cousin William. I'm sure the point was to show how a great family gone to seed had allowed the dark ages in which gave the new ways a foot hold but they were all equally detestable.
And yet I was engaged and did keep reading until the end, and will probably read the other books. There's definitely something here but a lot of Peyton's other books are much, much better.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb read, 28 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
One of my all time favourite books. I loved it as a child and still enjoy it as an adult. It is the story of a young girl in pre-war England. Through her eyes it describes the lives of a dying breed, the impoverished gentry. A beautiful book for horse lovers and romantics, with well described believable characters.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever!!!!!!!, 17 Dec. 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Flambards (Paperback)
Flambards is a brilliant book, it is cleverly written and has a good twist to it! I would recommend this book to about 10+ as some of the words are slightly tricky.
It is basically about a 12 year old girl called Christina who is an orphan and is sent to go and live in a ruined, decaying mansion named Flambards with her grumpy uncle who's only passion is for horses and alcohol! The uncle has two sons (Christina's cousins) who are extremely different! It is a brilliant read and you won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good set of children's classic books, 30 Dec. 2013
By 
Lyndee H (Ipswich, Suffolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oxford Children's Classic Box Set (Hardcover)
An economical way to gain a collection of 10 good classic books for a child. The books are attractive and clearly printed so I think the set is very good value.

We chose these so my daughter can have a read around to see what she likes and to stimulate her imagination as well as improve her reading skills.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cant wait to see the video., 15 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
Do not be deceived by the fact that this is marketed as a children's book. It and the others in the series are well-worth reading with captivating believable characters, and an "I have to read this in one sitting" plot. I like the fact that although the ending is satisfying, it is not a fairy tale ending. I strongly recommend this book for a bit of escapism and I can't wait to see the video.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful series, 20 Aug. 2007
For both children and adults, this is a wonderful series of novels, appealing to all ages. The story of Christina, a young, 12 year old orphan, who goes to live with her unpleasant uncle Russell and 2 cousins, William and Mark, one of whom she grows to love because of his kindness, one she grows to hate because of his cruelty, in their country house, called Flambards. Here, she develops a love for horses and riding, and learns to hunt. The newfangled things called aeroplanes play their part, and William and Christina make a new friend, Sandy, who introduces them to the joy of flight, but tragedy strikes soon after. The First World War eventually robs her of her cousin William, and therefore, the man she loves, and she is left to run the estate with Mark, who loves Christina, but his love is not returned. These novels are a joy from beginning to end and are highly recommended. For horse mad teenagers, they make fabulous reading, and for more mature readers, the romantic element is moving and the soapier element of the story is engrossing. You will love it. It was also developed for television in the 1970s and made must see and equally unforgettable viewing.
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