The Year of the Horse by Justin Allen

January 29, 2010
What kind of stories do you like to read--Good old historical westerns? Fantasy stories? Coming of age tales? Riveting adventure sagas? What about all four mixed together? Justin Allen manages to deliver all of the above in his book Year of the Horse, a fantastical coming of age story set in the American West.

Allen has created one of the most original YA books I’ve read, by introducing the reader to teenage Tzu-Lu who longs for adventure and to explore the world. Though Tzu-Lu wants to see the world, he never imagines that his opportunity would come in the form of Jack Straw, a famous gunfighter. Straw whisks Tzu-Lu away from his Mississippi home and plunges him into adventure alongside a former slave named Henry Jesus, a Mexican outlaw called Chino, and an ex-Confederate and his tomboy daughter, Sadie. Together, they set out on a journey to reclaim a hidden gold mine, and along the way they encounter everything from wild animals and bandits to Union soldiers and Indians.

Year of the Horse chronicles Tzu-Lu’s growth with wit, insight, and adventure. The history and small tributes to Mark Twain, Washington Irving, and others coupled with a diverse cast of characters makes Justin Allen’s book an enjoyable, imaginative, and unique read.

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Devourer of Worlds said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm
A really well-written review. I hope you will do a lot more because you have such a knack for exciting the reader about a book.
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