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Historical novel, gripping story

February 13, 2007|by HANNAH TUSSING

Have you ever studied Alexander the Great? If you haven't, it's probably because the topic seems a bit boring. However, what if Alexander's story was told from the mouth of a horse? And not just any horse, but Alexander's own horse, Bucephalus.

"I Am the Great Horse" by Katherine Roberts uses this angle to tell the tale of how young Alex and Bucephalus met and how together they conquered the known world.

The story begins before Bucephalus meets young Alex. After being stabbed in the eye with a pike, Bucephalus accidentally kills his own rider. He then becomes wild. No one wants to handle him and anyone who tries, he bites and kicks. He is seemingly untamable until 12-year-old Alexander meets him. After the first time of vaulting onto Bucephalus's back, the two are inseparable. And always waiting for them after a fierce battle is Charmiea, a young groom with a big secret.

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One of the best parts of the book is the exciting story line. There are many action scenes and yet you still get an in-depth look at the main characters, especially Bucephalus himself.

The only part of the book I did not enjoy was that Bucephalus, after his eye injury, could see the ghosts of anything that died. This often makes the book hard to follow. Near the end, it is hard to differentiate between what is living and what is a ghost. I think that the story was intriguing enough without the ghosts.

If you want an interesting view of this time in history, I recommend "I Am the Great Horse."

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