Set in 18th Century England, a poor, homeless boy sees a wild looking gentleman ride into town on his beautiful black horse. Surprisingly, the stranger ruffles the boy’s hair and asks him to watch his horse until he gets back. For his troubles, the boy will get a golden guinea, which is more money than he’s ever had before. A series of situations involving smarmy fellows, the king’s captain and his soldiers, a few silly girls, and the true story of the horse, Black Bess, and her rider, will keep readers whipping through the pages. The comical illustrations throughout
are whimsical and enticing, but of a totally different style than the book’s cover art, which looks more serious. It is sort of historical, and sort of an adventure, and maybe a bit of a mystery at the end. The story reads like one big first chapter to a longer series, and I certainly hope Kate Thompson will bring back Black Bess and the deceivingly smart young lad for more adventures.