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Soldier of the Horse [Paperback]

Robert W. Mackay
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 10 2011

Winner of the Gold Medal for Military/Wartime Fiction at the 2012 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards

Winnipeg, 1914. Tom Macrae is working on his law degree and enjoying the company of his sweetheart, Ellen. When the call to arms comes, both Tom and Ellen are torn from their secure, settled lives in the prairie city. Tom finds himself hunched in the trenches, amid the mud and horror of the Great War, while Ellen faces an uncertain future in Tom’s absence.

His prospects bleak, Tom serves with the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, in the thick of the stalemated struggles on the Western Front. In addition to the soldiers’ comradeship, Tom discovers the strong bonds of trust between the soldiers and their horses. With his own horse as his closest companion, he dodges a hurricane of shells, machine guns and swords, and in the clamour, faces his finest hour.

Inspired by his own father’s story and letters about fighting in Picardy, France, Robert W. Mackay has written a novel that brings to life the great military history and traditions of the Canadian Cavalry.


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Review

[This] novel took me into the depth of those terrible battles and into the hearts of Sergeant Tom Macrae and the men and women of his day. Soldier of the Horse should be read in every Canadian History classroom. —Ben Nuttall-Smith, Member, B.C. Retired Teachers' Association.

(2011-04-15)

A galloping, gripping adventure, rooted in the tragedy and triumph of the Canadian cavalry in World War One. Robert Mackay has crafted a genuine page-turner that haunts and lingers in the mind. I loved it. —Ian Weir, author of Daniel O'Thunder.

(2011-04-15)

I enjoyed [Soldier of the Horse] a great deal. I found it credible, interesting, well-researched and exciting. It's a good read and a good story! —Keith Maxwell, Retired Air Force Colonel, Former Infantryman

(2011-04-15)

[A] graceful first novel...Mackay uses his novel not only to commemorate this father’s service, but to delve into the lives of Canadian soldiers in a war that marked the coming of age of the nation of Canada. —Len Shurtleff, past President of WFA-USA and Honorary Vice President of WFA-UK

(2011-04-15)

Weaving emotions generated by wind, rain and memories of scars (physical and emotional) left with his father and those who survived, Mackay ably translates his impressions into a period tale which returns the reader to a by-gone era. —Cloverdale Reporter

(2011-04-15)

Robert W. Mackay's first novel, Soldier of the Horse, is a lovingly crafted account of such a time—a tour de histoire, if you will—above all, a heartfelt requiem for an entire rank of the world's youth, called upon to suffer a clash of titans in the First World War. —Vancouver Sun

(2011-06-25)

This book has clearly been well-researched and is well-written. . . . the characters feel realistic and the plot accurate. —David Tattersfield, The Western Front Association (2011-11-20)

Soldier of the Horse has been longlisted for the 2012 ReLit Awards.

(2012-01-09)

The tale of passion, war, camaraderie, bravery and history takes readers from love and legal wranglings in Manitoba to a young soldier's Great War survival in France with the famous WWI Canadian cavalry regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse. . . . Weaving emotions generated by wind, rain and memories of scars (physical and emotional) left with his father and those who survived, Mackay ably translates his impressions into a period tale which returns the reader to a by-gone era. —Examiner.com

(2012-02-29)

About the Author

Robert W. Mackay is the award-winning author of Soldier of the Horse, a historical novel set during the First World War, which won the Gold Medal for Military/Wartime Fiction at the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards. His interest in military history is deep in his roots. His father was in the Canadian Cavalry in the First World War, and his brother was a career naval officer. Robert is a former naval officer, submariner, teacher, and lawyer. He has lived above and below water on the west and east coasts of Canada, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and the North and Mediterranean Seas. He lives in Surrey, BC. Terror on the Alert is his second novel. Please visit robertwmackay.ca, or follow him on Twitter at @RobertWMackay.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Held my attention! Jan. 10 2015
Format:Paperback
Wow! A great start to a new author's career. I read Mackay ' s second book first after meeting Robert on a recent flight to Vancouver. I could not put TERROR ON THE ALERT down once I got into it.
After I finished it in record time for me, I put SOLDIER OF THE HORSE on my Christmas list and received an electronic copy from my daughter. I was in the middle of another book and did not start SOLDIER until earlier this week.
Action and suspense grabbed my attention right from start. The love story fit in nicely and added to the suspense. Would she wait for him to come back? Would he end up with his nurse?
Robert MacKay was working on his third novel, sitting next to me on Westjet. I can hardly wait for his next winner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A darn good read April 23 2015
Format:Paperback
This is more than a war story.It's about love and honor and survival. Not given to reading stories of war, I was drawn in by Robert's ability to tell a tale that encompasses the human spirit'ls capacity for courage in the face of adversity. In other words, a darn good read. Looking forward to his next adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW1 comes to life in this fast paced read! May 16 2011
Format:Paperback
Robert Mackay does a superb job in giving life to his characters caught up in the maelstrom of World War One. He uses his writer's easel to add colour and realism to those grainy, jerky black and white films off WW1 soldiers we all carry around in our heads. Horse lovers will relish his descriptions of the close bonds forged between man and horse in the crucible of battle. A very enjoyable and fast paced read. There is an interesting subplot lending suspense and a warmly written romance to boot. Something for everyone in this well written book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soldier of the Horse April 4 2011
Format:Paperback
Squadrons of Canadian Cavalrymen, swords drawn, charging full speed ahead into German machine guns on a battlefield in France. In the telling of our father's story, my brother provides humorous and poignant glimpses into the practice of law, military training, and romance in Winnipeg 1914 to 1918. Soldier of the Horse is a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Nov. 10 2013
Format:Paperback
Soldier of the Horse is a gripping story of a young man's experiences in WW1. The aristocratic machinations of uppercrust people force him to go to war and plague him throughout. MacKay writes heart-wrenching battles, that show the cold brutality of war and the motivations that make soldiers want to survive. Brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing March 25 2011
Format:Paperback
Soldier of the Horse provides a full picture of the soldier -- not just his battle experiences, but his thoughts and feelings. There's a romance in the story as well as plenty of action. Mr. Mackay's writing is a pleasure to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars WWI seen through the eyes of a young soldier Jan. 6 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful story about WW1 and the Canadian cavalry from the point of view of a young soldier. It is well written in an easy to read format with very real characters. It does not glorify war but rather portrays the feelings of the young men who fought, their relationships with each other and their horses. The descriptions of the battles are vivid but not overly graphic. Woven through is a love story that may or may not stand the test of time. I recommend this book whether you are a history buff or not.
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