Coal Black Horse: Book summary and reviews of Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead

Coal Black Horse

by Robert Olmstead

Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead X
Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

When Robey Childs's mother has a premonition about her husband, a soldier fighting in the Civil War, she does the unthinkable. She instructs her only child to retrieve his father from the battlefield and bring him home. Just fourteen and ill-prepared for the journey, Robey sets off wearing the coat his mother sewed to ensure his safety: blue on one side, gray on the other. However, it is the gift of an uncommon horse that changes Robey's destiny— a horse that becomes his only companion, guide, and protector.

As they plunge into a world of death and destruction, Robey is cloaked in the invincibility of youth. But the horrors of war, the truth of his own nature, and the inextricable connection between the two turn the boy into the best a man can be—and the worst, irrevocably scarred by all that he has seen and done.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"A powerful, redemptive narrative." - PW.

"Civil War buffs will appreciate the attention to detail; general readers will be mesmerized by the powerfully evocative journey." - Booklist.

"Sparsely told and graphically depicted, Robey's journey is a small-scale epic that will find a broad audience " - Library Journal.

"Powerful and poetic. " - Kirkus.

This information about Coal Black Horse was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Robert Olmstead Author Biography

Photo: Molly Uline-Olmstead

Robert Olmstead is the author of six previous books. Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana Award, was a #1 Book Sense Pick, and was a Borders Original Voices pick. Olmstead is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and an NEA grant, and he is a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Name Pronunciation
Robert Olmstead: OLM-STED

Other books by Robert Olmstead at BookBrowse
  • The Coldest Night jacket
  • Savage Country jacket
  • Far Bright Star jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more historical fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Carolina Moonset
by Matt Goldman
An engrossing novel about family, memories and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.