The White Horse King by Benjamin Merkle
The White Horse King is the story of Alfred the Great, regarded by many to be the first king of Britain. He united the Angles and Saxons to defeat the attacking Danes. It is because of the leadership he provided that his grandson was the first king of a united Britain. During his reign, Alfred made reforms to the legal system which forms part of the foundation for some of the freedoms we enjoy today. In the entire history of the storied rulers of England, Alfred is the only one to be called “Great.” This is no small thing.
Certain elements of Alfred’s story remind me of the Biblical story of King David. Alfred was the eighth son of the reigning king. It was assumed he would never sit on the throne. As you read of his childhood, it is evident that he was being prepared for something special. In the Bible story, David had many older brothers. But when you read of his adventures with the lion and the bear, then the story of the slaying of Goliath, it is clear God is working toward something bigger.
For Alfred, that something bigger was to unite and lead his kingdom in defending their homeland against invading forces. For all his life, Alfred gave all credit for his success to God. There are some lessons in there for all of us.
The White Horse King is written more like a story or series of stories than a history book or even many biographies. Because of the time it is set, some of the names and places are difficult to read or follow; they are in old or middle English. It is evident that the book is written by a man who is fascinated by the character about whom he writes. That makes it more enjoyable to read.
Have you read The White Horse King? Does it sound interesting to you? Tell us what you think!