Ok, let’s get this out of the way. The names are impossible. I like to hear the names in my head as I read, and I almost quit this book early. The author provides a pronunciation guide at the beginning, but it doesn’t help. I soldiered on anyway. It’s not bad enough to struggle through the Irish names, but it seems that each character also has an English name. The main character, the grey horse of the title is named Ruairi MacEibhir, or Rory MacEever, and his friend is named Anrai O Reachtaire or Henry Raftery. The third main character is Tadhg O Murchu, or Tim Murphy, the priest.
I’m glad I persevered, because this is one of the most delightful, inventive novels I have read this year. Set in times past, the Irish people suffer under the oppression of English overlords. Into the little town of Carraroe, steps a magnificent white stallion. You may be confused unless you know that unless a horse is an albino, white horses are called grey. It is the shape-shifting Ruairi come to seek a wife.
The story that follows is full pure magic. Fortunately, MacAvoy has written several books, and I intend to read them all.