The Black Arrow was a harrowing tale of a young adventurer, trying to find his true love. It's set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses. You don't have to know anything about the history of the period, the author feeds you any details necessary. For the most part it's not a bad tale, just a bit long winded. That may not make a lot of sense because it's a small book - only about 80,000 words, 220ish pages. But it felt like it just went on and on.
”’Tis a man that walketh you right speedily. ’Tis a man in some fear of his life, or about some hurried business. See ye not how swift the beating draweth near?”
You can probably figure out what he's saying, but it's frustrating enough to slow you down. Plus, it didn't help that the 3rd person narrator switched from calling the main character Dick, to Richard, to Young Shelton over and over again. That's something characters in a book often do, but the narrator is supposed to be removed from the story and should stick with a single reference.
But is it a great adventure? Is it worthy of Manly Months here at The Literary Rambler? Yes. There's plenty of action, great battle scenes, riding fast, shooting arrows, sword fights, rescuing a damsel from the enemy's clutches and having to fight for her, stealthy assassination attempts and secret tunnels. Sure, it's got it all.
But I'll be honest about this, by the end of the book I hardly understood what was going on anymore. The language was so wordy and clunky I just wanted it to end. One of the main characters was killed and I think I missed the details but I had no interest in going back to reread it. I just went with the flow, waiting to see those words "the end".