Reviewed by PR of Horse & Hound Magazine in November 2005
'Jeremy James captures the intimate but unsentimental relationship between the main human characters – the seyis and Byerley – and the horse…..revel in the company of these supreme horsemen and the magnificent Byerley Turk.'
Reviewed by Eileen Battersby of Irish Times in October 2005
'This is a brilliantly well-researched, atmospheric, at times theatrical, narrative about ancient kingdoms, political ambition, battles, men and horses as well as the philosophy of horsemanship. The narrative reads as a flamboyant, historical novel.'
Reviewed in Farmer's Guardian Magazine in October 2005
'I have read a lot of books … this is a strong contender for my favourite ever. Minutely researched and written with passion, this is a wonderful book.'
Reviewed by Garry Ashton-Coulton of Horse Magazine in January 2006
'This is no dry academic work; it is written as a dramatic narrative that has the reader savouring the twists and turns of every page. Told from the viewpoint of Azarax’s groom, the story is not only a compelling account of the life of the horse, but a vivid exploration of a long-distant epoch. With an almost cinematic breadth of vision, we are witness to the fall of empires and the splitting of nations, to a clash of cultures whose cannon roar and sword clash can still be heard in conflicts around the world today.'
Reviewed by Kerry Goldsworthy of The Sydney Morning Herald in February 2006
'To follow a colourful, well-told story of the life of one extraordinary horse through the intricate embroidery of European history is to learn, with surprise, that two essentially religious but otherwise very different conflicts, the Ottoman Empire’s Siege of Buda and the Battle of the Boyne, took place within 10 years of each other, on the opposite margins of Europe. As well as his skills as horseman and scholar, James has a lovely way with words; his prose is often ornately but skilfully bejewelled, as befits the book’s Byzantine background and its celebration of beauty and skill.'
Reviewed in New Zealand Thoroughbred Racer in February 2006
'The book quickly grew on me. And even though the Turk’s story is part of racing history, his early days are largely unknown. It was obviously a huge undertaking on the author’s part to research the probable background of a horse in the 1680s – those who like a dash of history with their evening read will not be disappointed.'
Reviewed by Sue Porter & Karen Milbourne of England's Equestrian Magazine in April 2006
'By the end of the first chapter I was hooked. Set in a forgotten time, the book draws you into the life of this magnificent horse, you feel yourself willing him to survive, forcing him to battle on through adversity.'
'If you think that this book is going to be a history lesson, you are in for a surprise. Go and buy it, I did and could not put it down.'
Reviewed by Thomas Rees of The Astene Bulletin in August 2006
'A rattling good yarn.'
Reviewed in Farm Life in January 2008
'Horse-lovers who enjoy a dramatic story need look no further.'