Cecil Bødker Kirkus Reviews - Essay

Kirkus Reviews

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In Silas and the Black Mare … Bødker projected her resourceful young hero's memorable encounters with penetrating, uncompromising shrewdness; in Silas and Ben-Godik and Silas and the Runaway Coach she settles for merely using similar treacherous and bizarre figures to spice and propel Silas' adventures. Nevertheless, her strong, stinking, conniving Horse Crone … is a most imposing villain; and Silas' further adventures, particularly in the latter volume, are corking, invigorating ones…. This time Silas and the merchant's son are kidnapped by the horse crone; again, the mare is stolen, this time with one of the merchants'; and Silas' audacious, wily, and complicated maneuvers in recovering them keep the pages flying. By now the once-amoral Silas has developed a compassionate sense of humanity, and he is forever rescuing unsavory victims (even the Horse Crone, and a dancing bear more than once) from angry crowds and cohorts; but his kind deeds are undertaken with such dash and defiance of risk that there's no question of going soft. Silas continues to speak out refreshingly, to outwit opponents and readers, to maintain his wary independence and keen exuberance—well into a crackerjack series that shows no sign of lagging.

"Younger Fiction: 'Silas and Ben-Godik'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1978 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLIV, No. 24, December 15, 1978, p. 130.