King of the Wind Summary
by Marguerite Henry

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King of the Wind Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

King of the Wind is a well-researched historical novel that tells the story of the Godolphin Arabian, whose qualities of beauty, swiftness, and stamina are present in most modern-day thoroughbred racehorses. The book is beautifully illustrated by Wesley Dennis, with whom the author collaborated closely. While there is an obvious appeal to the horse lover, even the reader not particularly interested in horses will be drawn to the tale of the Moroccan slave boy Agba, who experiences several adventures— some life-threatening—with the horse he tends, until the two finally reach the Earl of Godolphin's spacious estate.

More than a standard horse tale, this is an exciting story with a fast-paced plot and vivid descriptions. Agba, a seemingly powerless character because of his slave status, muteness, and small physical stature, overcomes his limitations and is able to operate within the realm of his powerful masters, such as when he establishes Sham's lost pedigree. Agba's world, a precarious place where adults, especially powerful adults, may not always be trustworthy, is also a place of wonder and mystery. The birth of the foal and Agba's reaction to it are beautifully communicated, as are the scenes when Agba becomes the foal's surrogate mother after the mare dies. Agba's qualities of sensitivity, devotion, careful nurturing, and stoicism, along with persistence and toughness, enable him to surmount most obstacles in life.