The Book of Rhino ~ The Revelation
“Do I dare disturb the universe?” T. S. Eliot ~ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Book of Rhino is about five boys—brothers—coming of age in Albion (England) during the Middle Ages. When they reach adulthood, they will rule the different provinces of the kingdom. The plot revolves around the training they undergo to become effective rulers. However, one of the boys, Prince Rhino, does not want to share power with his brothers. He has a plan to eventually rule over them. He decides that he will be such a model of perfection his brothers will love and serve him forever. He thinks it will be easy, but the universe also has a plan.
And then there’s a girl named Amalia.
About the book:
The Book of Rhino is an integration of low-density fantasy and historical fiction. It is similar in setting and time period to The Arthurian Saga by Mary Stewart and The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead.
The main themes of the book are free will and choice, servant leadership, equity and social justice, brotherhood and friendship.
Its main literary influences are: Phantastes by George MacDonald, The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, and The Robot Novels by Isaac Asimov.
About the author:
S. M. Hart wrote her first story, The Secret Book, when she was a child. In college, she majored in mathematics with a minor in liberal studies and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. For over twenty years, she taught at a large urban high school in Fresno, California. There she used literacy, critical thinking, and empirical investigations to teach a variety of math concepts to teenagers. The teaching experience showed her the connection between mathematics and imagination, and between the prosaic and the poetical. It gave her insight into human relationships and social compacts. It also allowed her to practice the art of storytelling, and it greatly exercised her sense of humor. Ms. Hart’s debut novel is The Book of Rhino: The Revelation, an integration of low-density fantasy and historical fiction. Ms. Hart is originally from Durango, Colorado and now lives in Central California with her husband.
“I have woven the thought of things that I love into The Book of Rhino: family, friends, and fellowship; music, poetry, and truth; justice, equity, and compassion. I sincerely hope to disturb the universe.” S. M. Hart
The Book of Rhino is available at:
Barnes and Noble www.bit.ly/2rhinos
Fountain Blue Publishing www.fountainbluepublishing.com
May 4, 2017 ~ Four Stars
FOUR STARS TO YOU MRS. HART!!! Although I would consider this book definitely for young adults of which I am not, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is of a period in history I love reading about. You have captured the personality of each character so well, they simply come alive. It is a charming, imaginative, and also funny tale. I am hoping for another book soon, I see the ending is certainty set up for it, keep it going. I have recommended it to a friend who is an avid reader of anything in the line of the unreal world.
May 6, 2017 ~ Four Stars Got Historical Fantasy If You Want It
I was eager to get this first novel by author S. M. Hart, because I had been reading teaser information from the author for several weeks in advance of the print release. I picked up the Kindle edition for my own reading. I am halfway into the book and these are my impressions so far.
The story concept is intriguing and relatively unique (to me). I don’t read fantasy often, generally avoiding books that employ supernatural “powers” controlled by the characters. At 70 years of age, I have yet to encounter someone endowed with such powers, and I don’t expect to in this life. However, these phenomena seem to be downplayed in The Book of Rhino, and there are no mythological creatures (another annoyance in the fantasy genre). Hart has confined herself to minimal fantasy elements. The work feels like an apologist’s perspective on Druidic or Wiccan culture in ancient England, following an alternative history that is partially conjoined with some Arthurian time-period material. Character names combine Anglo-Saxon and Middle English forms. Places, while they have actual English place-names, seem overly idyllic but are not described in great detail. The focus is not geology. Christian (Catholic) clergy members are actively trying to woo “pagan” villagers into their fold, with perhaps more recognized official authority than the pagans seem to have, but the entire society is organized by a pagan structure implemented long before the time of the story.
The eponymous character, Rhino, has not been a prominent feature of the first half of the book, but is being groomed in the background to become King of the country. Occasionally, he moves into the foreground of the story. His general absence from so much of the first half of the book, while a countryside of other characters is being introduced, leads me to believe that this is the first book in a planned series. His name interests me. It is etymologically incongruous in the midst of all the Anglo-Saxon and Middle English names, suggesting that this character is special in ways yet to be revealed. A conventionally gifted character, so far, in terms of precocity, strength of will, personal traits, etc., Rhino has had few opportunities to show himself admirable. At the beginning of the story, he is overly ambitious and vain. When he enters his training period, he adopts a wiser, more diplomatic persona as an expediency. He seems to be “not of this world,” or at least Machiavellian. Consider that, after all, “rhinoceros” is the Greek equivalent of the Latin “unicorn.” Perhaps the character “Rhino” is another real-world embodiment of a mythological idea. Perhaps the remainder of the book will reveal this! Other characters (and there are many) are being developed well through interaction and some direct character-building.
May 23, 2017 ~ Four Stars A friend recommended that I would enjoy THE BOOK OF RHINO
A friend recommended that I would enjoy THE BOOK OF RHINO…she knows me well…I do love magic woven into a story.
Ms Hart impressed me with the fictional story that she was able to spin from her research of this time period.
Very enjoyable. 🙂
June 3, 2017 ~ Five Stars Good Book
This book was a superb read. For anyone interested in what a historical England atmosphere would’ve been like this is for you. Religious tolerance tward pagan magic, Young men metimoprhisozing into kings and the daily struggles of working class people were very well intertwined in this masterpiece. The author makes an irisistable read throughout that flows extremely well. It’s a welcome book for all ages and something I will read again in the future.
June 8, 2017 ~ Five Stars Great Scott, it’s a great story!
I enjoy a good adventure story and found this one to be excellent. As I quickly became caught up in the story, I found the book difficult to put down. The author did a good job of developing a wide array of characters and also created rich interplay between characters. The story follows young Rhino and his friends as they grow individually and as a group, while nefarious forces are at play in the background. I highly recommend this book to other adventure story enthusiasts.
June 21, 2017 ~ Five Stars Captivating Adventure…Enjoy the Journey!
If you read a novel this year may I highly recommend “The Book of Rhino” by SM Hart! You won’t be disappointed for it is a classic coming of age story… youthful pride, big dreams and high aspirations pitted against the realities of life…joys for sure, but disappointment, betrayal, good vs evil, forgiveness and redemption. As in all great stories the characters take time to develop and in so doing you become attached to each one and the part they play in this imaginative journey. You’ll be captivated by the twists and turns of the ever deepening plot. So grab a glass of lemonade, settle in to a comfy chair and let yourself be taken on a fanciful journey into another time and place!!!