Written by Tami Lykens
Age Range: 8 and up
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: ASJ Publishing
What to expect: Horses, Courage, Family Relationships
A story for the horse-lover, Victor is a sweet tale about courage, perseverance, and breaking with tradition. The story begins by introducing Ardith, a princess that has moved from her native Sweden to Estonia, where her father is beginning his reign as king. She desperately misses her homeland and finds it terribly difficult to adjust, but then finds peace and happiness when she meets Victor, a foal born at the royal stable.
As her relationship with Victor grows, so does her interest in pushing the boundaries of her role as a princess in her new kingdom. She begs to participate in an Estonian horse jumping competition, an event that has never been opened to girl competitors. She trains hard and faces many obstacles along the way, dampening her spirit and resolve. Through her training and the competition, she learns about working hard, not getting discouraged, and how powerful she can be as a strong princess that is willing to challenge the old ways. Women from Estonia praised her after the competition by saying:
“You’ve given us hope, Princess Ardith. You did something a girl has never been allowed to do before. It gives us more to believe in…”
Lykens paints a beautiful story with bright words and a deeply moving description of the relationship between Victor and Ardith. Even those without a love of horses will feel touched by the love and respect they show for one another. Ardith’s relationship with her parents is also beautifully captured, displaying the encouragement, frustration, and unconditional support that can exist between parents and children.
This lovely story will delight young readers that enjoy stories about horses, moving to a new home, and figuring out how to pursue a goal. Older readers will appreciate reading about how a strong girl and the love of a horse can be an inspiration. —The Children’s Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | www.thechildrensbookreview.com