Series: Tales of the Travelers
Format Read: Kindle ARC
Source: from the author in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 5th
Buying Links: Amazon*
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Blurb from goodreads:
To Anna, horses were more than a fascination, they were everything. Luckily, she had the opportunity to spend every summer on her grandmother's horse ranch in Colorado. Life was perfect, until she received the devastating news that her grandmother had been tragically killed. Anna knew she was the only member of her family who could take over the ranch and hopefully find new homes for her grandmother's beloved Arabians.
Anna wasn't alone for long. Her grandmother had hired a local teenage boy to help tend the horses for the summer. Anna didn't stand a chance against Cody's quiet charm and the two rapidly become friends. However, even with the responsibilities of the ranch, Anna quickly discovers the secrets her grandmother had been hiding and a legacy that sends her on an adventure she never thought possible. An adventure in the saddle of a horse that wasn't a horse at all. Sabaska, her grandmother's favorite Arabian, was a Traveler; a magical being that could travel between worlds. With Anna at the reins, they find themselves trapped in a fight against evil with the highest of stakes… Their very survival.
"Sabaska's Tale" will appeal to horse lovers but also to anyone who has ever wanted to leave this world and travel to another, and to anyone who has wanted to feel special. Anna isn't feeling so special after her beloved grandmother dies; she's feeling bereft and adrift. She and her grandmother shared a love of horses that somehow skipped her parents and when Sherrie, Anna's grandmother dies, the horses have to be sold.
Anna reminds behind by herself as her parents head back east, leaving her, a sixteen year old, alone for the summer to run the ranch and sell the horses. Many teens would consider that a dream summer but Anna misses her grandmother and doesn't want to let the horses go. She makes friends with the teenage boy her grandmother hired and he eventually becomes an ally as odd events start to happen: a strange offer to buy all of the horses sight unseen, intruders in the house, and the discovery that Sabaska, Sherrie's preferred horse, is actually not a horse but a Traveler, a horse-like sentient being capable of moving between worlds. Sherries, Anna's grandmother, was her companion and now so is Anna. The Travelers are engaged in a war against the Vanir who destroy world and want to destroy all Travelers.
Anna makes mistakes, suffers a betrayal and another death but she also finds inner strength, new friends, and becomes someone special, a Traveler's companion. We also get to see the special bond between humans and horses, something that will appeal to many teenagers. Like many girls, I was horse-crazy as a young girl and even today I think they are amazing animals. There's a comment in the book about the smell of horses that made me laugh because one of my favorite scents is that of a well-maintained horse barn; horses + straw + grains + tack oil = wonderful smell.
At first, I had trouble staying engaged with the story and then I had to put it down for a few days due to work commitments but when I picked it up again, it pulled me in and I didn't want to put it down. Anna, Raymond, Cody and Cahir are interesting and likable characters and the worlds that we see are intriguing. I'd love to see more about the Travelers lives, their interactions with each other, their social and family lives, etc. Since this is book one, I assume we'll get further world building in future books. There are some twists, a little romance, lots of action and adventure, and a fun story.
The publisher, Untold Press, has a giveaway on their site for a variety of goodies. Click on the link below for more info and to enter.