The novel Sabaska’s Tale, by Julie Campbell, powerfully illustrates the bond between a girl and her horse. When Anna’s grandmother dies, Anna’s family leaves her at the house to sell Grandma’s nineteen horses. Anna meets Sabaska and realizes the horse is more than she appears. Sabaska can travel between worlds, and Grandma was killed while on a mission to save Travelers. Now Anna must take over.
Horse lovers will read this book over and over. Sabaska’s personality is enough to make her special, but then you learn she can Travel between worlds! Anna is a lucky girl to be chosen by Sabaska. I like Sabaska’s magical powers, but I especially like that she is very horse-like throughout the book. She never loses the feel of being a horse. Anna struggles to learn about Travelers and their worlds, and it’s not resolved in this book. That means a sequel, or a series, is coming. I can hardly wait!
In addition to Sabaska, the characters of Anna, Cody, and Cahir are well done. They each have their backstory and interact with Anna in a believable way. It may sound odd, but one of the things I like most about Anna’s character is that she is constantly having to check in with her parents. She has to hide the whole traveling through worlds thing, but she has to call them. This is very real for a teenager. I hate books where the teenager disappears for weeks and never wonders if their parents will worry.
Middle grade and young adult readers will enjoy this book. The horse lovers in the younger readers will snap it up. For older readers, there’s a hint of romance between Cahir and Anna, although I am rooting for Cody myself.
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