Princess of the Sands
Allen & Unwin, 2015
112pp., pbk., RRP $A9.99
Identical triplets Ruby, Lexie and Kit Trickett dream of leaving Windara Farm performing spectacular tricks on their beautiful gypsy cob horses. It’s a dream that’s a far cry from the vegetable-growing district around Kulnara where the girls live on their grandfather’s farm. But their horses Tinker, Kismet and Featherfoot are workhorses and Grampy is not a wealthy man. However things change when Ruby climbs into the loft to look for some old horse rugs to keep the horses clean and discovers a mysterious trunk. Its lid is painted blue with gold stars and a silver moon and there is a hand-painted picture of a horse with two riders standing on its back – very much like her dream. And written on the lid is “Gallius and Levinia Trickett”, her grandparents.
Ruby doesn’t know it but this discovery unleashes family histories and secrets that become the impetus for this new series written for newly independent readers from about 7-10. Mix dreams, sadness, and intrigue with horses, acrobatics, magic and characters that appeal and there is a formula for a series that will appeal to girls who love reading and horses. There are six in the collection (Chasing Dreams and Princess of the Sands are published this month) each building on the previous episode. I predict they will be warmly welcomed and eagerly read as young ladies put themselves in the saddle alongside Ruby, Lexie and Kit and share the dream with them.