Blue Ink Press, LTD. has recently released the first book in a series titled The Ice Horse Adventures. The first book, Ariel’s Journey by Doug Kane and Christy Wood is available to the public from November first.
This paperback book revolves around the journey of five spunky young women, Emily, Kim, Laura, Andrea, and Darcy on an overnight trail ride together riding their beautiful, fluffy and stocky Icelandic horses. The adventure begins as they travel back in time to the 13th century with their mystical horses in order to save the village of their ancestors.
Bearing in mind that I am a fan of fantasy fiction, I was still unsure what to expect when I started this book as the initial chapters seemed to drag on for me. However, I found myself transported back in time together with the girls when the time travel ride began. It was wonderful to read how the girls discovered strength in each other to overcome obstacles which they would have never thought possible. These young women eventually became brave warriors to fight a battle which triumphed over evil.
BUY IT : I thought this was a good fantasy adventure book for tweens to teens who love horses but adults may not be as appreciative of the simple storyline. A fun read, ideal to teach teenagers about the importance of female bonding (friendship and trust) and to learn more facts about Icelandic horses.
Our reviewers were divided in terms of their opinion on the book. Here’s what they had to say:
Loving Heart Mommy – I can totally relate to what the girls were going through throughout the book. They deal with issues that every day teens are still going through now as they were when I was a teenager. You know how they say there is a moral to every story? This book helps to show us that your foes can become your friends and in the end its all about friendship and trust. Those are very important values that each and every one of us should learn and use in our daily lives.
A Mom’s Take On Things – I found the book to be an easy read that immediately draws you. These once naïve girls, turn into brave and majestic warriors into the story and the plight of the five young heroines and their horses. The actual plotline is somewhat simplistic – there’s a young woman in danger and the travelers from the past much band together to save her, and her village from the evil chieftain of a nearby village. Even so, I didn’t think it was at all predictable, and in fact was rather surprised by several turns of events as the storyline played out. The existence of the Icelandic horses and their uncanny abilities definitely plays a huge part in the story and in how the girls are able to achieve their quest.
Sewing Mom – I found the book to be a good read and appropriate for pre-teens on up. Some of the dialogue is a bit slow, or repetitive and sometimes awkward. I also thought the romance between one of the girls and a boy she meets from 800 years in the past could have been left out. It didn’t really add anything to the main plot of the story and, since the 2 characters really knew nothing about each other, it was based purely on a physical attraction.
I enjoyed the battle planning and the involvement of the girls. They were not only involved in the actual planning, but played integral parts in the winning of the battle and rescuing of the princess. The battle was exciting and played out in a way that was surprising and exciting to read.
3 P’s Mama Says – Ariel’s Journey is intended to be a young readers book and would probably appeal to girls ages 8 and up. As the adventure to the mystic and historic Iceland is somewhat surreal, I think those who enjoy historical fiction with a touch of romance and fantasy would enjoy the book as well. Add to that all of the horse-lovers, young and old and, well, the book would appeal to many.
Three Different Directions -The story itself is about five girls and five Icelandic horses that go back in time 800 years into Iceland’s past. Two villages are warring, and the good chieftain’s daughter is kidnapped and it’s up to the girls to rescue her. The book also involves a bit of romance. The girls are courageous during their venture.
I liked the book during the latter half when they were back in time and fighting. Also, I enjoyed reading about the younger girls, and how they helped out on the action plan. I didn’t like the book during the gushy romance. The book had a lot of horse terms I didn’t understand (and there was no appendix).
The Dirty Shirt Blog – I loved the beginning and when the girls went back in time. But the love part of the story I could have done without. I personally couldn’t get out of my head that these girls are young. But it just so happens that my daughter really liked that part. So maybe it’s just me.
I feel this book is perfect for tween to teen girls. My daughter is 9 and she loved the book. So from me I give it a thumbs up. I especially liked that they included a glossary for all the Icelandic words that they used. It was a lot easier to explain to my daughter what those words meant.
Ang’s Chicken Coop – Ariel’s Journey had me hooked from the first page. I have always been intrigued by Icelandic horses but throw in the time travel, a princess and an evil chieftain and I couldn’t put it down! And Jasmine is just dying to dig into it! I am quite sure that this book will make the rounds of junior high girls at school, too. If you have girls that love horses, this is a must read for them.
From Melissa’s Desk – Ariel’s Journey is the first book of The Ice Horse Adventures and is geared toward girls 9-12 years old. It deals with many issues this age girl faces in real life, but throws in some magical fun just to sweeten the deal!
Mothering Many – She was not overly impressed so far, but she’s a bit older than the target market. I was hoping we could get by with it because she loves horses so much, but I guess not.
The Clan Mcleod – I thoroughly enjoyed Ariel’s Journey and Pink Panther, age 9, is currently reading it and says it’s great! She can’t wait for more of the series to be released! It is a lot thicker than I had presumed but is still an easy enough read for a 9 or 10 year old but holds the attention of older girls as well. Ariel’s Journey is recommended for ages 9-12.
Jojo’s Place – I also got the opportunity to read the book. I was very surprised that a book that was targeted at 9 to 12 years old was able to captivate my interest as well. I loved the information that it gave about the Icelandic Horses, considering I knew nothing about them. The girls interaction with the horses was wonderful. I also loved that there was a strong conflict resolution within the book. Girls this age need to learn to be friends with everyone and get over their differences what ever they maybe.
Cheeks to Cheeks – As the chapters flow and to my surprise, I became more intrigue on where the story was heading. With the help of the magical Icelandic horses the five young women were given a golden opportunity to bond as sisters and became (do mind my language) kick ass fighting machines. I find my heart palpitating at the battle scene and with the good triumph over the evil, the ending of the story could not be any better. Now I am totally hooked and I can’t wait for the next story to be published.
Brain Foggles – The story itself is a bit difficult to get through in the beginning but as the adventure unfolds, it is difficult to put this book down. You are thrown into the adventure with it’s twists and turns and wondering how the girls will end up working things out together.
All Because Two People Fell In Love – This book is a quick read and the authors were able to keep me interested throughout the whole story!! The authors were able to include teenage lingo in their writing by making references that kids can relate to. For example, the author included age appropriate dialogue between the characters which I feel makes it easier for young girls to connect with the characters. I really enjoyed this book and would say that it is appropriate for middle school girls and on up. Any horse lover would really enjoy this book as it discusses the Icelandic horses in depth. The battle was an exciting part of the story and the author was able to write it in a way that was surprising and exciting to read. I really appreciated that the book included a Icelandic glossary that defined the uncommon words.
Mak!Mej! – Overall, I find the book entertaining and informative. I’ve never heard about Icelandic horses before (oh, well I’ve never even really ridden a horse except for photo ops!) but now I’m glad that I know a little about this breed. A touching story about love, hope, courage, triumph and most importantly, of friendship, I must say Ariel’s Journey is definitely a good read for teenagers, and I’m pretty sure much more for horse-lovers. Adults will find this a fun book too -I’m sure everyone will have a great journey back to memory lane -like I did!
Chanel’s Journal – Besides the combination of modern, magical and imaginative adventures, the story also taught us about the good value such as friendship, forgiving, helpful, understand and accepting others’ weakness. Mummy loved the way how conflicts were being resolved in the story using a different way making the girls’ change their understanding and perspective without having to nag to them.
Lille Punkin’ Reviews – While I see this read being best suited for tween and teen girls with a more advanced reading skill level, I think it would also make a great read-aloud title for right before bed. Horse-lovers will be thrilled with the relationships between the girls and their magical steed, and those who crave a bit of suspense will be turning each page in anticipation of the climactic ending!
Yenjai – As the book is meant for pre-adolescent, the language used is rather simple. The writer has elaborated in rather ‘teens’ way too i.e the IM conversation. I would say that the book will be a rather interesting read for most teens.
A Wrestling Addicted Mommy – The book is a little for the older crowd 9 – 12 yrs, and for my daughter there is a bit of wonder that she’s going to have, but for the older girls, this is definitely a read they can’t do without, and it’s a nice change to the usual young readers books that you’ll find out there.
Right Reads – I found the Icelandic horses really interesting as I was only aware of Arabian breeds previously. It’s also useful that Doug Kane (who actually owns an Icelandic horse farm in Ohio) through the Millers, weaves in a more natural approach to stable management.
A self-confessed “greenie”, I’m impressed at how Doug Kane and Christy Wood cleverly include the impact of climate change on crops and the natural environment on the lives of medieval Iceland, which I feel is a fantastic way of highlighting to the younger generation this urgent issue affecting countries all over the world.