While exploring a remote Caribbean island 12-year-old Beatriz is amazed to see a wild horse to which she feels an instant connection. Annie, a native islander, tells her that there are at least eight other wild horses there. Annie gives Beatriz an ancient leather book, which turns out to be the diary of Felipa, a Spanish girl living over 400 years ago. As Beatriz reads the diary – extracts of which punctuate her narrative – she finds out that Felipa, disguised as a boy, sailed across the Atlantic with Columbus. Columbus brought many animals including horses on his journey, and Felipa risked her own life to save them from inevitable death. Beatriz realises that the wild horses must be their descendants. When the survival of these horses is under threat she knows it’s her turn to do everything she can to protect them.
The book contains some mystical elements as well as interesting facts about Spain at the end of the fifteenth century. I’d liked to have felt more emotionally involved throughout, and sometimes found the parallels drawn between Beatriz’s and Felipa’s lives a little laboured. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable read that should appeal to girls of around 9 plus, especially horsey ones.