Synopses & Reviews
Our “American Girl” of horses, each novel
in the Breyer Horse Collection—based on Breyer Animal Creations top-selling horse breeds—tells a compelling story that captures the true essence and personality of each horse. And now, for the first time, we have a historical novel. Annie Wedekind takes us back to Europe in World War II—a time and place that tested the courage of the noble Lipizzaner horses.
In 1930s Austria, life for Favory Mercurio, a Lipizzaner stallion bearing the crest of the renowned Piber stud, begins with his mothers abandonment. From that moment on, the young horse feels different, as if he has a missing piece— even though, despite his doubters, he has talent enough to be accepted into the famed Spanish Riding School.
Slowly, but doggedly, Mercury perseveres through the rigors of his years of training. But then, as the war bears down on Vienna and the school is forced to flee two advancing armies, his beloved trainer and rider, Max, with whom he has formed a true bond, is suddenly gone, and Mercury is abandoned once more. Will he have the chance to become one of the great Lipizzaner stallions, or will he lose the people, horses, and home that he loves?
Life for Mercury, a stallion whose royal bloodlines can be traced to the stallions of the Hapsburg Empire, is a study in contrasts. Destined for a place at the famous Spanish Riding School, Pip (as he is known to his caretakers) lives a life of both discipline and freedom unique to the Piber stud.
Yet it is a life overhung with shadows – rejected by his mother at birth, Pip always feels like an outsider. And as he starts his training for School, the clouds gathering over World War II Europe threaten to turn to the storm of war.
From the luxury of the Haute Ecole to the muddy battlefields of Czecholslovakia, the story of Favory Mercurio follows a royal orphan as he grows into a most majestic horse facing the battle of his life.
About the Author
Annie Wedekind grew up riding horses in Louisville, Kentucky. Since then, shes been in the saddle in every place shes lived, from Rhode Island to New Orleans, South Africa to New York. Her first novel, A Horse of Her Own, was praised by Kirkus as “possibly the most honest horse book since National Velvet . . . A champion.” She is also the author of The Breyer Horse Collection books, including Wild Blue, Little Prince, and Samirahs Ride. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.