Journey to the Prize
by Karl Peterson
Citi of Books

"He was still standing there, keeping his hands in his pockets, and looking straight at Juan, defiant in his total silence."

Sebastian Guzman and his brother Manny have big shoes to fill. They inherited Acosta Stables upon the untimely death of their father. While Sebastian handles the day-to-day business, Manny tends to the care of the horses. Manny is considered immature, but his command of the horse Majesty is noteworthy. While Manny handles the occasional bullying from the troublesome Juan, the outside world starts to become unglued. Manny ably handles a challenge from his bete noir, yet his assistance is requested on a far grander scale. Manny’s friend Alex has a cousin who lives in Germany and is alarmed by the rise to power of the Nazis. Manny and Alex hatch a plan to spirit his cousin and uncle out of harm’s way, yet they must be stealthy in action lest they be caught and imprisoned.

The plot of this excellent and dramatic coming-of-age narrative rests on the shoulders of young Manny Guzman, and Peterson effectively contrasts him with his sibling. For example, Manny possesses a peaceful and amiable demeanor as opposed to his brother Sebastian, who will stare down anyone who threatens his family. Despite their differences, Manny admires his older brother and never wants to let the family down. Manny has become emboldened by his previous decision to stand up for himself, which fuels his subsequent actions. The action of the story moves from the bucolic Paraguay to the increasingly dangerous streets of Berlin. Manny’s concerns have gone from a local tormentor to a country run by a tyrant and policed by oppressors. The story never loses focus as it proceeds to a more than satisfying conclusion. This is a book that will appeal to those who enjoy the story of an underdog.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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