The Horse Master’s Daughter (Nordun’s Way)

Written by Elles Lohuis
Review by J. Lynn Else

Tibet, 1285. As a child, Nordun was left by her father at a monastery where her grandmother served as nun. She never knew of the prophecy of her birth until, before taking full vows, she decides to visit her father. When she arrives, her uncle and cousins have taken over her father’s business and are mistreating the horses. She will not allow any sentient creature to be whipped and abused and will fight to claim her birthright and fulfill the prophecy: she will become the first female horse master. In this quest, Nordun will see the suffering of women and the hardship of life. She will experience the principles of Buddhism in spiritual form, which will test her own faith and abilities. Because if she doesn’t learn to trust in herself, she will fail.

There are obvious and numerous editorial errors that run throughout the book which, disappointingly, distract from an otherwise captivating narrative. Examples include double words (“her warm body warm and snug”), missing words and/or incomplete words (“Yes, I u.”), incorrect words like “bolder” being used for the word “boulder,” and the occasional double first letter (most often at chapter starts) like “EEnough” or “FFather.” Otherwise, it’s a powerful character study of a young woman starting out in the world, trying to hold onto her faith and compassion as shadows darken her path. From stunning mountain landscapes and nomadic life, life in 13th-century Tibet is vividly well-researched. Two additional books follow this one, continuing Nordun’s adventures. I’m intrigued by the characters and their journey but would strongly advise additional editing to create a more professionally presented trilogy that truly represents the beauty of Nordun’s tale.