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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Veronica: A Musketeer's Story by Jody Studdard is an action-packed and magical twist on The Three Musketeers. Veronica Espinosa comes from a long line of famous matadors. Her father planned to train his oldest son to follow in his footsteps, but with no sons, he decided to train his oldest daughter Veronica to be a matador. When she can't bring herself to kill a bull, she's humiliated and driven to venture into the jungle where she encounters a priestess, dancers, and brave Musketeers. She's drawn into their order and trained to help protect their homeland from danger, setting her on a course for her to become the first female Musketeer. This magical world is brought to life through a unique take on the Musketeers with an assortment of original characters.
Jody Studdard uses a poignant moment as a catalyst to create a journey of self-discovery that takes Veronica from being the eldest daughter of a matador to the fierce and brave Musketeer Veronique. The Musketeers allow her to become part of something bigger than herself and this creates a metamorphosis from a matador daughter to a hero. Her journey opens up a magical world around her where anything is possible, from celebrating the birth of a unicorn to encountering a priestess to understanding what it means to be a hero. This is a story rooted in self-discovery, metamorphosis, and bravery with each being a key part of Veronica's journey. The spirit of the Musketeers is captured through the tone, style, and action-packed moments that bring this story to life.
Spanish words are incorporated throughout the story along with definitions that provide a great resource for younger readers and broaden the culture of the world. The essence of the writing pays homage to the classic Musketeers through a coming-of-age story and a heroic quest to help the people. Veronica brings to life the aesthetic of the Musketeers for a new tale that is a magical and action-packed adventure rooted in self-discovery, family traditions, and finding purpose.