Klimo, Kate. Daughter of the Centaurs. Random House, 2012. $17.99. Language: G, Sexual Content: G, Violence: PG-13. Malora’s father and almost all the men in the village are killed by mythical creatures called Leatherwings. Her mother forces her to leave and survive on her own. Malora lives off the land and becomes the leader of a pack of horses. She returns to the village to find the corpses of the villagers (including her mother) and the Leatherwings. By chance she is comes across centaurs and she and her horses are taken to their society which is far more advanced than her human one had been. They treat her like a pet and she wonders if she is the last human? Centaurs get to choose a Hand, or a profession and Malora wants to learn ironwork. She also is taught to read and reads books written by humans in the past, such as Shakespeare. Malora discovers that her horses are not being treated well, and takes over their training for the race for the Golden Horse trophy. The overall story is Malora’s struggle to find a place for herself; however, the book feels choppy like it is two stories put together awkwardly. The first being a survival story and the second a futuristic mythical centaur society with its specific rules and edicts. As a reader I thought the book was slow starting and I never truly bought into the premise. I could never quite suspend reality to believe in the possibility of Leatherwings and Centaur reality. There were too many unanswered questions. The author’s love of horses is vividly portrayed and perhaps if you have readers who enjoy horses, they might pick up this book.
MS/HS-Optional. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.