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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blog Tour: Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo

Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo 5 of 5 stars.

Sometime in the future.

An earth populated with half-animal, half human creatures.

A girl who may be the last human.

Malora has always wanted to be a master horseman, like her father. To ride and hunt as he does, wheeling about and charging off, bow and arrows strapped to her back--she can't imagine anything better. It is no matter to her that for the People this is considered a man's job, or that she is gently discouraged by her parents at every turn. Malora feels, she knows, that this is what she was meant to do.

But destiny has its own plans for Malora when the People and their horses are taken by bloodthirsty creatures known as the Leatherwings. In an agonizingly short time, only Malora is left--with Sky, the majestic stallion that was the leader of the People's great herd of horses. Together, girl and stallion find a wild herd and forge a new life in the plains.

In a way, Malora is now the mast horsewoman she dreamed of becoming, but she is lonely for conversation and companionship and family. She cannot help hoping in her few quiet moments that there are more People somewhere and that she will find them. And then she meets the centaurs, and her world is opened up yet again. this time into a life she never could imagine. (Book blurb)

Malora Thora-Jayke is a high-spirited and eager young girl, ready to follow in her father's footsteps as a master horseman, but when her father and all of the other men of the village--the only human men left in Malora's world--are massacred by the leatherwings in front of her very eyes, Malora's world comes crashing down around her.

In a bitter twist of fate, Malora is thrust out onto the plains to do what she loves. Tend to her beloved Sky and to the horses they come across during their journey, but soon, Malora wants more. When she and her horses are "captured" by a band of centaurs looking for the Ironbound Furies, Malora get's her first taste of "more" and wants it more than she could ever have imagined.

With the help of her new friend, Orion, son of the great Apex of Mount Heiron, Malora Thora-Jayke leaves behind her old life of survival and struggle for a life of comfort and enlightenment in the great Highlands of the centaurs as Malora Ironbound, last of the People.

Daughter of the Centaurs is a fresh and exciting fantasy filled with new mythology, beautiful characters, and a lovingly and carefully built world that glitters with the creative works of centaur Hands. Kate Klimo's writing is deft and uniquely toned giving the fantastic story an almost everyday feel, as if there were nothing in the world strange about this world full of centaur aristocracy (of sorts?).

When I first started Daughter of the Centaurs, I didn't care for it. The beginning seemed at the same time rushed and too slow. I wasn't fully able to understand the setting of the story or the culture of the People before tragedy struck, and when it did, it seemed to hit with a numbing blow taking Malora's character that much farther from my understanding.

It wasn't until a bit later in the story--not quite midway-- that I began to appreciate the stark beginning and to understand how all the pieces were falling together. What seems like a rather simple and straight-forward story, deepens into something richer and more complex.

Though that isn't to say I didn't enjoy the rest of the story. As soon as the new characters swept onto the page, I was hooked. I loved Orion's rather geeky love of scents, Honus's wonderful insight into the beauties of educations, and even Zephele's frivolous and, slightly, snobbish attitude. There was just such a wonderful cacophony of characters and personalities in this book that I felt surrounded by beautiful centaur friends and delightful (for the most part) little Twani. (Let that last one be a surprise!)

Once the centaurs come into play, the plot moves at a comfortable pace giving just enough excitement and twists to keep me satisfied as I watched Malora's life unfold. There is plenty of humor here in there to put a smile on anyone's face.

However, the intricacy of the world in this book is what really sets it apart and makes, in my mind, Kate Klimo's writing remarkable.

I simply do not think the Daughter of the Centaurs will disappoint anyone who gives it a chance. Fantasy readers and fiction alike will enjoy this unique and wonderful story and be left begging for more. And if you are a horse-lover, all the better! It will likely catch your imaginations even more so than mine.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with a centaur!

Many thanks to Random House Children's Books for including me in this blog tour. It has been a pleasure!


Marie said...

Great review Arya !
This book seems really unique... I've heard great things about it but I don't know if i'm going to read it I don't really like centaurs...
I've read a book by PC Cast about centaurs (don't remember its title) and it's one of the worst book that I've ever read -__-.
But maybe I'll buy it some day ^^.

Marie said...

Oh and I just saw that you're currently reading So silver bright :D !
I read the first one in this series and I LOVED it I really need to read the other two :).

Arya said...

I'll have to remember to avoid that one! hehe I've never actually read anything involving Centaurs before this, aside from The Chronicles of Narnia, so I didn't really know what to expect.

I need to change that actually! I finish So Silver Bright a while ago and haven't had a chance to write the review yet. The first one is still my favorite, but you will love the next two, I'm sure! :)

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