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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Planet of the …? …Centaurs?

Centaurs, I thought. Great! The last book I read using horse mythologies was Robin McKinley’s Pegasus. (Read my review) But I must say that with Daughter of the Centaurs (Centauriad #1) by Kate Klimo, I felt like I’d stumbled into the centaur equivalent of planet of the Apes. (I noticed later that other reviewers referenced this as well)
Many, many times I wondered if Malora’s sympathy for centaurs is misplaced. I definitely don’t like them very much. Why, I kept thinking have you given up your horses, your independence for this lot?
I see in the Centaurs' attitudes, overtones of the nobility prior to the French Revolution. Yet it's Malora's very aloneness (is she the last human alive?) that forces her to seek companionship and approval even with those outside her ken, yet somehow close enough to draw strength from, although she is treated as some sort of exotic exhibit. The ability to communicate opens possibilities and lessens the solitude. At times this is an interesting read with promise, even if annoying.
I give it 2 ½ stars. I didn’t hate it but it just squeaks into ok by a mere thread.
I hope the Centauriad series develops its potential with an enlivened thrust and crosses that squeaky line, hanging by more than a mere thread, if I may mix my metaphors.

... dastardly deeds in dark forests

Prepare for a touch of The Illuminati meets the Knights Templar.  Set during the Regency era, the members of the Inferno Club, outrageous gentlemen of the first water, who in secret protect the realm from spurious enemies, are worried that one of their own had been damaged beyond recall and turned traitor by the torturous captivity he's endured.
Emily Harper, the Earl of Westwood's childhood friend and gamekeeper's daughter, believes in him with an unwavering and unflinching loyalty and love. She trails the Earl across Europe to give him what support she can. Naturally, the headquarters of the enemy faction is in a secretive forest area somewhere in a German/Bavarian type state.
Full of dastardly deeds by evil would be conquerors, Gaelen Foley's My Ruthless Prince, presents us with a strong heroine who seeks to rescue her childhood friend, and in doing so, his sanity.
Emily's innocent and unwavering support and love opens the way for a relationship that in society's eyes is seemingly impossible.  Of course the Earl realizes that Emily's very innocence marks her for the sort of heinous attention by the enemy that must be averted. In the depths of a darkly medieval forest, both physically and psychologically, danger is fueled by fear and love, and passion steams into being.
Reference to other stories in the series is made via the wives of members of the club.
A fairly predictable but okay read.

A Netgalley ARC