Today I have a wonderful book to show you. This one was introduced to me by the publisher and when I heard it had Centaurs in it, I knew I would like it. And I DID! I’m so happy when I find new books to love! So now, let me show you!
Shadows of Ghosts
324 pages Published November 27th 2013 by Mactavish
ISBN 0615902502 (ISBN13: 9780615902500)
Shadows of Ghosts carries readers to Enara, a kingdom at war with itself, where for centuries centaurs have been treated like animals because of their horse-like lower bodies; they’ve been forced to work as slaves in the southern agricultural provinces, and have been bought and sold like livestock. But a strong abolitionist faction has convinced many that centaurs’ human torsos, heads, and intellectual abilities make them humans, who should be liberated from slavery and granted the same rights as any other person. After four years of being forced to live in a remote village and having to keep his real identity a secret, Cal Lanshire, days away from his thirteenth birthday, is given the best birthday present he can imagine. He is told the war is almost over and he will soon be allowed to return home. But then an old acquaintance unexpectedly arrives with news that changes everything. Cal’s father, the king, has been assassinated. Suddenly the outcome of the war and the very fate of the kingdom depend upon Cal being able to reach the capital where he will take his father’s place. With only his crafty best friend by his side and an escaped centaur slave to guide him, can Cal make it through an enchanted, hostile wilderness, past the assassins sent to kill him, and back to the capital before it’s too late?
Well, if the Centaurs weren’t so awesome, then the 12 year old boy who this story is based around it! Think about what the world would be like with Centaurs. Well, in here, they are captured and turned into slaves. And boy, did it make me tear up a few times, but mostly, it made me so mad, I was ready to go all crazy cajun lady on them. I will say that this had a very Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, slave similarities. I will say history was not one of my favorite subjects in school, BUT I did take lots of it, and remember what I’ve learned. The North and the South have different feelings on slaves. The northern territories, where the king is located, doesn’t want or use slaves, so the Centaurs there are workers, like people, though maybe not treated quite as nice. The southern territories are all about slave labor. And they aren’t scared to say it. And they aren’t afraid to kill to keep what’s theirs. It’s a very complex story, and though Cal is 12, I don’t know if I’d place it in strictly the kids section, but I would place it in young adult. It’s still a good story!
So, Cal is the Prince, and when the war starts, his father, the king, sends him to hide out in a little village with is tutor. Here he meets Mont, who I loved! Coolest bestie ever. 🙂 Mont’s dad left him to go fight in the war, for the southern side, as he, like so many, think of Centaurs as animals, with filth and degradation. And Mont gets the blame of the village for his dad’s actions. Needless to say, these two become the best of pals, enough to save each other’s lives over and over. When the war is almost over, but something happens to Cal’s dad, in an act to try to protect him, he is being sent across the land to meet up with the leader of the king’s men. In this journey, he meets many allies, and many enemies, and he learns that maybe somethings aren’t so black and white.
Cal is the level headed, raised with etiquette, and quite well rounded young man. He’s not bratty, or petty, or ugly, or even superior to others. He treats everyone with respect and equality. Mont is the country boy who is hot headed, but can tract and hunt, and is loyal to the death. Yin and Yang, but fit together like the perfect puzzle pieces. They get teamed up with Ellsben, who is a Centaur, who just wants to reunite himself with his wife and child, who were sold. He also has a fascinating story, and it definitely made me cry. He’s probably one of the best characters because he’s been through so much, and yet he finds a way to keep going with the hope of one day finding his family.
There are sad moments, happy moments, tear moments, angry moments, and most of all, hopeful moments. I enjoyed this story. And I loved the characters. Sometimes, people can surprise you with their actions, and sometimes, people give you what you see, which can be evil or good. I will also say that like a book, you shouldn’t judge the cover. There are always good and bad of everything. And this coming of age story is a wonderful journey of both! The writing had an interesting style. Easy flow. And enjoyable. My only complaint, dude where’s the chicks???!!! As a girl myself, there wasn’t any women. I mean, sure there were mentions of them, but not one was introduced in person as a character. We need a lovely lady centaur or damn even a bad one, or crazy one. Or just one. LOL Ok, with that said, I still liked the concept of the plot. AN ADVENTUROUS 5 PAWS!
About the Author:
Stefan Haucke, driven by the desire to learn about other cultures and the need for adventure, has traveled to over twenty nations. He rode a camel near the pyramids in Egypt, swam with sea lions in the waters of the Galapagos Islands, climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked nearthe Acropolis in Athens, went dog sledding in northern Michigan, and photographed polar bears in Canada.
Along his many travels, Stefan has successfully worked as a deckhand, a shepherd, a dispatcher for an emergency services unit, an electric meter reader, and an office manger. He has also found the time to study the literature and history of ancient Greece, Russia, and the United States, and loves reading folktales, fairytales, and urban legends. He also enjoys astronomy, and on clear nights can be found gazing at the stars and planets with his telescope.
I want to thank Ms Anne Johnson for sending this one over to me!! I hope we can keep in touch! And to Mr Stefan for letting me read your book! Thanks so very much! And I hope you guys check this one out! Happy reading and later gators!