Lee Killough, The Leopard's Daughter Reviews

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“The Leopard's Daughter ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 19/03/2006

The Leopard's Daughter
Lee Killough
Yard Dog, Mar 2006, $16.00
ISBN: 1893687775

On the Sahara Plains, in spite of being the niece of their King Mseluku Karamoke, her Dasa of the Imbu tribe always held Jeneba Karamoke in contempt because her sire is a shapeshifting leopard man. Still Jeneba is a loyal strong warrior woman and would die for the Dasa, especially her family. However her prayers to become accepted through brave deeds fail even when she rescues her warrior peers including her uncle from monstrous half-human cannibals because everyone blames her for their original plight instead of the man who failed the tribe Tomo Silla. Ironically Tomo's action including his disappearance has turned him into a martyred hero instead of a betraying deserter.

Outraged and disappointed, Jeneba decides she must find Tomo and force him to speak the truth to the Dasa. She begins her personal mission, but instead she finds she must lead losers on a quest to save the people of the missing city of Yagana that abruptly vanished; failure means the end of life as she knows it on the Sahara plains.

THE LEOPARD'S DAUGHTER is a terrific refreshing fantasy based on the African mythos. The location and the various fantastic species make for a vastly different quest that readers will appreciate. Jeneba is a wonderful protagonist who must save the world she knows when all she wants is to prove herself worthy to her people. Her companions are delightful as there are not heroic Tolkien heroes, but instead include Tomo and a half-man who should be her enemy. A solid short science fiction murder mystery "Afterburn" is included though it is seemingly out of place with the prime tale as a bonus that showcases the vast talent of Lee Killough.

Harriet Klausner

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