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Flight of the Golden Harpy    by Susan Klaus order for
Flight of the Golden Harpy
by Susan Klaus
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

On the planet Dora, winged harpies are mercilessly hunted. It's generally believed that the males steal and abuse human women. Kari grows up on Dora and loves its jungles. At age eleven, when she's attacked by a monstrous mogel, a male golden harpy saves her life. Blaming harpies for the death of Kari's mother, her father is disturbed by her fascination with the golden and sends her to Earth for ten years. She returns, determined to find her golden again.

There are big changes on the planet - beetle swarms are consuming the western continent, though her father's large timber estate has so far been spared. In the outback, Kari is careless of danger, and is again saved by a harpy, a brown one this time - he speaks to her telepathically. And she dreams of similar conversations with her golden, Shail. When he is badly injured by hunters, she helps him, and gets to know him better. She discovers that harpies share human genetic material - how did this happen?

Kari and Shail flee together and are pursued - when they reach his people's sacred mountain, Kari finds out a great deal about her planet's history and her own background - both shock her. Her loyalties are torn - humans have slaughtered most of the golden harpies (the leaders of their people) and the entire species is endangered. But the harpies are fighting back - those she loves on both sides are likely to die. When Shail is captured again, Kari is desperate - she will do whatever it takes to save him.

Though rough around the edges, Flight of the Golden Harpy is an engaging SF adventure, light on the science and heavy on the romance.

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