Califia’s Daughters

By Leigh Richards
I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but more for the characters than the story. The plot is a bit rambly and the conclusion is strange and rushed, and we’re left with some unanswered questions. It feels like a setup toward a sequel, and without the next book I’m sort of left hanging.
The main character is Dian, one of the head warriors in her small post-apocalyptic enclave. After the ravages of the previous decades, the male:female ratio is about 1:12, so women do all the strenuous and dangerous work while men are carefully protected. Dian and her large, well-trained wolfhounds help keep their settlement safe but everything is turned on its ear when a caravan from a Northern city arrives.
This is a thoughtful and quiet book with only occasional bouts of action, but that was fine by me. I was interested in Dian and how she handled herself and the folks around her as well as in how Richards examined the effects of such an imbalance in the sexes. I hope there’s a sequel; if there is, I will be sure to read it.
Book 12 in 2008.

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