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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In Agnil and the Centaur's Secret by Susan Navas, Agnil is a young girl with an eye for adventure. Since she's only part human, the other part elf, Agnil has some unusual, magical qualities and her adventures don't just happen in the human world. In fact, these adventures happen in the in between world as well as the elf world. Her adventures lead her through portals to find hidden treasures that may or may not explain who she is, who her family is. It also helps her adapt to her dual ancestry.
You see, Agnil is also an elf princess, and she has already experienced several adventures and saved the elf world from evil and disaster. When a special book appears in the elf library that is centuries old and believed to be written in the language of the mythical creatures, the centaurs, Agnil is called by her grandparents, the King and Queen, to find the stone in the human world that will help the elfs read this ancient language and unravel the mysteries that this text records. In so doing, Agnil must seek the help of her father's girlfriend, even though Agnil's mother, an elf, is still very much alive. Torn by the conflict of two families within one, Agnil begins to find a way to reach out to this girlfriend without betraying her love for either her father or her mother.
Susan Navas has written a delightful story on a par with C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. It is a wonderful fantasy tale of the ongoing, ever present battle between good and evil. The fantasy world of the elfs is coupled so well with the real world of a contemporary young girl struggling to come to terms with her parents' separation and a split family. This becomes an underlying theme, but the plot leads the reader through an exciting series of adventures. Very well done!