Climate fiction, a genre I’ve recently discovered, quickly became one of my favourite tools to raise awareness about climate change. In this respect I’m following with great interest Maja Lunde, the Norwegian author of the Climate Quartet series (my series spotlight post).

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw on Edelweiss that her new book – The Last Wild Horses – is now translated in English!

The Last Wild Horses in a nutshell

The Last Wild Horses is inspired by the real story of the Przewalski horses – also known as the Mongolian wild horses or takhi. Starting from how they were discovered in the 1880s during an expedition in Mongolia, then re-introduced in their natural habitat in the almost 100 years later to be saved from extinction, and how in the imagined future of 2060s the last wild horses exist … not in the happiest context.

However, the story is not only about horses, but also about the people who are fighting to discover and then save them. A story about friendship, motherhood, and human connection. About fighting against all odds.

Overall impression

I absolutely loved reading The Last Wild Horses by Maja Lunde. The book is super captivating and diverse, starting from the topic – endangered animals, to the 3 narrative threads, each happening in a different location and timing – 1880s in Russia, 1990s in Mongolia, and 2060s in Norway.

A nice touch was that one character from another Climate Quartet book appeared in the story- of course I won’t tell you which one! Having a character transcend his/her own story increased a lot the feeling that the books are part of the same universe, same ecosystem. Hope to see this in the next book as well!

Wild horses as symbol of endangered animals

Even if the focus was on horses (oh, I learned so much about them!), the story could be about any other endangered animal.

The book illustrated how difficult is to guide domestic animals to get adapted to the wild, how challenging is to fight against the human nature of nurturing, how hard is to reach the balance between letting nature go its own way and intervening.

Getting a bit back to the Mongolian wild horses – did you know that the domestic horse has 34 chromosome pairs, while the Przewalski horse has only 32? According to studies, the Przewalski horses “have ancient origins and are not direct progenitors or domestic horses” (Goto et. al., 2011). So they are genetically a different type of horse!

Mongolian wild horses; credit: Tom Kolossa

The Climate Quartet series

The Last Wild Horses is part of the Climate Quartet series. Each book is a stand-alone story, focusing on climate related themes:

  1. 🐝 insects – The History of Bees – my review
  2. πŸ’§ water – The End of The Ocean – my review
  3. 🐴 animals – The Last Wild Horses
  4. 🌱 seeds – to be written / published

If you want to read more about the Climate Quartet, check out my series spotlight here.

Wrap-up

I definitely recommend reading The Last Wild Horses by Maja Lunde, as stand-alone book or together with the other books of the Climate Quartet. It is a fascinating story about endangered animals and climate change, human connection and fighting in dark times.

As I said before in the review of The End of the Ocean – a (much needed) cold shower in regard with climate change and what can we expect for the next generations.

What climate fiction books have you read recently?

‘Till next time … happy reading!

Georgiana


Cover picture from NomadicJourneys.com

PS: I received a digital copy of this book at my request, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. My review expresses my own thoughts about the story and it is not influenced in any way by the publisher or the author. The book was published in English on February 15th, 2022.

4 thoughts on “Survival and connection of endangered horses and endangered people : The Last Wild Horses by Maja Lunde (book review)

    1. Agree, it’s super nice when the books are not fully related one to another. A similar case is also with my other favourite series – The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – the stories happen in the same universe, some of the characters are the same, but the books can be read in any order.
      Thanks a lot for joining the discussion!

      Liked by 2 people

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