Katie O’Toole has led a hard life. Centered around her family life in Pennsylvania of 1747, we read about the day to day beatings, hunger, and general mistreatment that a girl of that time endured at the hands of her family. When a savage raid on her family turns the tables on her fortune, she learns of an entirely new way of life and spiritual purpose.
Katie is at first horrified by what has happened to her, but as the truth unfolds she discovers there is much to be learned from her captors. Syawa and his friend Hector are on a quest to fulfill Syawa’s Vision of a Creature of Fire and Ice. That creature is Katie. She is to be an all important part of their people’s future. Katie begins to slowly learn their language, but even still has trouble accepting what the holy man is trying to tell her. She is the gift. She is a capable woman who can learn and do many things. When you have heard all your life that you are stupid and have been treated less than kindly by everyone, it can take a while before you start to believe someone who tells you different. As Katie goes deeper into the wilderness of the American frontier and into the brambles of her own heart, much is revealed.
This story was one that captured my attention from the first page. Written in the dialect of the time, you can hear the lilt in Katie’s words and the struggle she has with her own family and in finally accepting her new path. The Indians she is with are very spiritual beings, and Katie learns to see through their eyes and come to experience life and even death from a totally alien way of thinking. It is beautiful and tragic and reminded me of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series for the sheer level of emotion that poured from my eyes as I read on into the night.
Katie, Syawa and Hector are characters you won’t want to put down, even for sleep. The spirituality woven into the pages reflects the Native American values of the time and shows the stark differences between the cultures. This story haunted me long after the last page was done. It can be read as a historical piece, a fantasy novel full of magic and wonder, a romance for the unexpected union between two of the characters, and a religious book for the sacred journey taken within its pages. Any way you look at it, “love is all we have to keep our heads above the water, and it is all we need. I understand now that it is love and only love which enables us to whisper at the end of our Journey: It was worth it.”
This book is that and more.
[Dana Wright has always had a fascination with things that go bump in the night. She is often found playing at local bookstores, trying not to maim herself with crochet hooks or knitting needles, watching monster movies with her husband and furry kids or blogging about books. More commonly, she is chained to her computers, writing like a woman possessed. She was a contributing author to Siren’s Call E-zine in their “Women In Horror” issue in February 2013 and October 2013 in the Revenge issue, a contributing author to Potatoes! (upcoming), Wonderstruck, Massacre Magazine, Fossil Lake Anthology, Shifters: A Charity Anthology and the Roms, Bombs and Zoms Anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media. Dana also reviews music for Muzikreviews.com and has been a contributing writer to Fabricoh Magazine. Follow Dana’s reviews: Twitter: @dana19018]