February 23, 2013

Forbidden Land by William Sarabande

Forbidden Land is the third book in the First Americans series. That means, if you haven't read the other two, you should turn back now. These are books that have to be read in order.

Having gone into the Corridor of Storms, Torka is now the headman of a small band. Because his ways are so different though, when his woman, Lonit, births twins and refuses to set them aside, the band turns against them. One child is taken out and left in the wilderness, where it is scooped up by the Wanawut (I still haven't figured out if this is a Bigfoot or Neanderthal), who the band considers a wind spirit. The other one they manage to hold on to, but are drove from the band with only a few other followers. Headed further East, they must trust in Life Giver, Torka's totem and a real life mammoth, to show them the way to better land.

Ok, first off, it took over a hundred pages before we figured out what happened to Zinkh, from the first book (actually I'm still not sure what happened to him, but that's when he's finally mentioned again). There were just new random names and no familiar ones, except for Torka's immediate band, and it was kind of disorienting. Torka is still proud, strong, and not always the best decision maker. Although he does do better in this book. Lonit kind of takes a back seat for most of this book. It seems she is resigned to raising children and not to independent thought, which is slightly disappointing. Cheanah, was a deplorable stupid man, and like most of Sarabande's bad guys, easy to dislike. And then there was Karana, he just had numerous problems this go around, and for being the wiseman, he wasn't very wise.

The plot was actually ok in this one. It covered several years and didn't rehash the events or borrow the same plotline from the first two books. There was still violence, rape, and a multitude of other sad things, but it wasn't as gleeful as in the first two books either. This time it was more focused on hunting and staying alive, although Cheanah had a particularly odious little son, and he created a lot of problems and violence. The usual description of everything else was there though and it made for nice steady reading. It's the kind of book you can dig into and then want more.

Which is why I'll be headed to the next book soon. I'm eager to find out what happens to Torka and his band.

Forbidden Land
Copyright 1989
431 pages

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