November 08, 2013

She Who Remembers by Linda Lay Shuler

She Who Remembers is the first book in the Kwani series by Linda Lay Shuler.  A prehistoric fiction, it is compared to the Clan of the Cave Bear series quite often.  And while I see some similarities, I don't think it's quite as engaging as that series.

Kwani is of the Pueblo, Anasazi actually.  But because of her startling blue eyes she is accused of being a witch and driven from her home.  It is during her wandering that she stumbles into the path of Kokopelli, a proud and mysticized trader that decides she is perfect for his mate.  But Kwani may be meant for more, and will her love for Kokopelli hold her back?

I can't say that any of the characters in this book are really likable.  They're all quite selfish actually.  And Kwani I didn't quite understand.  She's born an Anasazi, yet when she goes to another tribe they have to explain customs to her that are shared across the tribes.  It seems like she should have known them all already.  I can understand when she goes to tribes that are not Anasazi and having to learn the customs, but that wasn't the case all the time.  Kokopelli was a jerk and definitely not how I had envisioned such a popular figure.  In fact, I think men were done a real disservice in this book because most of them didn't have anything good about them and were seen as controlling.  While I recognize that men play a stronger role in some cultures, it just painted too broad a brush on their personalities.

But as much as I complain about the characters in this book I do have to say that the plot was well done.  It was engaging, hard to put down and really researched quite well for being fiction.  I learned things about the Southwestern region that I didn't know before.  And the journey was lifelike and exciting.  So much of what Kwani had to endure was probably true to the times and realistic.  There was a lot of sex, and some of it was quite graphically written (and there is rape as well) so anyone who doesn't like these topics in a book should probably steer clear.  There is also some violence. 

I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next book and hope that the character development is a bit better.  Or that there's at least a likable one.  The series has such a great premise that it could be something truly terrific with those aspects.

She Who Remembers
Copyright 1988
395 pages

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