January 27, 2014

People of the River by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

The Gear's are a husband-wife team who write books about the prehistoric first peoples of North America.  There are several books in the series, but it isn't mandatory that you read them in order.  Sure, there are a few details that may leave you confused if you haven't read the others, but the majority of the story is original and separate from the rest.  People of the River is considered the fourth book in this series.

Nightshade is considered a powerful Dreamer.  She has been ever since she was stolen from her peoples and made a part of the River People's community.  But she and the main leader have never gotten along; there's something not quite right about him and he seeks to harness her power and dominate her.  Add in a drought that is killing off the people, and someone has angered the spirits, and only Nightshade, and unknown woman are going to be able to put it right again.

The theme of this book was crazy.  There were quite a few people who just weren't right in this book and while some of them were good and harmless, there was a bad kind of crazy in this book, and it was sinister.  I was eagerly waiting to see what would happen when the Leader would have one of his childish fits and demand everything go his way because you knew it would never mean anything good.  And then there was Wanderer, who was crazy too but in such an endearing way that he was charming.

I'd never really realized how complex the River people were.  They almost seemed Aztec in traditions and living style.  I was pleased to see that a bit of their culture was mentioned in this book and that it wasn't all mysticism, although there was a lot of that as well. It seems that Dreamers and special spiritual quests are always going to be a part of these books.

This was an interesting book, although a little fast paced.  I do think the bad guy is what made this one engaging.

People of the River
Copyright 1992
400 pages

No comments:

Post a Comment