This is the second of a four book series about The People Of The Longhouse, the Iroquois The Gears have given us an exciting recreation of the 1400’s in North America, set in what is now known as New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Ontario. They place us just at the point when the Iroquois will either self-destruct or unite. In this case it sets the stage for the forming of the Iroquois confederacy—the uniting of warring tribes under one democratic government, if you will.
If you’ve read their long running series, The People you’ll see this is darker than many of their books, but another winner from two talented authors.
The story opens with war and the capture of many tribes’ children. We follow the tale of two parents determined to rescue their children, War Chief, Koracoo, and her Deputy, Gondo. This especially becomes imperative when they realize just who has their children; Gannajero the trader, aka The Crow, and is witch. Koracoo and Gondo must set aside tribal loyalties and unite with enemies to find and rescue their children. We see the hunt from their point of view and see the hard choices they must make.
We also get the story from the children’s point of view being faced with captivity and depravity. A child’s view of war and casualties. Being forced to do what a child should never have to face and feeling their rescue is up to them as they see that they are mere commodities and expendable. Their entire world and sense of security is shaken. When questioned by a newly captive child as to what to expect, Wrass tells her honestly. “The worst you can imagine. You will obey, or be beaten with war clubs for the slightest offense. Men will come to trade for time with you…and they’ll do things that would get them killed back home…sometimes the child is killed…some are marched away never to be seen again…”
Odion, Wrass, Zateri, and Baji decide to take matters in their own hands and free themselves as well as the rest of the children. Someone must find adults to help them. The oldest of them is twelve years old. Chilling. But the things they face as children create a burning desire for peace in Odion, son of Koracoo and Gondo. A desire for no child again to face such horrors.
It’s an excellent story told by two authors who well know the historical and archeological record of these early time in the Iroquois people. They well acquainted with the religious culture and have heard the oral stories of this time period. What they write puts you on the spot to see these things unfold so you understand the role of the Peacemaker in uniting the tribes under “one nation”.
If you love history, you’ll love this face paced and realistic tale of heartbreak and victory. The characters will touch your heart and you find yourself cheering for their every victory over evil. You’ll come to appreciate great bravery has no age limit.
Young Wrass is still being held captive, along with several other children, in Gannajero's camp. Wrass knows he can't wait to be rescued. He has to organize the children for an assault on Gannajero's warriors. Even if he dies, someone has to escape, to carry the story back to their Peoples. It's the only way to stop the evil old woman.
But Koracoo and Gonda have not abandoned their search. They're coming for the children, and they have allies: a battle-weary Mohawk war chief and a Healer from the People of the Dawnland. Together, they will find the children and destroy Gannajero. But not before many of the children have been sold and carried off to distant villages-and lost to their families and homes forever....