A Soul Searchers Native American historical.
It is a season of change for the Blackfeet tribe. The air is crisp with the scents of fall and the coming winter. The tribe's shaman, Bunch of Lodges, is locked in political battle with its chief, Sleeps Too Long. The shaman's sons, Raven's Cry and Night Thunder, are rivals for their father's affections and the right to succeed him as the tribe's spiritual leader.
Complicating the issue--whether spirituality or a warrior's wisdom is the best way to guide the tribe--are White Calf's visions, a young Blackfoot woman of great spiritual power. Her dreams show the buffalo have wandered far from their usual grazing lands and the Blackfeet must mount a hunt or they will not have enough meat to last the winter.
Even worse, White Calf sees a future when her people's land is no longer theirs, when the white man has destroyed the buffalo and driven the Indians from their ancestral lands. The tribe expects her to counsel them to follow either the shaman or the chief, but White Calf cannot clearly see whose path leads to a safe future.
When White Calf chooses to marry the shaman's son Raven's Cry rather than the chief, who also sought her hand, the tribe is split in two as the chief's faction heads for warmer southern land while Bunch of Lodges leads his people on an ill-fated buffalo hunt.
Aware that only unity will allow the tribe to survive the coming harsh winter their dreams have foretold, the shaman's sons and White Calf must battle through a blizzard to rejoin their people. Their only guide is a spirit wolf who seems both menace and protector.
A chronicler of the history of Native Americans, Munn (Seminole Song) once again turns to their historic struggle for identity and survival in her new tale of love, courage and family bonds. In the early 1860s, life is precarious for the Blackfoot tribe on the Western plains. Many enemies surround them--the Snakes, the Crow, the Cree and the ever-encroaching white invaders. In this hostile environment, Night Thunder comes of age, participating in his first Sun Dance and achieving warrior status while hunting horses that have been stolen by raiding Snakes. Also jostling for honor and rank is Raven's Cry, Night Thunder's older half-brother. Soon the two find themselves vying for the hand of White Calf, a clairvoyant woman so beautiful it will cost many horses to marry her. The rivalry intensifies and Raven's Cry ultimately succeeds in winning White Calf; Night Thunder finds love with Little Rain, a Cree captive taken in a raid against the Crow. But this happiness is threatened when Little Rain is taken prisoner yet again by the Snakes, and Night Thunder undertakes a desperate journey to find her. Munn details many intriguing aspects of Native American life, including buffalo hunts, practical marriage unions and an immutable code of honor. Articulating more interiority and character development than is sometimes found in this genre, while not sacrificing the requisite action, she sturdily constructs an unpredictable tale.