The epic tale that began in People of the Longhouse continues in this second book of the thrilling new Iroquois quartet by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and archaeologists Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear.
War Chief Koracoo and Deputy Gonda of the Standing Stone People have successfully rescued their children, Odion and Tutelo, from Gannajero the Trader. Known as the Crow, Gannajero is a figure out of nightmare—a witch who steals children. Odion's friend Wrass is still held captive, along with several other children, in Gannajero's camp, and Koracoo and Gonda are determined to save them all.
This time, Koracoo and Gonda have allies: a battle-weary Mohawk war chief and a Healer from the People of the Dawnland, who have also lost children to Gannajero. These bitter enemies must learn to trust each other and find common ground. Will they be able to put their differences aside and rescue the children before they are sold and carried off to distant villages—and lost to their families and homes forever?
With their trademark mastery of American prehistory, Kathleen and Michael Gear tell a very human story of love and courage set against the backdrop of violent and endemic warfare of the Iroquois nations prior to the founding of the League of the Iroquois.
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In the second volume of their People of the Longhouse series, the Gears continue to focus on Northern Iroquois living in the early 15th century. Years of cold, dry weather has decimated food supplies and led to widespread theft among villages, resulting in bitter warfare and rampant kidnapping of children, who are kept as slaves or held for ransom. The evil witch-woman Gannajero, believed by many to be "a beast in the form of an old woman," has captured and abused children from many villages, resulting in an improbable alliance of former foes united to rescue their young kin, several of whom are injured. In alternating chapters, the Gears track both generations on their respective journeys, while also spending time in Gannajero's shifting camps. The Gears, both archaeologists, sustain unrelieved deprivation, treachery, gore, and brutality throughout, authentically revealing the culture of the time, and certainly overwhelming squeamish readers. An inconclusive ending points to book three, and familiarity with the first book in the series will make this journey more enjoyable.