he Spirit Walker is a haunting novel of the feelings of man and beast. It contains multiple perceptions and stunning imagery. It is told with flashbacks and from both a human’s and an elephant’s point of view. The author deftly crafts a story about the web of nature and man's uneasy fit into it.
An elephant, more than fifty years old and an honest seven tons, has survived a poacher’s bullet lodged close to his heart, but the wound is slowly killing him. He recalls the family unit of his youth and its bloody slaughter, as well as the stench of one particular man. Now the old one is on the trail of the man who caused him such pain.
Teich is a sweaty, cigar-smoking poacher. He is unkempt, undignified, and unrespecting of any living thing. He fears only hippos. He carries a leg injury from the old elephant and is consumed with finding and finally killing him for revenge and for his huge ivory tusks. Young Tebe and his wife Kopela, trapped by economics, work for Teich but loathe him. Masuku is a mysterious old man who manipulates the poacher’s physical and emotional weaknesses to bring him into nature's just pattern.
The Spirit Walker will touch readers' minds and hearts. It is a tribute to nature and the African elephant, the largest and most powerful land animal, which Sullivan portrays with incredible insight and beauty.