Shadows in the Cave
Tor, Mar 2 2010, $24.99
Galayi Tribal War Chief Shonan has banned the use of magic especially by his family ever since the events that shook him and his tribe several years ago (see Zadayi Red). Although he honors the Gods and knows his wife Meli has the power of shapeshifting and her grandmother is a seer who lately seems to talk to herself or some spirit no one else sees, he prefers earthly pragmatism over the mystical. Their oldest children are twin twelve years old, Aku and Salya. A male Aku has the maternal paranormal skill of shapeshifting that he yearns to use, but fears disobeying his father while his female twin ironically cannot.
Unable to resist Aku practices shifting by himself. However, as he begins to become proficient, the Brown Leaf People violently attack the Galayi’s five villages. Shonan and Salya are dispatched to the underworld Darkening Land while his sibling’s body is owned by a monster. There only hope to return to the living is Aku; who must find himself if he is to save his family members.
This is a superb coming of age Cherokee quest fantasy that grips the reader the moment the Brown Leaf tribe attacks. The story line focuses on the young hero whose reflective doubts are his biggest impediments to saving his twin and their father. Fans preferring some action intermingled with major moments of meditative pensiveness will enjoy Aku’s journey into his mind, heart and soul as he traverses the Shadows in the Cave of the Darkening Land.