The Dawn Country
W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear
Forge, Mar 15 2011, $25.99
In 1400, the Iroquois tribes are at war with one another due to overpopulation and a lack of fertile soil to grow crops. Clans fight for the same scarce game to feed their people. The Dawnland People destroys Bog Willow Village killing men, stealing their goods and abducting women and children into slavery.
After the carnage ends, the amoral witch Gannajero wants to buy children to make them her slaves including renting them out to sexual deviants. Wrass understands no immediate rescue will occur. He and the other children must save themselves. He creates a diversion that enables some of the kids to escape from the evil crone and her malevolent warriors. Siblings Odion and Tutelo are some of the few who got away. They make it and find their parents of the Yellowtail village of Chief Koracoo and her deputy their father Gonda. The tribal chief and her deputy search for more of the lost children especially heroic Wrass and Zateri. They know even with allies like Cord the Mohawk War Chief and Wakdanek the Dawnland healer they face difficult odds in finding the sold children and when they confront the odious witch, but Koracoo vows to kill the vile one.
The second People of the Dawnland quartet of historical novels is a terrific reading experience that transport fans to a pre-Columbus North America’s Forgotten Past. Team Gear provides their fans with a fascinating look at the Iroquois culture inside of a powerful story line in which children play a strong role. The heroic adults’ knowledge that not all the children will be rescued as some will be sadly sold into sexual slavery enhances the realism as does a coda with Zateri’s tribe. This is a super entry as the wicked witch and her perverted customers leave emotional and physical scars on the children and adults.