Sunday, May 16, 2010

People of the Longhouse-W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

People of the Longhouse
W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Forge, Jul 20 2010, $25.99
ISBN 9780765320162

During the Late Iroquoian Period around AD 1400, the northern tribes are at war with one another over resources including people to replenish shrinking populations. Most struggle to survive with the constant conflicts, some strive.

The People of the Standing Stone are massacred with their village destroyed. The children are sold to Gannajero a brutal slave trader who sells children to other tribes. The People of the Standing Stone’s female war chief Koracoo and her spouse Gonda are outraged by the atrocities and want their two kids and the other children rescued. They and two adversarial warriors begin a rescue mission that can only end with death; hopefully they pray their enemies.

The latest North America's Forgotten Past tribal saga (see Mississippian period - People of the Thunder) is a great entry that emphasizes time and place just prior to the European contact. As denoted in the nonfiction introduction, the Iroquois are a prime source of American democracy (not just Locke and the Founding Fathers), which adds to the fascination fog an action-packed story line that remains if first gear for most of the historical thriller. Although the climax feels abrupt and rushed, readers will enjoy the insightful People of the Longhouse.

Harriet Klausner

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