Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review -- Harvest Moon

Dancing Cat angers her Ancestor, whose harsh punishment teaches her that true strength comes from the spirit within.

Cursed, abused, and desperate to know her future, Dancing Cat sneaks a glimpse inside her tribe’s Sacred Bundle, a powerful source of spirit magic. Instead of the future, she sees her most powerful ancestor, Small Tree and incurs her wrath. Small Tree strips Dancing Cat of everything — her home, her identity, even her gender – and drops her in the middle of enemy lands.

Injured, and in a strange, new body, she is befriended by Bearclaw who is on a spirit quest. He offers her assistance and asks for nothing in return; a kindness Dancing Cat had forgotten existed. She struggles to weave a path around the obstacles of friendship, identity, and longing in order to survive her eventual return home to face even further punishment.

And she does it while wearing someone else’s skin.
I met Krista D. Ball through Maria Zannini and have enjoyed getting to know her through her blog. When the chance came to read and review a story or two for her blog tour I jumped at the chance.

Last week I reviewed Flying Kite, Crashing Ship and this week is Harvest Moon. I loved the glimpse into the culture of the native peoples of Canada. I'm fascinated by the period and the people before Europeans came to North America, influencing and sadly taking over.

Harvest Moon is a powerful story about culture and identity, set against the backdrop of Northern Alberta, Canada (a beautiful area I assure you). The story is well researched and that information is woven beautifully within the tale of Dancing Cat. Dancing Cat herself is a sympathetic character richly drawn and even if you don't understand the culture that cursed her you are pulled into her suffering. The theme of being at the end of one's rope and needing to know if it is all worth it rings painfully true.

Ball masterfully uses conflict to move the story along while setting up a sweet romance. I'm guaranteed of Dancing Cat's HEA no matter which skin she retains. My only complaint is that I wanted more. More of the world, more of the characters, and more of Ball's brilliant storytelling voice. This is certainly a story I see myself revisiting like an old friend.

Don't forget to come back Sunday, July 17th, when Krista will be here!

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