Title: Spirit Quest (The Legend of Skyco #1)
Author: Dr. Jennifer Frick-Ruppert
Genre: Historical fantasy (Middle Grade)
Published: By Amberjack Publishing on April 4th, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
(taken from Goodreads)
Skyco, an Algonquin boy, is heir to the great chief Menatonon, but he has much to learn before he can take his place within the tribe. He studies with the shaman Roncommock, who teaches him how to enter the spirit world and communicate with spirits and other animals, while he also learns practical skills of hunting, fishing, and starting a fire from other men in his village. But learning to throw a spear with an atlatl and shoot arrows with a bow are just precursors to the ultimate test, the husquenaugh, when he is challenged to use his hard-earned skills to survive the harrowing life-or-death ritual.
Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I wasn’t initially impressed by the characterisation because I couldn’t relate to them at all, but as I read on, I concluded that they were very real. For the time period used here, they are authentic and actually quite similar to those in conservative Indian families/communities even now. The setting in this one was thoroughly researched and well described. As for the plot, it’s very slow moving and drags on, according to me. However, I did enjoy the magic in this one. It was quite different and engaging to read. The writing style has a lot of telling vs. very little showing. Since I prefer the latter, this is another little complaint I had. There are some beautiful illustrations throughout the book that strengthen the text as well, which was an added feature I enjoyed. The author has done a great job of portraying Native Indian culture with detailed and accurate usage of terms from the Algonquin language.
I would recommend this book to those looking for a well-researched read on Native American culture. I know I’ve suggested ambient nature sounds before, but it goes perfectly with the setting of this book. I’ve not listened to Native American music, but if you know of any, that would go well with this too. For the food, try to have some direct-from-nature kind of foods like berries or salads or boiled and flavoured corn.
Have you read this book or have been meaning to? What are your thoughts on it? Have any similar books to recommend? Let me know in the comments section below.