Evolved Publishing brings you a rare glimpse into ancient Native American culture, in the award-winning historical novel, Circles, by Ruby Standing Deer.
With much of the world still undiscovered, a small band of people live a peaceful life, until the dream vision of a young boy, Feather Floating in Water, changes everything. Only nine winters old, Feather's dreams turn his seemingly ordinary childhood into the journey of a lifetime. He must help his people face a terrifying destiny from which they cannot turn away. He must find a way to make his people listen.
Bright Sun Flower, the boy's grandmother, guides his beginnings, teaching him about the Circle of Life, and how without it, no life can exist. But he needs a bigger push, and gets it from a grey wolf and a Great Elder. The boy's journey leads him to discover that the Circle of Life involves all people, all living things, and not just the world he knows.
In the end, an ancient People guide the boy in his visions, toward an unexpected place hidden from outsiders.
This story is steeped in American Indian life, in their beliefs and humor, and in their love of family. It shows how we might benefit from the old ways today.
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Beautiful coming of age with a touch of fantasy
Enter a New World (Which Is Really An Old One)
Yes. It's unique. I think there are other Native American stories that take place before the coming of white men, but I haven't read them. I don't believe the author depicted a particular tribe; they were more of an amalgam. I recognized several aspects of Plains Indian culture, although the setting was the Southwest (amongst red canyons).
I would call this historical fantasy, but I guess that depends on your own belief system. There was a wild wolf who acted like a puppy-dog and people communicating through dreams and glowing blue. I would have preferred more grounding in reality. I know many of these "fantasy" elements reflect Native American beliefs, but others I question.
I appreciated Standing Deer's attempt to use terminology her characters would have used, à la James Welch--such as calling horses "big dogs" and buffalo "hump backs." Yet she also described things as being the colors of cinnamon and peach, which would both have been unknown to this tribe. Also the preternatural wisdom and endless questions of our young hero did become a bit irritating over time.
Perhaps. I know there are two sequels. I worry that they might get repetitive. I feel like I got my fix.
Clear. Deliberate. Heartfelt. I actually found it too deliberate and sped up to 1.25. But then the high-pitched children's voices sounded extra funny.
Yes. I would hope they would cast Native American actors! Feather would have to be someone up-and-coming. Adam Beach could play his adoptive father and Irene Bedard could play his mother. Tantoo Cardinal could be his grandmother.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com
- Elyse Becker