In a land just beyond your mirror lies a realm few discover. It is a magical, dangerous dimension. There lurks your darkest nightmares and your fondest hopes. For nearly two thousand winters there, the seasons have flowed inevitably one into another. Life is as it always has been. The Huron war with the Iroquois, the Commanche with the Lakota, and the Apache with everyone. Across the great waters, the Mongul storm the great wall of Chin. The samurai of Nippon invade Indus. And the vast Coliseum lies in ruins, overgrown with vines and olive trees. The deer and bear roam the deserted villages of Gaul. And the lonely wind whispers through the towering monoliths of Stonehenge. The race called Whyte is not even a memory. Except to Estanatlehi, The Turquoise Woman, once named Gaia, Goddess of the Earth, by the People she alone remembers.
All of which means exactly nothing to the young bear Hibbs. For as long as he can remember, he has been raised by The Turquoise Woman, whom he simply calls GrandMother. Trained by her, hunted by the Lakota, accompanied by the strange hawk, Little Brother, Hibbs has happily ambled from mountain to desert to forest, even sometimes across the great waters. Often he has asked GrandMother why she has led him to so many different lands. The answer has always been: Because a moving target is harder to hit.
He thinks it is a joke. It is not. He is hunted by more than the Lakota. He is being hunted by a being now known as the Gray Bear, though that has not always been his name. Hibbs is the unknowing key to rescuing the race once called Whyte from oblivion. For that very purpose the Turquoise Woman has raised and trained him. But now she repents of her actions. She has grown to love the young bear. And for the Whyte race to live, Hibbs must die. So she has hidden him in the ancient land of Eire, home of all manner of strange beasts and wonders, ruled by the stag-being Cernunnos. Here she hopes she can cause Hibbs to be lost among so many fearsome creatures.
It is a vain hope. Hibbs, large of heart, bold of spirit, cannot see pain without trying to help. He has become a healer. And heal he will do no matter how much Cernunnos protests. And protest the tyrant does - with his vast army of Darklings. To survive, Hibbs and Little Brother must escape, using a mysterious construct called a Sidhe Mound. Estanatlehi sees her plan to save Hibbs further unravel as the bear and hawk find themselves in Avalon, now being bloodied by an eon-long civil war.
There, in the crystal and gold palace of Caer Wydr, Hibbs interrupts the dark ritual, Diatheke, setting the race called Whyte a step closer to their destiny and himself into a desperate struggle of spirit with the Gray Bear.
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I feel like I should have enjoyed it but...
The narrator does a good job with different voices in this book, that being said this is a conglomeration of Native American folklore put into a story. I think if I was well versed in this lore I would have both been able to follow along better and also enjoyed myself more, overall I found myself dredding listening, I think more because of my lack of interest in the topic more than the actual story. I did not enjoy but I strongly feel that if this is a topic you are excited about that the book would be excellent
- Aurrora Mom
I would recommend this. The narrator is excellent, differentiating the characters with his voice. Myths and legends from different cultures are seamlessly interwoven to create a wonderful story. The main character is Hibbs. His grandmother is...more difficult to explain in a sentence or two, but she's like the life-force of the world. The secondary characters are memorable, likable - or despicable. The settings are stark, haunting, and beautiful. The writing conveys well to the spoken narration. One neat thing-I now know how to pronounce some of the names I used to stumble over :)If Tolkien came to America and wrote tales about our history, especially concerning Lakota legends, this might be a tale he would have written.
Hibbs. He doesn't have all the answers, but he learns. He is innocent-and not. He is kind and forgiving. I also like his grandmother. I'm not going to attempt to spell her name! She's fierce, but just. I like Hibbs' friends, too. The Firebird and the Flame. My other favorite characters are covered by the next question.
I loved when the Spirit Warriors came onto the scene. Like the Roman soldiers, they had honor and passion and courage. I studied the histories of the Spirit Warriors, of the time when they were still flesh, for my class. I loved hearing them brought to life.
Several places made me chuckle. Hibbs and his friends have a healthy sense of humor.
This is my first experience with an Audible book and I have to say, it's a winner!