Saturday, March 17, 2012
Book Review of #2 People of the Fire by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Author: W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Part of a Series: First North American Series
Type of book: Dancing, spiritual, families, fate, prehistorical, -8000, fire, adult, Native Americans
Year it was published: 1991
It is a time of fire. A small band of pioneers struggle valiantly to keep their ancestors' dreams alive in an unforgiving, drought-stricken land. Driven by the promise of an awesome vision, a heroic young dreamer and a fearless woman warrior unite to lead their people to a magnificent destiny.
A towering epic filled with tragedy and triumph, courage and conflict, People of the Fire is the second compelling novel novel in a majestic new saga of America's first peoples.
The characters are much more round and memorable than in People of the Wolf. Fire Dancer is somewhat similar to Wolf Dreamer and despite him hesitating to do what is right, he does it anyways. For me personally, although the book was better than its predecessor, it was not extremely memorable. Between some characters there are also some unusual ties which I won't spoil.
You can't escape your destiny no matter what you try.
It is written in third person narrative from multiple characters' points of views. There are a lot more traditions and customs that are going on, also we get a glimpse of the tribes and rivals over food as well as a breakthrough thanks to an unusual character. I think I would have wanted to know what else would happen to Fire Dancer and how he lived the rest of his life, but its not mentioned in the back though.
W. Michael Gear:
W. Michael Gear is an American writer, and archaeologist  born in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 20, 1955. He is perhaps best known for his First North Americans series, co-authored with wife Kathleen O'Neal Gear.
Kathleen O'Neal Gear:
Kathleen O'Neal Gear (born 1954) is an American writer. Gear is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the federal government's Special Advancement Award for "outstanding management" of our nation's cultural heritage. She is perhaps best known for her First North Americans series, co-authored with husband W. Michael Gear.
Although this book reads similarly to People of the Wolf, there are some differences, such as the fact that Fire Dancer did get married and fathered two daughters before being called up to sacrifice himself, and we also get a brief epilogue of what happened. There are also unique characters such as an Indian man who liked to wear women's clothes that took care of Fire Dancer, and the girl that closely resembled Dancing Fox in People of the Wolf, Tanager, never loved Fire Dancer. There is definitely improvement in writing and characters, and the time was very fascinating.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)