Sunburst, 2005 (1998)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
he story opens as a girl with bloody hands savors the wilderness beauty around her. She has joined the buffalo hunt against her father's wishes. Born with a twin brother, she has been named
and valued little by her father (her mother died in childbirth) and by her Apsaalooka (Crow) tribe. She is desperate to prove herself as a warrior and to be respected by her people. Her father,
warns her that the '
true warrior hates to kill
' and worries about her lack of respect for the animals she hunts. What drives her?
e learn of a prophecy that one of the twins would die young but the other would be '
one of the greatest Apsaalooka ever to live
'. The girl's brother,
, was thought to be the one, but he died as a four-year-old, and her feelings of guilt have overshadowed her life since. She has to believe that she is the '
' foretold. After a Lakota attack,
follows the warriors seeking revenge, but gets lost. She finds herself in the Land of Boiling Waters (Yellowstone), where she discovers an obsidian cliff, is attacked by a bear, and eventually captured by the Pawnee.
ver time, she enjoys being with them, even as a captive, and becomes close to Wolfstar, who calls her
. But only after betrayal and sacrifice, does this brave, troubled young woman understand her life's direction and find her real name.
is a powerful coming of age tale of an unhappy, driven adolescent in mid-eighteenth century America.
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