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The Bone Whistle    by Eva Swan order for
Bone Whistle
by Eva Swan
Order:  USA  Can
Juno, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Eva Swan's The Bone Whistle is a fast-paced, romantic fantasy. However, unlike most fantasy today, the world her heroine enters is not taken from Western European mythology so prevalent in the genre, but rather the world of the wanaghi, or Native American fey.

Twenty-year-old Darly Road cannot stand her mother's tradition of leaving their suburban Colorado home to spend the summer in a deserted cabin in the Dakota Hills, far from any form of civilization. Her mother finds it peaceful, but Darly just finds it annoying - except for the fact that she gets to see her grandfather Jake, who is the only connection Darly has to the father who left her mother before even knowing she was pregnant. Darly vows that this will be her last summer in the boring cabin, but that changes when Jake gives her a bone whistle with instructions to use it if she is ever bored.

One day, Darly is out exploring one of the hills near the cabin when she crosses a rattlesnake. Not knowing what else to do, Darly blows the bone whistle and a man appears out of nowhere to save her and take her to his world under the hill. Scared, Darly begs to go home where her mother and Jake tell her the truth about her father, the man she just met. However, when Darly blows the whistle again, another wanaghi, wary of humans, comes to take her under the hill against his will. While Darly learns of her true heritage, she and the stranger fall in love, helping to bring peace to the war-torn world of the wanaghi.

The Bone Whistle is a refreshing take on a genre that has been inundated in recent years. While the romance could be improved upon (Darly's is a whirlwind courtship with no time to fall in love, and I have no idea how she becomes pregnant), the fantasy itself enthralls. The wanaghi's world under the hill is similar to the world of Faerie, but also different enough to give the wanaghi their own individuality that sets them apart from other fey. Because of this, The Bone Whistle will appeal more to readers who do not mind a little romance in their fantasy, rather than to those who want a little fantasy in their romance.

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