Fire the Sky: Book 2 of Contact: The Battle for America

Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, Gallery, $26 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5389-5
In this powerful historical tale with only the slightest gloss of the supernatural, the great Native American civilization introduced in 2010's Coming of the Storm is collapsing, beset by outside danger and riven by internal dissent, jealousy, and shortsightedness. In 1539, in what is now Florida, exiled trader Black Shell is selected by the spirits to fight the invading Kristianos led by Hernando de Soto. He and his wife, Pearl Hand, and a band of fellow exiles harry the invaders as best they can while local rulers downplay the threat or use it to gain an advantage over rivals. Black Hand must watch de Soto advance as his people suffer and die and his world disintegrates. Historical accuracy and deliberate parallels with present-day events lend additional drama to scenes of domesticity, politics, and battle. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
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