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Dark Heart: 2 Hardcover – August 6, 1992


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; Library edition edition (August 6, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525449515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525449515
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,473,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10-- Continuing the tale began in Long Night Dance (Dutton, 1989), Dark Heart is set in the village of the Creek tribe at the base of Dark Heart mountain. The society is rigid and superstitious, governed by ritual and tradition. It is to this former home of her dead mother that 17-year-old Kat has fled to escape from an abusive father. Here, she must endure the ritual of being ``eaten by a bear'' to become a woman. It is around the preparation for and performance of this rite that the plot turns. The mystery of what this entails and why it must happen keeps readers turning the pages, but the conclusion is disappointing since the ritual is never fully explained or satisfactorily described. Kat is a finely drawn character. As a person in transition between two cultures and from girlhood to womanhood, she often has conflicting feelings. At times she wants to fit into the estab: lished patterns of her new home. At others, she wants to return to Nall, the man she loves but left behind. Her frequent ambivalence and flares of independence make her believable and sympathetic. The minor characters, although not as complex, are adequate to develop the story. Since several questions remain unanswered at the book's end, it's likely that another volume is forthcoming. --Marilyn Makowski, Greenwood High School, SC
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Continuing the heavily allegorical saga begun in Long Night Dance (1989), James confronts independent-minded Kat, 17, with the tradition-bound society of her dead mother. Kat grew up among merchants like her father, who contemptuously treat their women as chattels. In the hill village where she now lives, boys carry spindles they will use as adult weavers (a craft forbidden to women), while girls make pots, abjuring any deviation from customary design; ribald taunts between the sexes are encouraged, and Kat endures suggestive teasing about her pending ritual initiation into womanhood. This involves a bear, which cruelly wounds her in an unsuccessful first trial; the rebellious Kat, deeply averse to the ritual's violence, is nearly suicidal by the time she tries again but manages to survive with her inner self intact. The language here is richly evocative, the images compelling--disturbingly so, since they convey the allure of sexual relationships founded on provocative behavior and male dominance, though clearly decrying them. Kat's tender memories of the first book's gentle Nall and her tempestuous but increasingly subtle interaction with the angry, blind weaver here hint at something more creative and constructive in her future; it remains to be seen whether James can go beyond anger to depict some kind of mature self-realization (or even love) in a third book. Her intrepid protagonist has earned it. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Morrigu on November 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely LOVE this book! The characters are so alive here. When you read this, you can really feel Kat's feeling of being an outcast, and Raim's pain and longing for the past he once had. The story is very touching and creative; Betsy James creates a culture here, a world, all of its own, and different than any other world I've read of heard of. This village definitely has its own traditions, and Kat is alien to them, and so it is wish frustration that she tries her best to fit in. But it is by Raim, the blind weaver whom she meets, that she discovers that fitting in is not the most important thing. These two characters begin to heal as they encounter each other again and again, and their feelings vibrate from every page.

Not only is there Raim and Kat, but more characters who are enjoyable to read, from the motherly Bian, to the helpful Jekka, to the ever-flirtatious and entertaining Set. This book is a fabulous book for readers of all ages - I'm 18 and I still love this book - and I think anyone with an imagination who loves an imaginative tale, and a dramatic tale, should read this book. It will pull your heartstrings and suck you in.

The Seeker Chronicles as a whole is fabulous. I still love Dark Heart the best, but Long Night Dance, it's prequel, fills you in more on Kat's past, and Listening at the Gate, the third in the series (the sequel to Dark Heart), continues her adventures on entirely new levels. Do read Dark Heart - you won't regret it!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific story. Kat, humiliated and shunned after the disaster of her first "bear", the initiation ritual, takes to wandering by herself in the ruins outside the village, where she meets Raim, the blind weaver. Blinded by an accident, the village cast him out, saying he was "cursed". Kat begins to heal internally as she becomes more and more involved with him. Observing Raim's own anguish in coming to terms with his pain and anger, she realizes that he is the real outcast - and that there are worse things than not being accepted.
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By Molly Moses on July 7, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
You will be hooked! Make sure you read them in order! Very well written and takes you on a great adventure!
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By A Customer on March 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book when I was ten years old and I was enthralled. I felt as if I were facing the same challenges Kat was facing. Although I would recommend this book to older readers. I really enjoyed it and hope that other people have enjoyed it to
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