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"Gardner does a beautiful job of portraying the [Muskogee] people in a respectful and honorable way." ~Reviewer Becky Van Daniker
"One of the most impressive things about the novel is the authenticity and respect with which the author treats the First Nation culture. It is clear she has done her research, but the events and customs are so intertwined as to never sound expository. Instead, a vibrant history comes alive - a tale of a noble people whose seeming 'savagery', when put into perspective, is quite natural and just." ~ Tracy Krauss, author, artist, playwright
From the Author
My goal as a writer is to create a pleasing blend of the historical romance and historical fiction genres. The Red Feather is my hearty tribute to romance. Isn't Totka dreamy? The Sacred Writings (book 2), while giving a respectable nod to romance, delves into the cultural aspect that history buffs yearn for. It is also a memorial to the Native American tribes who for centuries dominated our Southeastern United States. If you live in Alabama or Georgia, pause for a moment, touch that gorgeous red earth beneath your feet, and remember that this land was not always ours. It first belonged to the Muscogees.
`The Sacred Writings` is the second novel in the Beneath the Blackberry Moon series by author April W. Gardner. To help guide the reader there are two maps, one of the Mississippi Territory and the other one of the Tensaw Settlements. Plus a glossary to help with those words that are in bold print. You may read my review of the first novel by clicking here.
The war from the first novel, The Red Feather, has ended. The settings scan from 1802-1816.
Now that the male protagonist, Totka, has white man's holy book he has to find out if the Creator is for real. He prays for a vision or a sign, so far he has only learned ancient stories from his people. He also wonders why plants and animals don't have a spirit. It is hard for him to understand white man's holy book. Perhaps as he reads the book would explain itself. Could it actually transform his life, beliefs, and traditions?
My favorite part was when Totka was reading the Bible, and he had many questions, reminders of what the female protagonist, Copper Woman, taught him were coming to his memory. She claimed the holy script was real, he just couldn't believe it. Totka was jealous of god-man because Copper Woman was totally devoted to Him. One of the quotes I like is the reminder that, if we seek him we will find him.
My least favorite is I think the book is too long, and I had a hard time with the flow of the story until about midway through the reading. However, that being said, I would recommend it to believers and seekers.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for sending me this novel to review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
The Sacred Writings, Book 2 in the Beneath the Blackberry Moon series by April Gardner, is possibly my favourite of the trilogy – which is actually saying something since the entire series has completely captivated me. The central character in this book is Totka, the Red Stick brave we met in Book 1, told almost entirely from his point of view. It sheds some important light on the man he is on the inside and the past experiences that shaped him to be the noble hero from the first book, The Red Feather. One of the most impressive things about the novel is the authenticity and respect with which the author treats the First Nation culture. It is clear she has done her research, but the events and customs are so intertwined as to never sound expository. Instead, a vibrant history comes alive – a tale of a noble people whose seeming ‘savagery’, when put into perspective, is quite natural and just. Having read Books 1 and 3 before reading this one, I was thrilled to be reintroduced to this character, his family, his culture, and his strong conviction. Bravo to the author for creating such a substantive and meaningful story. I look forward to more in the saga.
I loved The Sacred Writings! This is the sequel to The Red Feather which picks up exactly where we left off. This time we don’t see an actual historical event because this is Totka’s journey to finding faith in Jesus Christ. The Muskogee culture is so different from ours so it focuses on cultural immersion more than it does history. Gardner does a beautiful job of portraying the people in a respectful and honorable way.
Once again, I felt as if I were truly there with the characters and observing all that was happening. I feel like I can truly understand Totka better and where his people are coming from. I loved getting to visit Totka, Leaping Waters, Little Warrior, Singing Grass, White Stone, Lachlan and so many more of the characters again. Of course, we also meet new and exciting characters as well.
The Creek Wars are over so we get to observe as everyone puts their lives together again. Everyone has been affected and there is so much distrust and prejudice. Will the different people groups learn how to live each other or will things just go downhill.
April’s details come to life. From stickball tournaments to betrayal brought learning how Totka injured his knee, it has it all. This story is unique and rich.
April strings the romance along, but I’m glad she did because it was necessary.
It also has all of the feels! You’ll laugh, cry, cheer. It has all of it. I felt Totka’s confusion and grief. I cried like a baby during certain events that happened. With that being said, make sure you have tissues handy.
This is a beautiful series that everyone needs to read. There is talk about spreading the faith about Jesus, compassion, forgiveness, and learning to overcome anger and bitterness.
Looking forward to reading the rest of this series. I NEED MORE!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.