Books by Linda Lay Shuler

LET THE DRUM SPEAK by Linda Lay Shuler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

The elementary but agile further adventures of Shuler's 13th- century Native Americans in territory encompassing sections of what will be New Mexico, Oklahoma and Missouri. Here, Antelope, a Pueblo Indian who, like her mother Kwani (Voice of the Eagle, 1992; She Who Remembers, 1988), becomes the guardian and teacher of the ancient secrets of women, journeys from her home to meet both love and peril. With her mate Chomac, son of the fabled, wily trader Kokopelli, Antelope and her baby daughter Skyfeather take the long trek to the City of the Great Sun. The ruler of that city (who goes by the moniker ``Great Sun'') is hiding a scandalous secret. Fearing the arrival of the son of Kokopelli and the daughter of Kwani (their coming having been foretold), he plots their elimination. Before long, Antelope must also contend with: a jealous shaman who threatens Skyfeather, the Great Sun's glowering sister, and the Great Sun himself, who lusts for Antelope and plans to have Skyfeather, the perfect baby, sacrificed. Meanwhile, Chomac, flighty like his wandering sire, is lured away by Tima-eha, the lusty queen of the City of the North. Before the Great Sun can carry out his schemes, he is deposed. Antelope's new best friend, the healer Far Walker, is chosen to be the next Great Sun. Despairing of the absent, faithless Chomac, Antelope becomes Far Walker's mate, and when he travels on a state journey to Tima-eha, she reigns in his place. Far Walker's return from that dangerous queen is fraught (hardship, a killer earthquake), but thanks to Chomac (in a redeeming act), he survives. Then Antelope must deal with a painful question: Should she return to her old home and follow the ancestors' command to warn her people about the doom to come (the arrival of the Spaniards)? Some hard information here based on major archeological digs, but, overall, cartoon-soft, even if modestly diverting. Read full book review >
VOICE OF THE EAGLE by Linda Lay Shuler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 21, 1992

An assiduously researched sequel to Shuler's She Who Remembers (1991), again spotlighting Kwani, an Anasazi woman of the 13th century in what is now New Mexico. Here, Kwani, ``mated'' to a Towa warrior and builder, will live out her life in the rapidly expanding ridge-top city of Cicuye. Driven from her own tribe and pregnant by an Anasazi, Kwani mates with Tolonqua, who takes her and newborn son Acoya back to his people. On the way, he slays the White Buffalo, a Spirit Being, presaging power. Then there's a difficult trek to the Towa village of Cicuye, and once there, the cropping up of enemies. But Tolonqua is chosen to build a new city on the ridge, and Kwani sees the death of her old enemy, who was mother to her son's best friend- -Chomac. Kwani will bear a daughter, Antelope, whose strength and vision equip her to take her mother's place as She Who Remembers- -the woman with the power to be trained to pass on the secrets of women to the next generation. Years pass (Pawnees and Apaches threaten but can't overcome Cicuye) and the city grows; Tolonqua dies nobly on a hunt; Acoya is chosen both to finish the city and lead the people; and Chomac, now mated to Antelope, goes with her on a journey to trade and find his father, the playful wanderer Kokopelli (also from She Who Remembers). And Kwani goes home—her old Anasazi home—to die. In spite of some altercations on the plains or in the pueblos, the Towas are a fairly pacific bunch, and conflicts are sorted out between corn grindings, gossip, lovemaking, etc. Again, Shuler manages an arcane feel to the dialogue, and the reader feels sure that every artifact and process is documented. Not as much fun as Auel's wonder-woman prehistory adventures, but a rose-tinted, respectful ``re-creation'' of The Way Things Were over New Mexico way. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for Summer) Read full book review >