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ZADAYI RED by Caleb Fox


by Caleb Fox

Pub Date: July 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1992-0
Publisher: Tor

Fantasy debut retells a Cherokee legend.

The heroic magical quest is a well-worn convention in this genre, but Fox adds a fresh element with his engaging Native American cultural setting. Sunoya, a young shaman of the ancient Galayi, has a vision of the tribe’s magical Cape of Eagle Feathers—worn by the Seer of the People to see the future and protect the Galayi—smeared with dirt and blood. She also predicts the birth of a hero who will restore the cape and save the tribe. Her cousin’s infant son, Dahzi, may be that hero. As he grows up, he faces many perils: His sinister grandfather hates him; tribes at war threaten him; and he must undertake a dangerous mission. Religion-tinged magic suffuses the story throughout. Sunoya, for example, has telepathic conversations with her spirit-guide and converses with a wide variety of animal-deities. The author, himself half-Cherokee, provides an insightful portrayal of the daily lives of an ancient people.

Fox draws effectively on Native American mysticism to create a fine fable.