WHITE FALCON by Eileen Thompson


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Estebanico, the Moslem slave turned shaman, continues to fascinate, and Thompson takes the promising tack of following his New Spain odyssey through the eyes of a Mexican Indian, the young interpreter White Falcon. Despite his hatred of the Spaniards who have made him a slave, White Falcon comes reluctantly under the spell of Estebanico's charisma. Yet he's unable to save the Moor (here portrayed as a Moroccan Berber and not a black man) from the consequences of his meddling with tribal religion and women and, simultaneously, he fails to mobilize resistance against the Spanish as the world he longs to defend is already crumbling. Insofar as Thompson combines an engaged hero with much illuminating factual background on the futile search for the golden cities of Cibola, this must be counted a successful venture in historical fiction. But Thompson's method is to have White Falcon verbalize every insight, and one has only to compare the youngster's attempts to reason with the Franciscan priest Fray Luis with the more underplayed, subtly indicative exchanges in O'Dell's Zia to realize the extent to which White Falcon must speak as an advocate for his people rather than as an individual. Earthbound.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday