THE WHITE ARCHER: An Eskimo Legend by James Houston
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THE WHITE ARCHER: An Eskimo Legend

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Revenge! In the years following the massacre of his parents and the kidnapping of his sister by Indians from the Land of the Little Sticks, Kungo is obsessed by hatred. Harbored on the island of Tugjak by old hunter Ittak and his quiet, all-comprehending wife, he prepares himself for vengeance even as he trains a team of white wolf dogs and learns to shoot the great falcon bow Kigavik. But when the moment comes to shoot down the Indians, Kungo doubts: ""Was he not helping to pile hatred upon hatred like stones that would fall and kill everyone."" A strong, spare evocation of Eskimo life--of stalking caribou, skinning a seal, settling into an ice house in winter, a skin tent in summer--with moral and mythic overtones: only a good man ""who obeys the rules of life"" gets game, the animals ""will not give themselves"" to one who is cruel and stupid. Mr. Houston won applause with Tikta'liktak (1965); he should find a larger audience with this less constricted story. (We're calling it fiction despite the subtitle because it has all the essential attributes of characterization, motivation, resolution.)

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1967
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World