THE HOLY ROAD by Michael Blake
Kirkus Star


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Epic, tragic sequel to Dances With Wolves (1989, not reviewed).

It has been ten years since soldier John Dunbar joined the Comanches, took the name Dances With Wolves, and married Stands With A Fist, a white woman raised as a Comanche. Now the couple has a son, Snake In Hands, and two girls, Always Walking and Stays Quiet. They live in a lodge slightly outside the main village of Ten Bears, in which various symbols disturb the tribe’s sleep. A medal given by the Great White Chief in Washington to medicine man Kicking Bird, who wears it daily, and the long red hair of a white woman’s heavy scalp, which hangs in the lodge of great chief Wind in His Hair, are ever-present reminders of the white men closing in on the Plains from every direction—north, south, east, and west. A sense of overhanging tragedy afflicts the entire tribe, including Dances With Wolves and especially anxiety-ridden Stands With A Fist, who deeply fears being taken back into white society with her white Comanche children. The Cheyenne and a Quaker agent warn them that the whites plan to build a cross-country railroad straight through the land. The Comanche join forces with the Kiowa for their own protection, and Dances With Wolves becomes a member of the Hard Shields, a small body of warriors pledged to fight to the last breath. But for every white soldier they kill, two replace him. After white rangers destroy Ten Bears, slaughter half its people, and kidnap Stands With A Fist and Stays Quiet, Dances With Wolves seeks his lost ones among the whites, hearing English for the first time in 11 years. Kicking Bird, intent on working out some kind of coexistence with the invaders, again goes to the Great White Chief in wondrous Washington, but this will lead only to the final downfall of the tribes.

Inhuman agony, brilliantly portrayed.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2001
ISBN: 0-679-44866-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2001


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