TATHAM MOUND by Piers Anthony


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Anthony, author of innumerable bestselling light fantasies, weighs in with a more seriously intended Native American/Spanish Conquest saga based on excavations made at Florida's Tatham Mound. During a raid on an enemy tribe, young warrior Throat Shot takes an arrow in the shoulder and falls unconscious on the ancient Toco tribal burial mound. The powerful spirit Dead Eagle saves his life, takes away his fear, and orders him to search for a magic crystal that will avert a future danger from the East. Throat Shot, who has a knack for languages, wanders far and wide as a trader's interpreter, learning songs and stories as he goes. After various adventures, and renamed Tale Teller, he marries a widow and her daughter. The spirits urge Tale Teller to continue with his quest, but he ignores them--and soon his family is wiped out by a mysterious disease. In his grief, Tale Teller renounces the spirits and his quest. Later, following another marriage and more children, he will be captured and enslaved by Hernando de Soto's brutal Conquistadors, and only after many more adventures and great hardships will Tale Teller escape, be reconciled with Dead Eagle, and finally join his wives and children in the spirit world. An interesting idea, but Anthony's dull, flat, uninvolving narrative--despite bolstering by Native tales and myths, and long descriptions of ceremonials and rituals--displays little real insight and offers, at best, average appeal.
Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-10140-2
Page count: 552pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1991


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