Final novel in the Arctic Storyteller Trilogy begun with the richly authentic Song of the River (1997) and Cry of the Wind (1999; not reviewed here), set in Alaska in the seventh century b.c.<\h> Chakliux, as a newborn with a deformed foot, is put out to die but saved by fiery, vicious K’os and grows into a wise and gentle leader set on bringing peace to the villages. Great trials turn Chakliux into a revered storyteller. Following a battle with Near River Village, Chakliux and his brother Sok choose to live in the defeated Cousin River Village, where Chakliux falls for beautiful but cruelly married Aqamdax, though their love exists under a curse. Aqamdax and Yikaas become storytellers. The story turns on young Yikaas, who must overcome his selfishness and self-importance. So Yikaas accepts the challenge put to him by his teacher, an old woman, to accompany her on a dangerous journey to the ancestral First Men, who live across the North Sea. Meanwhile, K’os returns from slavery to the First Men to upset the peace brought by Chakliux, now married to Aqamdax.
Splendid wrap-up. Light the tribal fire and listen.