The Ft. Larned Incident
Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover),
The Bureau of Indian Affairs at Ft. Larned, Okla., hosts the first annuity day. The Kiowa travel there to receive their share of the rations. The murder sparks animosity between two bands, and deadly hostilities will erupt if Tay-bodal can't come up with some answers, and quickly.
Complications abound. Tay-bodal's estranged wife, Crying Wind, a woman of the ruling class, walks about with the accused murderer. A jealous but reasonable man, Tay-bodal knows by proving the accused innocent of the crime, he may lose the woman he loves. A man of honor, he must do as asked by his chief -- even if other concerns interfere and other men want different resolutions.
Impeccable characterization, a multitude of sub-plots, and a protagonist of great merit make for an exceptional read. Characters and setting, tribal mores and ceremonies, combine to produce a plot so engrossing that I read the book from beginning to end in a single sitting.
The fourth book dealing with the exploits of Tay-bodal, The Incident at Ft. Larned touches the heart of that particular Kiowa culture, explains the various societal ramifications of Tay-bodal's acts, and does it so well that I understood it perfectly. This book belongs on my keeper shelf and as soon as I can pry it out of my husband's hands, that's where it will reside -- a treasure among treasures, a book to be savored again and again.
Thank you, Ms. Medawar, your writing adds new dimensions to my understanding of the past and of a people.
Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the contemporary PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books . The Wandering Troll, an electronic magazine, began serializing her novel Prophecy Be Damned in April 2000.
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