William H. Drinkard
Tor, Apr 2008, $25.95
The People live a difficult but greateful life; they are thankful for Fire from the Goddess Shetow and the hunt mostly of the mighty mammoth who provide food and clothing. All of the tribe know their role in keeping everyone safe, men mostly as hunters and women mostly as gatherers and artisans. Geerna realizes it is time for her to become a woman. She anxiously waits at the Awakening Place not knowing what to expect when a light shines brightly on her; she begins a trek no member of the People has ever had to do before her.
Eons pass with People remaining the same. They abide by Geerna’s Law enforced by the Medora Council wise women until Shetow who chose Geerna to bring the covenant to the People demands they choose new champions. Those chosen must prove to their Goddess that the People remain worthy.
Although the ending is too simple, readers will appreciate this strong reflective look at the interrelationships placed upon people by an external force (think in terms of bringing democracy to Iraq vs. internally the royals bringing democracy to the Kingdom of Bhutan) vs. ages of tradition. The story line is fast-paced, but driven by the magnificent seven who ponder their places in society and with one another. Fans will appreciate William H. Drinkard’s thought provoking mythos.