Evolved Publishing brings you a rare glimpse into ancient Native American culture, in the award-winning historical novel, Circles, by Ruby Standing Deer.
With much of the world still undiscovered, a small band of people live a peaceful life, until the dream vision of a young boy, Feather Floating in Water, changes everything. Only nine winters old, Feather's dreams turn his seemingly ordinary childhood into the journey of a lifetime. He must help his people face a terrifying destiny from which they cannot turn away. He must find a way to make his people listen.
Bright Sun Flower, the boy's grandmother, guides his beginnings, teaching him about the Circle of Life, and how without it, no life can exist. But he needs a bigger push, and gets it from a grey wolf and a Great Elder. The boy's journey leads him to discover that the Circle of Life involves all people, all living things, and not just the world he knows.
In the end, an ancient People guide the boy in his visions, toward an unexpected place hidden from outsiders.
This story is steeped in American Indian life, in their beliefs and humor, and in their love of family. It shows how we might benefit from the old ways today.
©2014 Evolved Publishing LLC (P)2014 Evolved Publishing LLC
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"Beautiful coming of age with a touch of fantasy"
I loved this experience. Karen Rose Richter is an accomplished narrator who gives vivid life to these many characters. Her performance is beautiful. Like another reviewer mentioned, her ability to distinguish between genders and all ages, is great, and one never gets confused about who is speaking. Her tone is just right for this story, warm, sometimes funny, but gentle. The story is interesting. I found the book to be like a fable at least in the first half. Feather goes through many incidents and adventures, and he learns lessons from them. Point of view switches when necessary to tell the story that the author wants to tell. So at first it seemed somewhat shallow prose--but that's only if you're comparing it to any other novel you might have read. The depth is in the mix. The second half of the story gets tense and thrilling.
The spiritual practices and shamanism in the book has a feeling of authenticity, and is described in intricate detail, narratively. I'm not sure, but I think the predictive visions are meant to be fantasy. It is a book that unfolds at its own pace. It is not "a western", or any other distinct genre. Of course, as you're listening, your heart breaks for these wise, gentle people whose way of life is about to be wiped off the face of the earth by history. It was impressive that the wise characters in the story make the point several times that not ALL of the invaders are evil. That they will find friends among them. And then that is demonstrated. That kind of grace is rare in books and in life. While I had minor emotional responses to the first half of the book, the second half pays major dividends. There's so much detail about day to day life, and the spiritual lives of the people, their decisions and thought processes, that the effect becomes profound.
"Enter a New World (Which Is Really An Old One)"
Yes. It's unique. I think there are other Native American stories that take place before the coming of white men, but I haven't read them. I don't believe the author depicted a particular tribe; they were more of an amalgam. I recognized several aspects of Plains Indian culture, although the setting was the Southwest (amongst red canyons).
I would call this historical fantasy, but I guess that depends on your own belief system. There was a wild wolf who acted like a puppy-dog and people communicating through dreams and glowing blue. I would have preferred more grounding in reality. I know many of these "fantasy" elements reflect Native American beliefs, but others I question.
I appreciated Standing Deer's attempt to use terminology her characters would have used, à la James Welch--such as calling horses "big dogs" and buffalo "hump backs." Yet she also described things as being the colors of cinnamon and peach, which would both have been unknown to this tribe. Also the preternatural wisdom and endless questions of our young hero did become a bit irritating over time.
Perhaps. I know there are two sequels. I worry that they might get repetitive. I feel like I got my fix.
Clear. Deliberate. Heartfelt. I actually found it too deliberate and sped up to 1.25. But then the high-pitched children's voices sounded extra funny.
Yes. I would hope they would cast Native American actors! Feather would have to be someone up-and-coming. Adam Beach could play his adoptive father and Irene Bedard could play his mother. Tantoo Cardinal could be his grandmother.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com
We pick up wisdom in many ways. This beautiful and great story made me on the verge of tears a few times. However they were tears of powerful, yet gentle feelings.
"The Truth Of All That Exists"
I think this is a beautifully told story of the Native American way and the true way of all Life as it should be. This story has many messages but most importantly that the Earth is our Mother and she should be respected and honored by us as humans only passing through. I love Feather and his wolf White Paws and how they met. Truly amazing. One of my favorite lessons in this book is about The Pipe of Truth and its true meaning of how it teaches us about the joy of life. The greater good. And Flying Raven, while referring to the lodge said it was like the womb of the Mother and when entering you must say "All my relatives enter with me. This means our animal brothers and sisters, our ancestors, ALL_ OF_ LIFE". There were no wasted words in this book. Everything has a meaning. Overall Life is a Circle. Ruby Standing Deer is such a phenominal author.
Karen Rose Richter did the most amazing job with this book. She has such a diverse voice. She nailed every character's stance and voice. Feather's voice was perfect. Impressive! This is the second time I've had the pleasure of listening to her work.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.
"A refreshing view of history!"
Yes, I truly enjoyed listening to the stories of how things were for the Indians. Their outlook on life is very refreshing.
I loved the scene where a big flood came in and White Paws helped feather hang onto Mixed Baskets, & she hung onto her mother. Animals helping people, incredible & inspiring!
OMG, this lady's ability to do voices is awesome. She sounded just like Indians speaking, made Feather sound like a little boy. Spoke all the roles clearly & slowly like an Indian would back then. just amazing!
Circles of Life
I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would. I admire the author for writing this book. While it may be history to her people, to me, it is like an education. To see into other cultures and give me a better understanding of history. Yet this story is told in an exciting way which makes it a memorable book.
"What beauty and expanse was written"
I have to find a spot for this near the top.
It reminds me of the People Series by the Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear. A series I have followed for years.
Feather Floating In Water is the main character and his earnest voice, his questioning nature , his heart all won me over.
When he tries to communicate with his grandmother and well don't want to spoil it, but it is funny, and the things that can happen even in the great cosmic soup.
I loved this book and can not wait to dig into the next 2 book in the series. Thank you to such a fabulous writer and narrator for bringing such joy between the headphones.
"A native American Moses and exodos"
The story was beautiful and well told, however it did drag along at times. I would of shortened the book a bit.
By cutting a few hours out of the book as it did drag along at times.
This is my first listen by this narrator,
I would like to know the out come of Feather's (Shinning Light's) followers. How did the exodus end? Did they make it to their new home? What was the outcome for his dependents?
A young Native American Moses like figure, Feather, leads his people in an exodus as the Spanish conquistadors are making their way across the American southwest.
Feather, who is destined to become a great wise-man, holy-man, leader and Shaman, has dreams of hairy monsters covered in silver riding upon big dogs bringing death and destruction. He is just a boy. Will his people believe him and leave on a great exodus with him?
The story was magical and mystical. From a time and culture that was one with nature, instinctively bonding and interacting with nature unlike today's sophisticated complex technological society.
Feather is precocious, and wise with an old soul. He is seen as odd by many of his people while the wisest of his people see his value, wisdom, uniqueness and potential.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”
This was a very powerful story which gives insight into the ones who moved away from the conquistadors so their people would survive. A compelling read.
Interesting. Enjoyed reading about another culture. Was narrated well. I liked the connection with animals. That's all I have to say.
"I don't know how to say this..."
Given all the five stars to this book, I'm a little afraid to give my opinion. I still have 4 hours to go, and I can't wait to finish it. First of all, the slow cadence of the narrator almost puts me to sleep every time, combined with the slow pace of the story. The subject is most interesting and I've read several books about this fascinating people. I had trouble accepting the almost "holiness" of all the characters, the utopian life to be destroyed by the "bearded ones". I don't deny and I abhor the barbaric treatment of American Indians by the white invaders, but this story does not reflect the reality of human beings, warts and all. It reads more like a lyrical bedtime story. I'll find out what the last 4 hours have to offer.
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