Finally a book that shows a period history through the eyes of Native Americans.
“Coming of the Storm (Contact: The Battle for America, Book One)” by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear is that book.
The story follows the lives of two fictional characters, Black Shell and Pearl Hand. The Gears interweave these characters with true facts pertaining to the arrival of Hernado de Soto in Florida in 1539.
Black Shell is an outcast from his people of the Chicaza Nation. He has become a trader traveling among the many tribes exchanging wares without fear under the Power of the trade.
On his way to White Bird Lake Town, Black Shell encounters Pearl Hand, a beautiful maiden who belongs to the town’s chief, Irriparaeoxi. Taken by Pearl Hand, Black Shell challenges Irriparaeoxi to a shooting match and wins her. Following the contest, the two quickly leave to avoid repercussions from the chief.
All goes well for the them, but Black Shell is obsessed to go South and see the Kristianas (white men) that are arriving in floating palaces. Pearl Hand warns that the Kristianas aren’t to be trusted that all who see them do not return. Black Shell convinces her they will only sneak a look and then leave.
However, Black Shell’s look at the Kristianas is too up close and personal. Pearl Hand is able to flee, but he is captured. He is chained with other slaves and made to work unloading the floating palaces. He witnesses firsthand the cruelty of the strange bearded men.
In a short period of time Black Shell's strength and will is beaten down, and he becomes ill. Through a series of events Pearl Hand is able to free him. It takes time for him to recuperate during which he is visited in visions by the great Spirit Being who shows him he must help his people defeat the Kristianas. And so the battle begins.
Even though this is a story of fiction, the Gears include a great many facts as to the barbaric ways of de Soto and his soldiers. How they outright murdered hundreds of Native American and enslaved hundreds more, chaining them and working them to death.
“Coming of the Storm” will open your eyes to how the Native Americans were really treated by the “heroic” explorers invading their land. This should be a “must read” for all history classes to understand what Native Americans have experienced.
This book will make you laugh, amaze you, have you believing in love at first sight, keep you on pins and needles, and break your heart at the abuse. I feel I haven’t done this book justice. I recommend you read it and judge for yourself.
Coming of the Storm (Contact: The Battle for America, Book One) * Pocket * @2010 * ISBN: 978-1-4391-5388-8 * Hardcover * 484 pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me as part of the authors’ blog tour in hopes I would review it. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.