About the Book:
In the eagerly awaited third installment of the Contact: Battle for America saga, New York Times bestselling authors W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear richly portray a clash of cultures and a native peoples’ struggle to protect their world. Set against the tragic war sparked by Hernando de Soto’s brutal invasion of the American South, A Searing Wind heightens the historical action in this series hailed as “magnificent” (Andrew M. Greeley) and “exciting, skillfully crafted, and fast-paced” (Publishers Weekly).
Black Shell is an exile, banished by his people for his cowardice in battle. To his fearsome patron spirit, Horned Serpent, however, he is imbued with the courage and keenness to stop the Kristiano onslaught. He and his beautiful wife Pearl Hand have fought them from the Florida Peninsula through the very heart of native America. A trader by profession, Black Shell now dedicates his soul to destroying the invaders, with their impenetrable armor, their swift, enormous cabayos, and their flashing, razor-sharp swords.
Black Shell and Pearl Hand have seen the shackled, naked, starving slaves, heard the broken promises—and learned de Soto’s plans. While the battle of Mabila cost many Kristianos life and limb, the marauder does not retreat. Now he heads for Chicaza and the people from which Black Shell was once exiled.
Wounded and pursued by memories and visions, Black Shell is obsessed with setting the perfect trap. To do so, he must use the Chicaza and their stockpiles of food and supplies. And he must gamble everything on his people’s pride, traditions, and failings. As winter sets in, new dangers abound for the pair—that of a family’s shame, a woman’s anger, and a betrayal that may force Black Shell to forfeit his last chance to save their world from utter destruction. But, worst of all, he and Pearl Hand must walk boldly into de Soto’s camp and engage the cunning monster in a desperate game of wits that will decide the fate of a continent.
Powerful and pulsing with authenticity, A Searing Wind is an unforgettable tale of humanity and cruelty, passion and ignorance—and of historical events burned into America’s history and soul.
About the Authors:
W. MICHAEL GEAR and KATHLEEN O’NEAL GEAR are the New York Times bestselling authors of Coming of the Storm and Fire the Sky, the previous books in the Contact series, and more than thirty international bestsellers that have been translated into twenty-eight languages. Their novel People of the Raven won the Golden Spur Award. In addition to writing both fiction and nonfiction together and separately, the Gears operate an anthropological research company, Wind River Archeological Consultants, and raise buffalo on their ranch in Wyoming.
A Searing Wind is the third and final book in the Contact: Battle for America series. I read it without reading the first two books and it was excellent as a stand alone book. I can only imagine what it is going to be like when I get the time to go back and read all three of them back to back. This is one powerful and engrossing novel and I suspect that when I do read the entirety of the story I will want to go back and read it again. A Searing Wind was that good.
I will admit to a certain fuzziness when it comes to my knowledge of early explorations on the North American continent. I knew De Soto’s name and I vaguely recalled his travels and conquests from long ago history lessons but I will also admit to a certain dislike of American history while in school. That has changed as I have aged and I now devour books on the history of my country at about the same pace i read my beloved European history novels.
This tale of De Soto’s tale of destruction through the southern part of what is now the United States is gripping. The two main characters, Black Shell and Pearl Hand are fighting the battle of their lives to save their people and their ways from the invading kristianos. The Spanish felt they were superior in every way to the indios and were there to conquer and enslave them. The various tribes felt that De Soto and his men had to be destroyed but they had superior amour, weapons and the dreaded cabayos (horses).
The Indians work together – even tribes that have previously warred with each other to rid themselves of the evil that is De Soto – the monster.
I cannot begin to tell you how powerful a book this was. For the first time in a very, very long time a book brought me to tears. I can’t tell you why or over what or I will ruin the plot but I will tell you that I became that involved with the story. I finished the book over a week ago and yet I still find myself thinking about it at odd moments. The Gears have that special way with words that draw you so far into a book you forget you are reading and become part of the story. Their descriptive power was such that I was almost smelling, tasting, seeing what the characters did. In spite of the violent nature of a book about conquest I almost didn’t want to leave….
My only complaint is about the cover. I would have walked right by A Searing Wind in a book store. And that is sad because I would then have missed out on one of the best books I have ever read. I will forever be grateful that it was sent to me for review because now I have it and its sisters in my library to enjoy over and over again.
A Searing Wind is available on Amazon.com
Coming of the Storm is available on Amazon.com
Fire the Sky is available on Amazon.com
Now read on and learn about the giveaway!
One VERY lucky US reader will win the THREE BOOK Contact: The Battle for America series including paperback copies of Coming of the Storm and Fire the Sky and a hardback copy of A Searing Wind.
How do you win? It’s easy!
Just click on “read more” and jump on the Rafflecopter. If you are here by direct link the ‘copter is waiting!
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Disclosure: I received the series gratis from Gallery Books a division of Simon and Schuster. I was asked to review A Searing Wind. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free books. I received no monetary compensation for this post.