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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Old Cover-First Edition-Out of Print

Winner of the 2013 BEST INDIE BOOK AWARD, Storykeeper is an epic adventure, based on historic sixteenth-century Spanish documents from the expedition of Hernando de Soto through the southern regions of the United States. However, the story is told from the perspective of the people of the Mississippi River Valley, who lived and survived...more
Paperback, First Edition, 352 pages
Published March 8th 2012 by Createspace (first published March 4th 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 672)
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Jess Mountifield
I was gifted a copy of this eBook in return for a review.

I studied this area of American history in school and while it was quite a number of years ago now it still made me eager to read this book. I was not let down in the slightest. This was the perfect book to finish off last year with and one of the best books I had the pleasure of reviewing in 2012.

The storytelling structure of the book appealed to my own nature and each different timeline being talked about felt real and fresh. I could ima...more
Jim Fromm
A story well told.

As I was reading this, I found myself thinking in simplistic terms, welcoming the sunrise, cupping beautiful blooms in my hands. and discovering a potpourri of suburban aromas I had never noticed before. I wonder what life in the western hemisphere would look like if the natural simplicity could have been nurtured and appreciated without the greed or the self righteous Christian mandate. Could we be living as gently on our land? The Spanish, with all their arrogant and evil, we...more
It's mid-16th century in what is now Arkansas. This book is a story within a story within a story. In the oral history tradition of the Native Americans, Manaha passes down stories surrounding the arrival of conquistador Hernandez de Soto and the fate of the Casqui and Pa-caha peoples.

Favorite quotes:
"Walk with pride, but always step with respect." (p110)
"Do not lose your life to the fury of war nor your soul to its glory." (p230)

"A man without a story is one without a past, and man without a p...more
This is the story of how the lives of the native Americans of the Nine Rivers valley were changed by the arrival of the Spanish. It's told in three concurrent threads the first being that of an old woman, the last of her people, living under sufferance with another tribe. She keeps alive the memory of her own people by the oral tradition of story telling.

By means of these stories we get the second thread, the woman's life as a young girl with her adopted grandfather. The third thread, a story wi...more
Kathy Davie
eBook: 4869
Publisher: Daniel A. Smith
Review source: Daniel A. Smith
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie

I'm hoping this is the first in a Nine-Rivers Valley historical fiction series about the power of memory.

My Take
I love how Smith brought the Spanish invasion of the Americas to life through his use of Manaha and her storytelling. He held my attention throughout as he flashed back and forth from Manaha's childhood to her older life using Manaha as the vehicle to tease us into wanting to know what...more
Arkansas Book Reviewer
The Hachia people, one of the last surviving tribes of the ancient nations of the Nine-Rivers, do not speak of the history, the disgrace, that took away their strength, leaving them weak and hiding, now, at the foothills in the Mountains of the Ozarks of Arkansas. Despite this, Manaha, Mother of None, receiving a dream that renders her arm useless, and in which she is told to share her stories in order that her arm may be restored, goes before the council proclaiming her wish to do so at the vil...more
Dawn Edwards
Terrific Historical Novel about a Little-Known bit of our Country's Discovery and Conquest Mr. Smith has written a fantastic tale from the Native American point of view about the conquest of the New World by Hernando DeSoto. He has done impeccable research on this topic, and through this novel has made that period in our history come alive for me. Prior to reading this book, I had only a passing and shallow knowledge of the conquering of the area where I was actually born. As I read from one sto...more
Goodread's first-read giveaway.

Rating: 2/5

The book has interesting concept, emphasizing the importance of stories/history, so that people know their past and prepare them for the future. The language is promisingly descriptive, yet perhaps not making enough echo to me.

Having said that, the pace of the stories seems repetitive and predictable, even somewhat irritating to me whenever it comes to "I, ..., shall tell a story." Maybe that is the way N.A. Indians converse, their formality/ritual, and...more
Jul 28, 2012 Michelle rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction, early North American history, Native American culture and storytelling
This was an interesting glimpse into a time period that I know very little about: North American native culture during the invasion of Hernando de Soto and the Conquistadors. The book is in the form of a story within a story within a story, mostly in the voice of the storyteller Manaha, who, in relating the story of her life, also passes on those told to her by her grandfather. It is beautifully descriptive of the land at that time and the now-extinct civilization that inhabited it. I really enj...more
Gordon Howard
In 1514 Hernando De Soto lead a Spanish army on an expedition through Arkansas. This historically accurate account of the impact on the local native Americans is anything but dry. The story is told told through three separate timelines. Taninto is a young indian living in Casqui, an indian village along the Mississippi river. He lived through the arrival of Hernando's army and followed it through its exploration for several years. The second timeline commences when Taninto discovers a young girl...more
The story of Native American tribes when the Spanish were conquering the land that would become the United States, this was an interesting tale. It involves three generations of two people who believed in the importance of passing along stories to maintain the family history. The stories were set in three different time frames which kept the novel from lagging. It was a good book, and might spark someone to record and save his or her own family stories and history.
Hans Doreleyers
A Tremendous story, well told

I loved this story! It narrates the lives of natives between the Mississippi and Arkansaw rivers on three separate story lines. The language is beautifully simple, its message brutal and harsh: The brutality of the Spanish conquistadors only exceeded by their zealous conviction that all was to the glory of their god. A must read!
sherry beth
Excellent Story

This is such an interesting book. Being a tale of historic fiction, reading it helps bring us back to a time when the first white explorers came to America. The cruelty that was inflicted is heartbreaking. It was a story about a story, stretching back in time and then to the future as the stories will continue to be told.
Very moving book. A nice treatment of the consequences of the Spanish invasion for the Native Americans. The language was beautiful and created a sense of being in that time and place. I cannot help feeling that the loss of Native American history and culture is a loss for all humanity.
I was particularly interested in this book since I had just finished researching the prehistoric Mississippian culture for an article I was writing.

Storykeeper is a story that tells what happened to the people of the mounds after Hernando de Soto and his army of conquistadors trampled through the land bringing disease, war, and a new religion. One hundred years later, a woman of a tribe steps forward to demand that the stories about their heritage be told. Thus, she becomes the Storykeeper.

I fe...more
I don't have enough historical background to verify with certainty the accuracy of this tale, but it felt believable, which is often more important to the reader than complete accuracy. A very sad and moving book.
Very interesting to read about the civilizations in America before the coming of Europeans. I'd really like to read Hernan DeSoto's journals, from which this story was taken and embellished.
"Quote I like: I have come to understand that stories must be passed down or those that follow will lose their place in the world and the guidance of knowledge gathered through many lifetimes.

Son of the Sun to come from the East from across the Great Waters

The native Americans requested the promised sign from the Son of Suns

This book is a keeper."
I won this book on Goodreads.
I enjoyed this book very much. I want to do some research now, on the areas and events described in the book. I knew some of the history of the Spanish bringing sickness to America and wiping out whole tribes, but this book has piqued my interest.
Dennis Raffaelli
Okay. It kept switching between time periods so you had to get reoriented I thought it a little slow moving.

It was somewhat brutal, but I guess that is how the invaders treated the native people.

This is a novel about the Indians in the area of the Mississippi River area at the time Desoto invaded it for Spain. I would give it a 3.5. It jumped around in time which is OK but dragged in parts.
Loved this story, though I will be going back to read more of the beginning. Manaha is the storyteller and the young boy, the lone listener, be ones the "Storykeeper".
I enjoyed this book. After reading it, I feel compelled to write my own family stories for future generations as well as the present.
A fascinating read, I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions and the well developed characters. Historical fiction at its best
Lisa Pulignani
Love reading about different cultures. Kept my interest.
Carol Parry
Jan 07, 2014 Carol Parry is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Won this book thru Goodreads
Jun 02, 2012 Therese marked it as to-read
Mick marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
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Daniel grew up in Arkansas. In his youth, he worked for his father, riding in an old Studebaker pick-up around the state servicing refrigeration units in tourist courts and small country stores. Years later, Daniel traveled some of those same back roads for his own business, repairing and installing sound systems.

For the first time, he began to notice the amazing number of ancient earthworks that...more
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