J.C. Andrijeski's Reviews > The Cahokian

The Cahokian by Zoe Saadia
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Jun 19, 12

Read in May, 2012

I really loved this book. It has this very epic, timeless quality to it that's hard to put into words, but that made it both feel very real and specific to the historical period and also, yeah...timeless. The main character, Acoto, is a really fascinating and sympathetic person, and his growth throughout the novel is pretty amazing. But even from the very beginning I found him to be unusually subtle, intelligent and introspective compared to most of the books I've read lately, especially given how narrow his world view is at the beginning (for understandable reasons), and how little room there is for alternate opinions in the very political and religious setting in which he's raised. I love how he changes through the course of the book, from the political problems he has that drive him into making decisions and exploring parts of the world that he had no interest in seeing before...which eventually changes the course of his life entirely. I don't want to give away too much by saying a lot about the plot, but I really loved the contrast between the two cultures explored in the book, and all of the characters were so fascinating, from his "brother" in the other tribe (who is basically "him" only the version created by this other culture) to the brother's sister to all of the elders...I don't think there's a single character in this book I didn't find interesting, which is saying a lot, since the work is pretty ambitious. Zoe Saadia has really reintroduced me to historical fiction again, and making me want to read more of it! I read a lot when I was younger, and now I'm remembering why...there's something so incredibly immersive in reading a book of this kind when it's done well, with people I can wholeheartedly believe in, and in whose lives I become fully invested. Highly recommend!
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