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Burning Sky

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,347 ratings  ·  284 reviews
Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during h ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by WaterBrook
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,347 ratings  ·  284 reviews

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Lori Benton
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi Readers!

I thought I'd share here about one of the characters in Burning Sky who is near and dear to me for many reasons.

In an interview I did when Burning Sky released in 2013 I was asked, "Did your own battle and survivorship with cancer influence your novel?"

A: Very much so. One of the themes in Burning Sky is redefining oneself after a significant loss. Many of the characters in the story are on that journey but one of them, Neil MacGregor—the Scottish botanist and physician aided by Will
Okay. New favourite author on my radar!!

This book was GOOD. Really, really good. The writing was gorgeous, lyrical, beautiful, ah-mazing. The setting, the characters, everything. Good, good, ALL SO GOOD.

I took myself off to a nearby park, found a secluded spot in the forest and just read, pretending to be in 18th century America, expecting to see an Indian or a British soldier, smelling campfire, and listening to the bird songs. It was, to say the least, really good escapism.

Lori Benton craft
The writing in this book was STUNNING and the story held me in its grasp the entire time. Loved it!
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.

I had a hard time putting this one down. I won't recant what the story was about, you can read that in the blurb. This was my first book by Lori Benton, and I was quite impressed with her writing. I look forward to reading her other books. I listened to the audio version of this book, and must recognize the reader, Saskia Maarleveld who did an exceptional job with the narration. Loved it. Highly recommend.
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I haven't LOVED a debut novel as much as Burning Sky in a long time.

Burning Sky isn't your normal kind of book. I think I knew this before even reading it, simply from what I'd heard about it... and likely the strange undeniable draw I had to a book named simply after its heroine.

I'm not sure what to say. I spent two days straight reading this book. I stayed up until 2am on a Saturday night to finish it--despite the fact that I'd been more tired lately than I'd ever been (due to being at the nea
Beth Erin
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full review on

Lori Benton’s masterful storytelling breathes love, life, and emotion across the dusty pages of history. Over two centuries later, the spirit of the frontier continues to inspire and encourage us. Women like Willa vulnerably display the beauty of femininity with deep, heartbreaking love and graceful, empowering faith to this day.

Benton is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite authors. I love the way the author unapologetically exposes the raw emotional
Joanne Bischof
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Burning Sky is a powerful and heart-tugging novel that I could scarcely put down. With a beautiful and lyrical voice, Lori Benton draws the reader into the world of her characters on the wild frontier of early America. I found myself rooting for them all. My heart hurt when theirs did and I rejoiced along side them. It’s a story that’s stuck with me long after I turned the last page. Highly recommended!
Jocelyn Green
Adored this novel. I could binge read Lori Benton books all day every day. They are beautiful, raw, tender, poignant, profound, and worth reading multiple times. The characters in this one were drawn with careful detail and a complex palette of colors. Gorgeous.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mysteries
This beautiful story swept me away. Even though it's substantial in length, I gulped it down in two sittings. I was drawn into the pain of the main character, Willa, and fell in love with the children and hero Neil MacGregor. I love it when an author can portray a man of God in such a realistic & convincing way. Can't wait for more from this author. Highly recommend!

The long review from my blog:

“’It is about the heart and knowing the voice of the Great Good God in your spirit,’ he told them
Andrea Cox
Tangible grief and hope infused this story from beginning to end. This created a dramatic story, but it did not tip into the dreaded over-the-top melodrama. The rich details found throughout were proof of the author’s research skills. I really enjoyed the makeshift-family angle, and the author truly shines when writing American Indian stories. I can hardly wait for her next one, whenever it might come. (This was the last book of hers I had not read until now.)

The only disappointments were a coup
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took a bit of time to get 'into', but at the end, I was racing through pages to find out what happened next.
This is one of several books I've read where a white person has been captured and taken to live among the native People to 'replace' a child that had been taken from them. In each story (as with this one), the sense of anguish at remembering their former life, but then trying to integrate into a new life was heartrending. Though this story takes place after Willa/Burning Sky retur
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenges
Burning Sky is a great story. I'm so glad that I was challenged to read this book. I already have Ms. Benton's newest book on hold at my library.
I admired Willa's strength of character & how she made the best of being thrust into a new situation, a new family. I also liked how she didn't try to excuse or explain away her life with the Mohawks.
Neil & Joseph Tames His Horse were also great characters. I didn't think that Joseph showed his faith very much through most the story. Neil was great, w
SUMMARY: Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the you ...more
Burning Sky by Lori Benton
Time Frame: 1784 post Revolutionary War
Location: Frontier of New York
Main Characters:
Burning Sky/Willa Obenchain, Captured as a child, raised and married in the Wolf clan of Mohawk Indians
Neil MacGregor, Injured botanist Willa found on her way to her parents farm
Joseph Tames-His-Horse, Indian brother from Wolf Clan
Anni Keppler, Best friend
Richard Waring, Man from her past intent on taking her land
Aram Crane, Bad guy, escaped British soldier

My second Lori Benton book an
Amanda G. Stevens
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When Willa Obenchain was fourteen years old, she was abducted by Mohawk Indians and renamed Burning Sky. Now she's come home to the village she once knew, to the land and homestead of her parents. Love and grief have changed her in the last twelve years, and the American Revolution has altered forever both the Mohawk community she left and the white community she's returning to. Willa has a plan: to live alone for the rest of her days, strong enough to resist love and therefore hurt. But her bro ...more
Carissa (Regency Woman)
When Willa Obenchain is kidnapped by Indians at the age of fourteen, she expects to never see her parents again. She adapts to her new culture with the Wolf Clan, her new life. She even eventually marries and has children. Then, in practically the blink of an eye, she loses everything and is left adrift. She has two choices. She can either follow join the Wolf Clan at Niagara where the British soldiers have promised refuse. Or she can return home to the parents she hasn't seen in twelve years. S ...more
Elaine Cooper
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Burning Sky by Lori Benton is one of those riveting novels that make you regret the need for sleep. Each chapter begged me to proceed to the next and, when the final page was viewed, I reluctantly closed the book, wishing the story would continue on

This is the tale of Willa Obenchain. After twelve years of captivity with the Mohawk tribe, the young, grieving woman can barely say her own name. Her ability to speak her native English is as much a struggle as sorting through her sense of who she is
Bluerose's  Heart
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Native American aspect of this book is what pulled my interest its way. I didn't know much about the plot before I began reading other than that. I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more to the Native American aspect. There are a few main characters that are Native American, and a couple background characters that are so, but we don't get to see the true Native American lifestyle within its pages. There are references to certain traditions and customs made, though, which I enjoyed. ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a truly engrossing and emotionally charged book that I just couldn't put down. I didn't just "like" or "love" the characters of Burning Sky/Willa, Joseph-Tames-His-Horse, and Neil McGregor- I FELL IN LOVE WITH THEM! It reminded me a lot of the feelings I experienced when I read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series for the very first time.

Although not a time traveling type of book, Lori Benton has intricately woven her historical research so well that I felt I time travelled back to earl
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Fans of Laura Frantz will find a beloved new favorite in the pages of “Burning Sky”, a novel due to hit shelves in August, 2013.

Very reminiscent with strong themes of strength, courage and determination, Willa is a young woman trapped by her past and yearning to be set free, but unsure how to allow herself to move forward. The love triangle in the story plays strongly to this effect and made for much tension both romantic and otherwise.

What I enjoyed most about the story was the heart of our h
Heather Gilbert
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book swept me back to another time and place. Benton's honed prose is something to savor, and the main character, Willa Obenchain, will be burned in my mind's eye forever. This is the kind of heroine I can relate to--one who isn't timid and reticent, but protective and bold. I wouldn't hesitate to categorize this as one of the best historical novels I've read. Looking forward to more of Benton's books.
Rebecca (whenallotherlightsgoout)
August 2014

I feel that 3 stars might be a bit harsh for this book. I did enjoy it. Mostly. And I feel that the book is well written. And it started out really promising. But it lulled in the middle and I found myself quickly losing interest. It seems like a book that is suppose to be really good. It just did not click with me.

I love reading books about native americans and the settlers on the frontier. I was so looking forward to this one! The beginning was beautiful. The characters were well de
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is no other way to describe this book but as heart wrenchingly beautiful. This novel tore my heart out & then put it back together & I enjoyed every moment of it. There are SO many similarities between this book and The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz. I probably just noticed the similarities because I read them both so close together, but the likeness is crazy similar: strong female without family trying to restore childhood home/land, childhood BFF married with babies with older ...more
Hmm mixed feelings about this one. I don't think I was really able to connect with the main character Burning Sky, and although I loved Neil, I just can't enjoy stories whenever there are love triangles involved. Plus I felt that the story was too long in some places, and that led to skimming. Not what I expected but still an enjoyable read. Maybe I'll try another Lori Benton book someday in the future.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
I read this because it was nominated for like 3 categories of this years Christy awards. Oh my gosh so good, one point towards the end I couldn't put it down as it was eating at me and i couldn't concentrate on my chores so I HAD to finish it. I only wish I knew there was a Gaelic and Mohawk dictionary at the back of the book before I finished it!!! Lol
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lori Benton has turned out to be one of my favorite authors! I loved this story with all of its rawness, struggles and Hope in God. I loved Neil and everything he stood for. I can not wait to read another novel by Lori Benton. Thank you so much for this book. My heart is full. ❤️❤️❤️
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a debut novel and what a fine one! The book is about healing, forgiveness, perseverance and strength. It was a beautiful story set in the 1700s. Highly recommended.
Roseanna White
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was stunning. I absolutely adored it.
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Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bond ...more

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“I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.” 14 likes
“The air inside the cabin swirled with stale memories, echoes of once-familiar voices trapped within, awaiting her coming to free them.” 2 likes
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