Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away – impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.
However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.
Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet…
With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.
Zoe Saadia is the author of several novels of pre-Columbian Americas. From the architects of the Aztec Empire to the founders of the Iroquois Great League, from the towering pyramids of the Mexican Valley to the longhouses of the Great Lakes, her novels bring long-forgotten history, cultures and people to life, tracing pivotal events that brought about the greatness of North and Mesoamerica.
Having researched various pre-contact cultures of this continent for more than a decade, she is convinced that it's a shame that such a large part of history was completely overlooked, by historical fiction most of all. Both Americas had an extremely rich, diverse, fascinating history long before this continent came in contact with the rest of the world. So her professional motto is set. America has not been 'discovered', not yet. Maybe not ever :-)
Set in twelfth century upstate New York and South Eastern Canada, the story centres around three main protagonists. Tekeni, who was taken captive and adopted into the Wolf Clan after his father was killed, but has always been considered an outsider. He finds an ally in Two Rivers, an enigma among his people and also on the fringes of his society. I love the way Two Rivers is portrayed and the way his feelings and thoughts which he’s not afraid to express, along with the doubts and resistance against the prophecy, are described.
Two Rivers knows the time for change is fast approaching, and questioning his people’s need to war with each other he advocates a more peaceful existence. The clans are stuck in an endless cycle of fighting with nothing to show for it. Even so, the majority of the clans dislike and distrust what they perceive as Two Rivers’ extremist ideas and principles.
Tekeni’s real troubles begin when a fight with a cowardly bully results in serious injury and Tekeni is compelled to atone with a task unheard of for any lone person never mind someone so young. Two Rivers’ choice to assist Tekeni further alienates him from most other members of the clans.
Tekeni is very taken with the beautiful Seketa, a young girl of the Turtle Clan who proves to be both brave and resourceful, but the path of true love does not run smoothly and Two Rivers, Tekeni and Seketa fight almost overpowering odds as they each begin to realise the inevitability of their futures.
I really enjoyed this first of the Peacemaker series, the man who was destined to form the constitution of The Great League of the Iroquois is an intriguing character and I look forward to following his story. The life and distinct culture of the Native American clans is brought to life vividly and realistically by Zoe Saadia, their politics, everyday life and struggles. Along with the dramas, jealousies and rivalries that can escalate into dangerous situations, showcasing others’ loyalty and courage. There’s some great action and a lovely budding romance.
The basis of the story is obviously very well researched and it combines the facts with an entertaining and enjoyable narrative and the three main characters are strong, very likeable and well defined, drawn with insight and warmth. The fascinating beginning of the Peacemaker’s journey is a really great read.
Very interesting historical fiction about the beginnings of the League of the Five Nations (Iroquois) with strong male characters, Takeni & Two Rivers, and a female, Seketa, who through their experiences forge a bond that in turn leads to the formation of the Iroquois Confederacy and a democratic blueprint that has now been adopted universally amongst many democratic nations.
The story builds and intrigues the reader into the often troubling experiences of the characters and the human interactions between them. The pace is moderate to fast in anticipation of the action. She definitely keeps the reader’s interest throughout the story.
Ms Saadia’s historical knowledge, her excellent research and development of the story line keeps the reader’s attention focused until the end, and which had me looking forward to reading the 2nd installment, very soon. I definitely recommend it for readers interested in historical fiction about Native American history! To Ms Saadia; bravo!
I have been intrigued to read one of Zoe Saadia’s books for a while; I enjoy historical fiction but the lives of the native tribes of South America is not a subject I am very familiar with. I can confirm that Two Rivers works on so many levels and I think primarily because the author writes in a way that brings every character so much to life that you empathise so readily and truly share in the adventure. The story centers on Tekeni, a young boy struggling to adapt to a tribal life that he has been forced into. He is befriended by the older and wiser Two Rivers after Tekeni attacks another tribe member and is further ostracised; Two Rivers defends Tekeni; he is already at odds with the tribe himself in terms of the persistent warring traditions with other tribes. The escapades of the pair are central to the tale as they keep getting into trouble with the tribe up until the finale; this is the start of a series of a tales. A breeze of a story that will make you want to read more.
I was genuinely impressed by the clever interspersing of historical knowledge and research and a riveting plot that contained all the elements that I enjoy in a novel; action, drama, interpersonal layers and or course a hint of romance. The main character, Two Rivers leads a life of reflection as he questions the warlike practices of his tribe’s culture. He sees the logic of pursuing and maintaining a peaceful partnership with neighboring clans. A lasting peace would allow for a greater focus on the home life and providing for the tribes that are dwindling in numbers and strength due to starvation and battle. He becomes paired with an unlikely ally, a teenager who was recently adopted from an opposing tribe. This young man is having more trouble being accepted by Two River’s tribe than he himself is. A rivalry leaves the boy with little options for a workable resolution that will allow him any quality of life within the tribe. Two Rivers suggests an extreme solution that sets a series of events into motion that cannot be undone. Ultimately, the partnership between the two men allows both to come closer to understanding and pursuing the separate prophesies that each was issued in unrelated lives in completely different tribes. I am ready to delve into the sequel!
Excellent writing and wonderful reading! The mechanics of good writing were fine, and the research was solid. The author spread the narrative which made the book easy to read.
In the twelfth century, the Iroquois were building a nation and refining their civilization, and that amazes me. What the tribes did as it related to the first white settlers cannot be understated. I compare it to what the Roman roads meant to the spread of Christianity. The evolution of the tribes, like the evolution of any society, begins with one man who has a vision of what could be. In this book the author leaves the reader on the precipice of finding out whether the 'what could be' is to the betterment of the people or is to their ruin or is both. Book Two of the trilogy is now a 'must read.'
This book really knocked me for six. I had no idea about American history of that time and how much there is known about the era before European settlements on the continent. I was glued to the pages, finding out about the Iroquois Great League, which was a culture in Canada during the 12th century. The author skilfully describes life in that culture, from the small, personal things to the larger political and historical ones. This was such a feast and treat, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and more from this amazing author.
A great first book of The Peacemaker trilogy. I love historical novels and this one did not disappoint me. The story of how the Five Nations of the Iroquois developed a way to live together in relative peace is interesting and entertaining. To see how the courage of a few can affect the lives of many is inspiring. I'm looking forward to reading book 2 of this trilogy and see how The Peacemaker progresses in his efforts to help his people.
Zoe Saadia's series on "The Great Peacemaker" is a must read for anyone who appreciates books about the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people and their dedication to peace with the formation of the Five Nations Confederacy. Sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries, an amazing man, "Two River Currents Flowing Together" (Deganawida) persuaded five aggressive tribes to accept peace, tribes who had warred among each other so long that they could not remember any other way. The fact that Two Rivers had this amazing vision was astounding, and in strong partnership with Hionhwatha (Hiawatha), their combined bravery brought about a peaceful, democratic framework long before European contact and the American Revolution. These two men were probably among the greatest orators in human history,
There is very little historical fiction written about the Great Peacemaker, a man of myth and legend. However, I had previously read a series featuring Deganawida, the Peacemaker, and, although I have been a fan of the authors for a very long time, I was disturbed by their central plot which made the Peacemaker a victim of child sexual abuse. I don't know whether such behavior existed among the indigenous people of North America, but child abuse as a major factor in the early development of the man just didn't seem to fit who he became.
In "Two Rivers," the first book of "The Great Peacemaker" series, Ms. Saadia continues her dedication to stories featuring indigenous people of the Americas that started with her Pre-Aztec and Rise of the Aztecs series. Ms. Saadia's book is a much more dignified and believable approach to showing how the Peacemaker came to fulfill his destiny and the prophecy. I think her presentation of the Peacemaker, showing his way of reasoning, his character, his doubts and fears, gives the reader a much better sense of the human being... an ordinary man who accomplished an extraordinary feat.
As one who can't write fiction and is intensely awed by those who do, it is hard for me to fathom how Ms. Saadia develops such intriguing and believable characters who lived hundreds of years in the distant past. While reading her novels, it seems as if Ms. Saadia inhabits the bodies of the characters and describes their thoughts and feelings as if they were her own. Her stories gradually reveal themselves, seemingly like a spiral, beginning at the edge and closing in to the center. At the same time, she is an astute observer and analyzer.
What has impressed me the most, is Ms. Saadia's amazing ability to describe what it is like to be a warrior. Whether a battle is man-against-beast, or man-against-man, she describes it so eloquently and with such detail, that it could make one wonder if she were describing it from experience within a man's body. Even the detailed description of the lacrosse game at the book's opening is exquisite. Opening the story with a lacrosse game not only introduces the central characters, it honors the Iroquois nation by showcasing the game they invented, a game that even today is a major sport and Olympic event.
Having read all of Ms. Saadia's historical novels, I can honestly say that they provoke one to reconsider their perspective of indigenous people in the North and South American continents. The European invaders came to the Americas thinking they were bringing civilization to savages. Perhaps instead, savages came to the Americas and found civilization was already here.
Two Rivers is the first book in a four book series. It's a Native American historical fiction based around the Great League of the Iroquois people of upstate New York, lake Ontario and bordering Canadian areas. The year is 1141, the people live in towns with clans and are held together by councils and precious laws handed down to the people.
We meet Tekeni a 17 year old boy who has been adopted into The Wolf Clan after his capture during a raid on his own people, the People of the Falls. Although officially adopted to replace warriors lost in battle he is treated as an out-sider, a low-life and often finds himself in trouble.
Two Rivers is a 30 year old warrior, but one not afraid to speak his mind, he questions the constant war between other clans, he finds it destructive and not a long-term answer to the future of the tribes, yet his arguments are not welcome amongst the people. When Tekeni is attacked during a ball game by a thug, Two Rivers steps in to his rescue, further alienating both against the people.
Seketa is the only person to see more in Tekeni than everyone else and her faith in him gives him hope as well as his help from Two Rivers. Both men have a prophecy to fulfil and when things come to a vicious head their best hope is to leave and set out on a dangerous unknown path which we can follow in book 2.
This is a good start to a series, you get a feel for the way the characters think and how they keep to traditions whilst is also hints at reasons for their current situation, looking forward to reading more of the adventure.
I am a fan of Ms Saadia's work. She delves into American history to places and peoples I knew little or nothing about until I read her books. Then she brings them to vivid life with a flourish. Two Rivers is the name of a man with extraordinary vision, a man who unites the warring nations in twelfth century upstate New York into the peaceful Iroquois confederacy. But in this book, the first of three, we haven't got that far yet.
For the telling of the story, Ms Saadia has focused on a young man called Tekeni, whom Two Rivers befriends, and his love, beautiful little Seketa. We are taken into native American life, internal politics, human short-sightedness, and strife. The description of a bear hunt gave me a thudding heart and I could not read it fast enough. Likewise a desperate fight scene towards the end. Brilliantly written, I was there at every turn, in the village, on the hill overlooking the lake, in the forest. I experienced the emotions of the characters, yet at the same time they stayed in their own era, with their ideas and perceptions, without straying into the twenty-first century, (a mistake some history writers make). And I just loved Two Rivers himself!
A real page turner, I would definitely recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
In Two Rivers, Zoe Saadia sweeps us once more into a unique historical time period and setting. This time it is early America in the 12th or 13th century. The tale is about two outcasts - Tekeni, an adopted young boy from an enemy tribe, and Two Rivers, a young man with a very different way of thinking than other members of the clan. And of course, there is a beautiful and strong love interest who is in love and loyal to Tekeni, despite all the ostracism and abuse the lad suffers.
There is plenty to like in this novel. First, the scenes and setting are unique - books about early America are indeed rare. Descriptions and characterizations are well developed, enhancing the story. One truly felt the solitude of the two main characters who lived on the peripheries of the clans, unwelcome, and often hated, and usually treated cruelly. Ultimately, however, this is a story of victory and who these two overcame their troubles to face an unknown future. Although the ending gives closure, there is definitely a sequel to come. Actually there will be two more because this is the first of a trilogy. And I'm definitely looking forward to reading it once it is released.
Wanting to know ...and then? July 8, 2013 By Antoinette I have a passion for historical fiction and have read all of Zoe Saadias mesoAmerican series.She has really got the knack of giving you a trip into the past and taking you into the story.I know the basic in the history of "the peacemaker" but she has given them " life" .I found myself a bystander in a world of Takeni where being adopted from another tribe was not an easy road,especially being his home was the enemy of his "new tribe".Often tribes would take enemy children to raise as their own to replace their own dead.You feel his pain and desire to be excepted regardless of place of birth...then he sees his chance to be the hero in a ball game .......that's where it all goes wrong...Two rivers sees his plight and is moved to help the young man..then the story gets even more interesting as politics start working its way into Takeni's already complicated life.I read this in almost one sitting and was left wanting the next book NOW.. I was left wanting to know ..and then?It was a story that I want to read more..and is very sorry to reach the end of the first book...A real one nighter Comment |
What a book this turned out to be. I was curious how Zoe would tackle the task of writing a story about the rise of the Iroquois Confederation, and I have to say that she exceeded my expectations. This book has it all: prophecies (or is it really two parts of the same one?), strong characters, a dash of romance and the old battle of fighting against everything people do not understand and therefore tend to fear and hate.
From page one the protagonists draw you into their world making you live and feel with them. Even though the underlying story is as old as mankind's history (as history always repeats itself, no matter what nation we talk about), Zoe has her own wonderful ways of showing us how "an eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind" and how it sometimes only takes a few courageous people to strip away the deviding mists raised out of fear against the unknown, the "foreign ways", to show us that underneath all the cultural differences we might possess, we are not so different after all, and that we can only gain by overcoming our fears towards the unknown.
A last word of warning to all readers - what a cliff-hanger at the end.
I think that historical fiction should be entertaining, while being expertly researched and teaching the reader about the period. Two Rivers ticks these boxes, and more. It's a simple story, written in Zoe Saadia's very, very readable style, but it tells so much. I never knew anything about the Great League of the Iroquois which is said to have been a great influence on the latter day USA constitution - I've started to learn all about it this weekend, whilst reading a cracking good story!
Ms Saadia has a wonderful knack of showing how human nature remains the same, in any century and in any setting. Her accounts are not wordy, or overly descriptive, and she never tries to be clever, but her characters and situations are so alive. The writing is never self-conscious, and flows so beautifully that my editing hat falls off, forgotten - a sure sign, for me, that a book is really worth reading! If you have any interest at all in native American history you really should read this, and if you haven't you will still enjoy it. It's a complete story in itself whilst being beautifully set up for the sequel, Across the Great Sparkling Water, which I shall be purchasing shortly!
Another splendid story from Zoe Saadia, and the first of a trilogy that'll have you eager to read the rest. Unlike her other known works, this, and its sequels, doesn't deal with the Aztecs. Instead we learn about the Native Americans pre Christopher Columbus and the various tribes that together formed the 'Five Nations' then six, a little like the European Union. Zoe masterfully weaves historical fact with fiction and fictional characters with factual, I believe there's a term for this kind of fiction/non-fiction style but it escapes my slug-filled mind.
In this story it's focused on Tekeni his love for Seketa and then how his life crosses paths with Two Rivers, a hardened warrior. There's plenty of action and adventure and terrifically gripping writing. Thankfully, there's plenty more books of Zoe's to enjoy.
Two Rivers becomes known as The Peacemaker of the Iroquois nation when they formed the confederation of nations and put a stop to the constant wars between the people. In this fictional account of what might of happened based on what is know of this time in the Nations' history, it is a good story.
Part of the story is about Tekeni, a captured youth that was adopted and treated poorly in the Wolf Clan. Two Rivers, a warrior with a prophesy attached to him from birth comes to help Tekeni when he gets into trouble. The customs of the people are part of the story and give a good look at what life was like for Native American women and the roles of the Grandmothers of each Clan and the government within the Clans and the Tribal Counsel too.
I found Two Rivers an interesting historical fiction and enjoyed learning about the government of the Iroquois people.
Two Rivers by Zoe Saadie Slow start to to this account of the Iroquois Indians of upper New York 1400-1500. Nice story line, but more importantly then current of how to maintain peace. In their world as well as our own. Great detail to historical fact was appreciated. Romance, intense rivalries, wild acts of bravery make for an enjoyable read. The Iroquois law was thought to be the basis of our constitution. This is a trilogy and look forward to the next two.
Two Rivers (The Great Peacemaker Series, book 1) by Zoe Saadia
Having read and loved all five books in the Rise of the Aztec Series, I wanted to read more books by Zoe Saadia, which led me to her new book, “Two Rivers”. This is book one of her new series about the formation of the Iroquois Confederation and, according to legend, how it came to be.
I have been fascinated with the Iroquois Confederacy for well over a decade, as it demonstrates clearly that a large network of rival Native American tribes were able to come together in the pursuit of peace and survival, to form a federation that covered more territory than did the original United States, stretching from the American Southeast all the way into Canada. The Iroquois League included the Seneca, Cayuga, Mohawks, Onondaga and Oneida, and originally was often called the Five Nations. The new alternative name became Six Nations when the Tuscarora join the confederacy in 1722. “Two Rivers” focuses several centuries earlier on the man who inspired the alliance around the 12th or 13th century.
“Two Rivers” follows the legend of the man believed responsible for bringing the rival nations together and forming the Iroquois constitution. This is not his real name, as Ms. Saadia is conscientious when mixing fictional and nonfictional characters.
While there is a wealth of great characters in this first book in the series, three appear important in regard to the series. Much of this first book follows Two Rivers, who is of course central to the story itself. One of the two other primary characters is a young man named Tekeni, captured a couple of years before and finding it unusually difficult to blend in as a full member of this new tribe, which most of the captured typically are able to do. The third character of great consequence is Seketa, a strong-willed, smart, brave teenage female that is not afraid to speak her mind, even to go against powerful members of the tribe on occasion.
Two Rivers is over ten years older than the Tekeni who has reached his late teens, the former already a proven warrior and man, while the latter still considered an unproven and unaccepted pup. The two men share a penchant for getting in trouble with the tribe, Two Rivers because he advocates ideas that conflict with a warring tradition, and Tekeni because he is a teenage foreigner who refuses to accept the ways of his new people.
Their destiny becomes connected when there is a competitive game of Lacrosse to open the book, a game created to give the Creator thanks. Tekeni finds himself in trouble when an older warrior playing with the opposing team plays dirty. Tekeni responds in kind by whopping the aggressor with his stick. The warrior falls injured with a head injury and it appears he might die. Tekeni finds the entire tribe against him, except for Two Rivers who stepped forward to defend the young man, admitting Tekeni perhaps allowed his temper to get the best of him, but insisting that the warrior was the instigator and that Tekeni was merely defending himself.
The story plays out with Tekeni and Two Rivers taking turns getting into trouble with the tribe, until they find themselves both in trouble, setting up the final showdown of book one in this series.
I like visionaries, and Two Rivers certainly qualifies. I like young rebels who stand up for themselves, and Tekeni is a great example. I like strong female characters that are as great as any male character, and Seketa fits the mode. I like great historical fiction, which is exactly what this book is. Ms. Saadia does a great job of mixing fictional characters with real characters, and with writing fiction but taking diligence to be historically accurate. This is a great read as a consequence.
Two Rivers, by Zoe Saadia, is the beginning of the Peacemaker series of historical fiction. It creates the world in which five sister nations of Native American came together to form the great Iroquois confederation that lasted for centuries.
According to history, a Great Peacemaker came from the Wyandot (Huron) people and crossed Lake Ontario to southeastern Canada. There he encountered what he had experienced with his own people, a vicious cycle of warring and retribution, which drained the tribes of their young men and their resources. Without their men, the people had less plentiful crops, meat, and other things they needed to survive the harsh winters. It was the work of the Peacemaker to join the nations, and formation of this confederation lead to the creation of a well-defined constitution, in pictographic form, which would serve in part as the basis of the US Constitution.
In this first book of the series, the reader meets Two Rivers, a man supposedly the product of a virgin birth, whose life is overshadowed by the prophesy accompanying his birth: that he is destined to achieve great things. Two Rivers is a thinker, and he is frustrated by the Elders of the tribe when he makes observations and logical suggestions for change. The tribe also has an adopted young man, Teneka, captured when his tribe raided the tribe of Two Rivers. He is now seventeen, brash, willful and outspoken, and easy to take offense and not well-liked, even by the clan which adopted him to replace one of their young men who had died.
Action begins in the first chapter, when, during a game of lacrosse, Teneka gets into a fight and seriously injures Yeentso, an older warrior and a bully from another clan. Two Rivers stands up for Teneka and the tribal council decides that Teneka must make amends for the injury by providing Yeensto’s clan with the hide of a grizzly bear. Two Rivers goes with him to kill the bear, advising but not participating. Teneka also falls in love with Seketa, a beautiful young woman from another clan who is nearly as outspoken and headstrong as she is.
Things come to a head when the Chief is killed in a raiding party and Two Rivers is blamed for not having joined in the raid but instead helping Teneka.
The author is a dedicated researcher of the early Native American peoples and her knowledge enriches this story in the everyday details of life in a village, the customs, the celebrations, their food and its sources. Her character development is wonderful and the reader is easily lost in this story, which artfully mixes fact and fiction.
I have already downloaded the second book in this story, since I did not wish to lose the characters who had made such an impression. I recommend this book without reservation. A great read!
Growing up in Western New York, we studied and learned about the Iroquois Confederacy of five (later six) Indian nations: Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. I even visited one of the reservations on a school field trip one year. TWO RIVERS is the fiction tale of the early tribes in that area of New York south of Lake Ontario that covered the Finger Lakes area in the 12th century, a time when the clans and tribes were at war with each other for land, resources, and labor. Two Rivers is based upon the historic figure of that time who worked for peace and mutual cooperation, even unity, between clans, rather than the ongoing hostilities and death. Tekeni is a young boy captured in a raid on another tribe in southeastern Canada. He is eventually adopted into one of the clans but is never accepted as a true member. He is persecuted and forced to prove himself as he grows older. He falls in love with Seketa, a lovely and beautiful maiden of the clan, but rivalries and conflicts eventually force Two Rivers and Tekeni to leave the clan....the end of Book 1. The remaining 3 books in The Great Peacemaker Series continues their adventures and work for peace and unity. TWO RIVERS is an interesting read with good research and historical foundations, interesting characters, and a plot that leaves you wanting to start the next volume. I give it 4 of 5 stars.
Ah, there is nothing like a book by Zoe Saadia. She never fails to capture my attention and hold onto it like a tight-fisted Scrooge. This book is no different, in that it lives up to all the rest. Starting the new series has me so excited and eager to learn more about my new "friends." Once again, Zoe has managed to bring the characters to life in a way that embeds them in your heart and leaves you wanting to join them, help them, pray for them... Whatever your reaction, I can promise, you will have one! This is not a book that can possibly leave you untouched, that's for sure.
As you follow along with Tekeni, the boy struggling to find his way after being uprooted from everything he's ever known, Two Rivers, The Great Peacemaker, as he makes waves where everyone else wants smooth waters, and Seketa, the girl who is willing to help them when no one else will, you will be on the edge of your seat, dying to see what happens next.
I won't give away too much. (I hate reviews that ruin the whole story :P ) You will definitely want to read book two as soon as possible, as well, because I do have to warn you that it ends on a pretty big cliff-hanger! Buy, read, enjoy!!
From reading other books by Zoe Saadia, I learned that she has a deep passion for the lost culture of the pre-Columbian Americas, which she acts on by researching it, so as to incorporate the details of this fascinating history into her stories. TWO RIVERS is no different. The text is enhanced by maps that illustrate where the tale takes place, making it real. But make no mistake: the research remains in the background, and the writing is sensual, bringing you directly into the events. During the ballgame, just before a meaningless row breaks out, Tekeni is described, “”Racing on, oblivious of the cheering crounds, he turned sharply without slowing his step, catching his balance, ready to face the descending ball… for a fraction of a moment he could see it clearly, a coarse, round thing made out of a stuffed deerskin, heavy enough to inflict damage if one wasn’t careful.”
Conflicts between the characters are well drawn, which makes the dialog sharp: The voice of women is given in the story as well. “You used me like the last of the female captive females, to satisfy your needs and to wipe your feet after you were done.”
really enjoy reading good historical fiction and Two Rivers by Zoe Saadia is great historical fiction. It will keep you glued to the pages and wanting more.
Zoe Saadia’s style of storytelling brings history to life. Her characters add realism to the history and make it easier to relate to and follow. Once again she has done an excellent job of character development, creating characters that are easy to identify with.
It is apparent from the beginning that Zoe Saadia has done her homework and research into the history of this era. She has taken know historical events and added her characters and a little fictional twist to make it come alive. Yet, she sticks to the basic historical truths of the era.
I really enjoyed Two Rivers by Zoe Saadia and highly recommend this book.
[Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]
Although I lived on the east coast for many years, I never learned anything about the history of the Iroquois confederation. I did learn the basic facts about the five nations but nothing of their constitution I am looking forward to learning more through this series.
I never give five stars in the grand scale of book reviews. What books do you know that should be given five stars? I know very few and they are all classics, proven timeless, but I'm giving “Two Rivers”, by Zoe Saadia, book one of “The Peacemaker Trilogy”, four and a half very bright stars in the field of historical fiction. Zoe Saadia has done it again, that is, crafted a beautiful tale of historical adventure, ancient culture and personal struggle that speaks volumes to the world we live in today. As always, Ms. Saadia's research is impeccable, providing a strong foundation of realism that brings her characters to life in believable settings of their own place and time. That said, Two Rivers, the man, is one who sees the world differently than most of his clan and tribe, a man who is out of place and ahead of his time, a man who lives under the curse, or, perhaps, the blessing of a prophesy. Only time will reveal the truth, is he “The One”, or is he something less? The tribal leaders, his own clansmen and his fellow warriors are as unsure of his destiny as he is himself. Add to that the troublesome boy, Tekeni, the adopted one, and the mix becomes volatile. Through the trouble that follows him, like a dark cloud, his adoptive Wolf Clan and the other clans of the tribe don't always see the promise of this young, prize of war, and, now, Tekeni's eye has fallen on Seketa, a beautiful, young maiden of the Turtle Clan. His attentions have not gone unnoticed either by her, or by the powerful clan mothers, nor have they gone unrequited, but a troubled path can only lead to trouble. Tempers flare on the field of competition, a moment's anger leads to violent confrontation and injury. Next you know, Tekeni must prove himself both loyal and worthy of his adoption. He must make restitution by an impossible quest of survival against overwhelming odds, a quest that will lead to a tenuous bond of friendship, on the one hand, and separation from Seketa, his heart's greatest desire on the other. Life, in any time, in any part of the world, is seldom an easy matter, being filled with struggles, where tough choices must be made. War, and peace are as much a choice, a choice that requires great personal sacrifice no matter which you choose. Tekeni, Two Rivers and Seketa will have to remember that in any time, in any place, one must choose carefully which way to go, for the way is ever wrought with danger. I have truly enjoyed reading “Two Rivers”, and I look forward to the choices Zoe Saadia's very real characters will make as they struggle along the way of “The Peacemaker Trilogy”.
Two Rivers by Zoe Saadia is a well-crafted historical drama centered on a series of events in the life of Seketa, an Indian maiden of the Beaver Clan who finds herself involved in a heated dispute between a young loner, a visionary and a contentious warrior that threatens to change the future of the Iroquois Clans of the Great Sparkling Water. Tekeni is an orphan who finds himself in a dispute with Yeentso, whose disrespect of the marginalized youth results in a fight which is escalated before the Clan Council. Two Rivers, a man of peace who seeks to change the Iroquois’ warlike customs, takes sides with Tekeni in the community debate. It seems as if it is the two of them against the Indian Nation until Seketa joins with them in seeking truth, justice and a new romance in this intriguing novel.
The theme of loyalty resonates throughout the novel as Tekeni’s is questioned as an outsider from a rival clan. It is paralleled by the suspicion aroused by Two Rivers’ philosophies and core values. Seketa’s own fealties are eventually doubted as she also expresses sympathy for Tekeni and Two Rivers. We can see the clannishness typified by its narrow-mindedness as any deviation from the social more immediately casts doubt on the loyalty of the doubter. The author provides us with a parable that teaches a lesson about kinship, righteousness and the power of love. The three Indians become unlikely partners in a struggle against injustice that makes this novel an inspiring and refreshing adventure.
For historical fiction buffs and action drama fans alike, Two Rivers by Zoe Saadia is one you won’t want to miss.
"Two Rivers" by Zoe Saadia was a fantastic surprise find for me. As European I know so little about American history and often falsely assumed there was nothing worth mentioning before the settlers arrived. Zoe Saadia proves me dramatically wrong with her incredibly insightful, well reseached and utterly convincing historical novel about the Iroquois Great League in 12th century Canada. Daily life, culture and tribe politics come to life beautifully in her novel with excellent detail and through her well developed and well chosen characters. The latter throw different perspectives onto the bigger historical events and illustrate the effects of outer events on the individuals of the times. Yet, they are all fleshed out with interesting individual backgrounds, such as being adopted, or young or in love. As a story and as historical spotlight this novel is a feast for fans of the genre. A highly recommenable read and a great start for a promising series. A talent to watch.
I read this book in almost one sitting, unable to put it down. Familiar with this author's other works, I expected a fast-paced historical full of well-researched details, sprinkled with a fair amount of romance and adventures.
Well, disappointed I was not, although this story is different from her Mesoamerican books. It has more cultural details and politics, and the characters are delightfully fresh and deep, somewhat different from the other books. I hope the book two is on it's way, as the story ended on a sort of a cliff-hanger, making me anxious to know what will happen.