A Native American journey for all ages. Thirteen-year-old Sam lives on a reservation, where his grandmother teaches him the Cherokee ways and what it means to be a warrior. In a quest to honor his ancestors, Sam hikes to a sacred mountain where he is attacked by a red-tailed hawk and falls down the mountainside. Bruised but resilient, he finds himself at the roots of an ancient oak tree near the bank of a stream where he discovers, tangled in the roots, a very rare and perfect star ruby. Sam quickly realizes that destiny has dealt him both a blessing and a curse. When news of the ruby gets out, Sam encounters bullies and thieves, as well as a nationally known gem expert who comes to visit him on the reservation. Sam calls on the spirits of his ancestors to help him decide the fate of his treasure. The message he receives changes his life forever and puts him on the path to becoming a true warrior.
Susan Gabriel is an acclaimed southern author who lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Her novels, The Secret Sense of Wildflower (a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012) and Temple Secrets (2015) are Amazon and Nook #1 bestsellers.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Fortunately, an excellent review is not a hard thing to do with this story. I wish I could give it ten stars!
Every time I read a book by Susan Gabriel, I feel like I have to sit quietly and let it settle in me. This book takes those feelings and multiplies them by a thousand.
Sam, a teen aged Native American boy living in the mountains of North Carolina with his Grandmother and sister, goes on a hike and after slipping and sliding down the side of a mountain, finds a mysterious rock stuck deep in the roots of an old live oak tree. He digs it out and just as he is about to throw it into a nearby stream, notices a red glint from within the rock. He decides to keep it, just as a red hawk circles above him. A sign, he decides, from his ancestors.
Sam's Grandmother, who has been teaching him the ways of his ancestors, takes ill and dies in a nearby hospital. Sam is crushed, as he doesn't know how he will go on without the guidance of his beloved Grandmother. Slowly and surely, from the beyond, Grandmother guides Sam's path and his decisions about the mysterious stone.
After many trials and tribulations, Sam knows what he must do with the stone, in order to preserve his circle of ancestors.
This book details the ways of the Cherokee tribe, the spirits and the animism that resides in each of the ancestors and in the beings that surround them. Rarely have I read such a satisfying and complete book!
Totally engrossing. Loved the main character, Sam, as well as his Cherokee grandmother. The story was delightful. I think the values of the old way of life were honorable and interesting. I struggled along with Sam at moments, and was happy for him when things went well. Susan Gabriel is a very good writer who knows how to capture the readers' interest and weave a good story. Yes, I definitely would recommend this book!
Sam is a young teenage native American who lives in the mountains of North Carolina. He lives with his grandmother and younger sister. His father is a gambling addict and his mother left his father due to the gambling. Sam's grandmother encourages the traditions of his ancestors. As Sam climbs the mountain one day he discovers a great treasure.
Read this novella to find out more about the treasure and Sam's trials.
Susan Gabriel is one of my favorite authors. I loved the Secret Sense of Fireflower, all of them! Circle of the Ancestors is such a moving book. Being 30% Native American she held true to our heritage. I loved the characters. Such a sense of belonging & respecting the earth we live on.
I purchased this book as a light read. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a bit more than that. I found the main characters reasonably engaging, and I liked the way the author integrated Native American values into the story. I found the "villains" drawn rather woodenly, without much depth of character. I didn't run out and look for other books by this author, but I could see myself reading more of her writings in the future. I would have given the book three stars but I really liked the relationship between the main character and his grandmother. That relationship made the book worth reading for me.
I enjoy Y.A. and found this to be an engaging read. Sam is a wonderful character, a conscientious Cherokee boy raised by his beloved grandmother. His home life is difficult and when he finds this amazing ruby, life gets even more complicated. He persists in dealing honorably with this treasure and the various people he encounters along the way, some devious, some helpful. I just loved the ending so much.