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As adults, Blue Thunder and Lightning Strike, Atiko and Kit’s twin sons, are being tested to see which one will succeed their father as shaman and which will serve Hawk’s village.
At the mounds of the ancients, Lightning’s visions of the past becomes flesh and blood reality in the form of Javion, a woman of the Cahokian people, who has traveled forward in time to avoid being sacrificed.
The forces of nature that saved her life bewilder Javion. Can she adapt to these people and express her love for the handsome young shaman who rescued her?
Thunder’s vision is just as vivid, but the woman who captures his heart is Hawk’s daughter, Graceful Swan. If he is not chosen as shaman for her people, can he give up his life’s calling for the woman he loves?
Cahokia City – 1050 AD
“There is something we must discuss, Daughter.”
Javion put down her sewing and went to join her father in his workshop. As the youngest daughter of the most respected flint knapper in Cahokia City, she was certain he planned to tell her of what a good match had been made for her. Perhaps he had arranged for her to marry Katier, the son of the great Master of Mound Builders. If so, she would be well respected within the city.
To her surprise, he indicated that she should follow him away from his workshop. As they crossed the vast grassy expanse, she realized they were heading for the home of ‘The Sun’, the spiritual leader of their people. Why does he choose to take me away from the workshop in order to talk?
“Have you made the match for my marriage?” Javion asked, once they were in the shadow of the tallest mound in the city.
Her father looked up toward the top of the mound as though hoping that ‘The Sun’ would come down to help guide his words.
“I have been told ‘The Sun’ is very old. He will soon die and a new ‘Sun’ will take his place.”
“‘The Sun’ cannot die, Father. Who will lead the people?”
“The oldest man child of ‘The Sun’, Rourk, will be the new ‘Sun’ to rise in his father’s stead. He has been trained for this all of his life.”
“Why do you tell me this, Father?”
“Rourk has come to me privately, as he has to eleven other families in the city. It is Rourk’s request that twelve virgins accompany his father to the next life. It is a high honor. In addition, his father has requested to be laid on a bed of shells, along with many arrowheads. Your fingers are nimble and you have learned my trade well. You will help me fashion the arrowheads.”
Javion stared at her father in disbelief. She had heard stories of virgins being sacrificed in order for ‘The Sun’ to be satisfied in the next life, but she never thought it would happen to her. Her head pounded and her stomach roiled at the thought of dying for the spiritual leader’s pleasure.
Last season one of Javion’s friends had given her virginity to the old leader. The entire city had celebrated—all but Javion. She had cried bitter tears for her friend. Once Ciana had been taken to the top of the mound, she had never been seen again. The talk had been that Ciana had spent one night satisfying ‘The Sun’. With the dawning she had been passed among the priests until she was large with child. Ciana had died giving birth to the girl child. The priests had taken both Ciana and the child outside of the city to be eaten by the wild animals that roamed so freely in search of those foolish enough to be outside the stockade once the sun went down.
At least Javion would be spared a fate such as that of her friend. The thought of having to face the unwanted attentions of the priests, and having a child planted in her belly by one of the men who frightened her so much, would have been almost unbearable.
She would endure losing her virginity to the rising ‘Sun’, for Rourk had always frightened her more than any of the other priests. She wondered if it would be Rourk, or one of the others, who would wield the sacrificial knife that would tear her beating heart from her body. If the loss of her virginity resulted in a child, it too would die.
“You will be the primary sacrifice, Javion,” her father said, jolting her mind back to the conversation her father had felt to be so important. “Your friends will be sacrificed in private, but on the twelfth day, you will give your life for all the people to see. Your name will be remembered for generations to come.”
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 257
Paper Weight (lb): 11.0
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