I bought this book right after it came out – two years ago! It was the beginning of the Covid shutdown, and I’d stocked up on a stack of paperbacks I wanted to read. And I always enjoy Laura Frantz’s books! But when I started reading it, I realized it was a little too close to the book I was writing at that time, Maggie’s Strength. Both deal with a settler girl taken captive and raised by Native Americans. So I stopped reading and shelved the book.
I can’t tell you how many times I looked at it, wanted to get back into it, and yet had other commitments I needed to read for my own research, endorsing books for others, or editing. It was actually frustrating. But – at last – I carved out a few days to indulge myself.
And I wasn’t disappointed! This is easily in my top 4 of Laura Frantz’s books. Tessa is a complex and somewhat contrary heroine who fits her surroundings and earns the respect of the readers. Clay is a hero of legend – but not without his flaws – who also fits into his world in a comfortable and believable way. There is a large cast of secondary characters who – I’m convinced – deserve their own stories! I hope Frantz returns to the backcountry and picks up some of these threads to fill them out. 🙂