A Searing Wind

Written by Kathleen O'Neal Gear W. Michael Gear
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto has spent several years exploring and conquering the native tribes of Florida. After a major battle at the town of Mabila, he has decided to move inland to search for gold and valuable treasures. Following them are Black Shell Man-Killer and Pearl Hand Chief-Killer; their mission is to stop this “monster” and his army from destroying their culture. The Kristianos enslaved their people, killed their fellow tribesmen, and stole or destroyed precious artifacts belonging to the tribes they conquered. They are now headed to the former home of Black Shell, a tribe called the Chicaza. Black Shell has been exiled from his tribe for being a coward, and does not know how he will be received by his family and tribe members.

This is the third book in the Contact: The Battle for America trilogy. The Gears are well known for their many novels about the early Native American experience. This series is a departure from the other books in their series. Anthropologists in their own right, they have a working knowledge of Native American cultures based on their extensive research and exploration. My only minor complaint is the 20-21st century dialog used by the authors, but I have read most of their novels, and they are all page-turning, gripping stories. I would recommend this series to those who enjoy reading about this time period and the Early American culture.