Legend among the Anasazi predicts that a child born with six fingers or toes will be gifted. Born with six toes on each foot, Moon Fire is such a child. She uses her gift to communicate with her “little brothers,” the animals, and counsel her people. Her family is torn apart after her older brother decides to become a trader rather than follow traditional teachings, and her younger brother’s betrayal. Meanwhile, the Anasazi fight for their very existence during a severe drought.
The premise of why the Anasazi abandoned their cliff dwellings is intriguing. Although the names are confusing, the author thoughtfully provides a list of characters with their translations. The research is excellent, but unfortunately the execution of the story fell short. With too much telling, rather than showing, the plot is linear and slow-moving. Moon Fire and her lover are too perfect for believability. And finally, the descriptions lack the enchanted atmosphere of the Southwest setting. The passion for the Anasazi I expected to find in the novel went totally unfulfilled.