Star Path (People of Cahokia)

Written by Kathleen O'Neal Gear W. Michael Gear
Review by K. M. Sandrick

Heeding the warning from the Spirit Beast Piasa, Night Shadow Star realizes that her brother, Walking Smoke, knows she will be making the canoe trip to Cofitachequi to engage in a deadly dance that will determine whether she will remain a tool of Underworld Power or free to live an unencumbered life with her lover Fire Cat. Thus begins Night Shadow Star’s journey on the Father Water River and confrontation with the violent and incestuous Walking Shadow.

This is the fourth in the People of Cahokia series that began in 2014 with the resurrection of Morning Star, hero to the pre-Columbia civilization located near present-day St. Louis, the rise of his human sister Night Shadow Star, and stories about her willingness not only to fend off threats from a more advanced human tribe but also take on monsters of the Sacred Cave.

Authors W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear have sold more than 17 million copies of their novels on North American prehistory. As shown in Star Path, they are skilled storytellers, able to combine emotion as well as action with historical authenticity in a compelling tale of power and the lengths to which a brother and sister will go in their fight over it. The Gears flesh out the beliefs and lives of the people who populated what is considered to be the most sophisticated prehistoric city north of Mexico and is preserved as Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois. The path they plot for the reader is an epic one.