The Lost Band
At the annual Big Council of the People an empty place is reserved in honor of the Lost Band who, at some point in the past, disappeared. This year the Council proceedings are disrupted by the arrival of Story Keeper, chief of this Lost Band. Derision turns to happy acceptance as he unravels the mystery of the missing group.
He begins with the story of White Moon, a young widow who watches the massacre and enslavement of the Forest Band by the Shaven-heads and who is determined that their culture will survive. Her dream inspires many generations of her descendants, until Story Keeper himself is born, gathers together the remains of the band, and brings them to the Council.
This is the story of how heritage can be preserved, furtively and against the odds, and it demonstrates just how valuable the oral tradition can be. It is also an indictment against those who would crush the cultural history of other creeds simply because they do not hold the same beliefs. A powerful novel, The Lost Band cloaks its intense themes in an involving and page-turning read.
Coldsmith certainly knows his Native American history and, as a natural storyteller, has woven this knowledge into a vivid depiction of the enduring human spirit. Luckily for the reader, this is only one in a lengthy list of novels by this talented writer.