Savage Journey by Jessica Leigh

JOURNEY
Savage Journey by Jessica Leigh
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (284 pgs)
Heat: Hot
Rated 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

There is no way out for 12- year old Nicholas Belline. Caught stealing on the shores of Montreal, the orphan is forced into a debt of servitude for his crimes, and is sent down the mighty St. Lawrence River with a troop of the hardest and deadliest men known in the New World. They are French-Canadian Voyageurs of the wilds.

On the very same night, a White Medicine Woman gives birth to twins in the midst of a storm-laden Lenni Lenape village. Katari of the Minsi, borne to Jenna and Running Wolf, is soon to be a force of nature herself. Spirited, intelligent, and intent on experiencing life to the fullest, she embarks upon the journey of a lifetime into an unknown multi-cultural city on the burgeoning East Coast of the New World.

Their paths are destined to intertwine. When a terrible accident befalls Katari on the eve of a historic English invasion, Nicholas is the man who saves her. What happens next is a series of dazzling events that fulfill Katari’s every hope for a life of adventure…and love.

But Nicholas Belline is a man with a hard, cold past, full of secrets and regrets. Katari’s beauty and wit pull at his heart, but can she melt the fierce walls that have protected him since childhood?

Aptly named, Savage Journey follows the life struggles of a small group set in the mid 1600s on the American continent.

This drama is a serious novel of life; there’s romance there, of course, but also a certain grim hardiness, an admirable determination that runs not only through the novel, but through the best of the characters as well.

Characters in this epic story are both good and bad, and those that sit somewhere in the middle. We find ourselves in the midst of the “Wolf Clan” of Lenni Lenape people. There are those of mixed races among them, and also, they welcome furtrappers and other visitors. Their lives are busy and eventful – and their culture here is presented in a very straightforward yet interesting way.

We recognize the thoughtful wisdom of the sachem, the kindness of some of the village women, as well as the different motives, lives and loves, of different tribe members. The same could be said of the visitors – from the good hearted young Nicholas, once forced to steal to eat, to the brutality of others.

Katari, woman born to the Wolf Clan, and Nicholas have spirits that soar – yet they are in some way worlds apart. Ms. Leigh does a magnificent job setting the stage for their meeting–as well as letting us understand with eyes that seem to look on these Native traditions as if one of them–the many cultural things, from misunderstandings to agreements, that stand between them. Yet, readers will find that they cling to hope.

Nicholas is steadily revealed as a decent guy at heart and will capture readers’ hearts more and more. Katari is a survivor – and is, in a curious way, perhaps on the most immense journey of all. There are wonderful, touching moments, even after moments of terror and fear. This reader found it an absolute page-turner, with not one word wasted.

Perhaps, in such an epic, it is impossible to completely miss the odd stereotypical character or the occasional predictable thread of plot. Still, there is more than enough of the unexpected drama to keep readers guessing, and a few humorous moments too. Do read Jessica Leigh’s Savage Journey.

Comments

  1. Thank you for hosting

  2. I like the review

  3. The review definitely makes me want to pick it up! 🙂

  4. Mary Preston says:

    A great review.

  5. Interesting blurb

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