Kinx's Book Nook: Review: Cherokee Talisman

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: Cherokee Talisman

The Cherokee Talisman by David-Michael Harding
Published by
Released in December 2012
346 pages
Historical Fiction


They were blood-thirsty savages - superstitious, dirty animals. They were thieves and killers who burned houses to the ground and kidnapped women and children.

They were protectors of a Nation – guerrilla fighters serving their country. They were husbands and fathers who built homes in lush valleys for their families.

They were – the same men.

In 1775 perspective came with the color of your skin.

An orphan boy, Totsuhwa, is taken under the wing of legendary Cherokee war chief Tsi’yugunsini, the Dragon. But even under a dragon’s wing isn’t safe when a covetous nation forms around them.

Amid the battles, Totsuhwa fights the reoccurring pain of loss until he meets Galegi, who becomes his wife. Trying to raise their son in a peace the new world won’t allow, they teach him the strictest Cherokee traditions while white assimilation, encroachment, and treachery grows. General Andrew Jackson wages war against tribes across the southeast and the toll is high. With his people gradually losing everything, Totsuhwa must find a way to save his family — and the Cherokee nation — before all is lost.

Cherokee Talisman recreates the neglected history that existed when one nation was born and another almost died.

The Cherokee Talisman is a powerful story of the Cherokee Nation's survival during a very turbulent time in American history. It is an incredibly realistic and brutal protrayal of a Cherokee man trying to save his family and Nation from the incroaching white man. Harding has written a masterful tale of survival that is not easily forgotten.

As you read this book, your emotions will take you to many places; outrage, sadness, shock and disgust. The violence is so shocking at times that you scarcely believe that it could actually happen. But it did. Harding's desciptions of the brutality are explicit and gut-wretching. Through the violence, you are able to picture the actrocities by both Cherokee and white man. At times, there are no heroes, only heartless and senseless violence. And I think Harding captured that time perfectly.

Totushma is the main character of the book; but I wouldn't call him a hero. He has many flaws and does some really horrible things in name of the Cherokee Nation. However, he is honorable and he truly loves his family and his People. His sincerity is readily apparent.

The white man is not protrayed in a very good light. In general, the white characters are racist, brutal and untrustworthy. They have absolute no respect for the Native American Nations. Women are savagely beaten, raped and murdered. There are no heroes at all. The total annihilation of the race is the only way.

At the same time, the Nations are trying to desperately survive against this brutality. Are they going to be destroyed or assimilated into the new culture? It is a struggle that fractures the Nations.

Mr. Harding has written an amazing story that is only the first in a new series. I really want to know what happens next to Totsuhma and his family. I want to know how they survive and what choices they have to make.


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