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LONE ARROW'S PRIDE
By Karen Kay
Historical (Native American/Western)
Carolyn White is someone who has had problems great and small most of her life. Orphaned by disease as an 11-year-old girl on the Oregon Trail, she becomes lost in the Bighorn Mountains. She is led by a twirling burst of wind to a teenage Indian boy who takes her through a cave filled with golden riches as they escape a determined bear.
Overwhelmed by all that has happened to her and by all she sees, Carolyn takes a small gold cross. The boy then takes her to the nearest fort and they part ways abruptly.
More than eight years later, Carolyn is in Virginia City, Montana, with the couple who took her in after her return to the fort. Bad luck has plagued them, including Carolyn's ability to constantly trip and serious injury to her adopted father, and they could lose their land. Carolyn tries to sell the cross but the series of jinxed incidents continue until she decides she must return the cross to the mountain cave.
So she returns to the fort where the Indian boy, Lone Arrow, returned her to the white people. Through his clan's grapevine, he soon learns of the return of the girl he has never been able to forget and comes to see what she wants. Through much bargaining, they agree to go to the cave.
That is the setup to Karen Kay's latest in the Legendary Warriors series. But LONE ARROW'S PRIDE has more going on than a pair of children finding each other again as adults or the quest to set something right. The most difficult part of the story is how two people, virtually strangers from opposing cultures, learn that they must trust each other. It is especially difficult for this pair as the cave is tied to a sacred trust handed down for Lone Arrow to protect.
And, to make things even more complex, the sacred trust is akin to the legendary lost mines with "Lost Dutchmen" searching for the treasure they once saw.
Although getting all the elements of the story lined up is awkward to do, Ms. Kay's story takes flight once everything is in place. The cautious Lone Arrow and clumsy Caroline make a marvelous team once they acknowledge their feelings for each other and realize that by working together, they do right by each other.
It is an added bonus that Ms. Kay does a credible job of bringing Native American lore and everyday customs to life within her story with no preaching and a touch of woo-woo that charms a reader awaiting entertainment.
-- Reviewed by Lynne Perednia
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