Captive Spirit

Captive Spirit

4.3 6
by Liz Fichera
     
 

Sonoran Desert. Dawn of the sixteenth century.

Aiyana isn't like the other girls of the White Ant Clan. Instead of keeping house, she longs to compete on the Ball Court with her best friend Honovi and the other boys. Instead of marriage, she daydreams of traveling beyond the mountains that surround her small village. Only Honovi knows and shares her

Overview

Sonoran Desert. Dawn of the sixteenth century.

Aiyana isn't like the other girls of the White Ant Clan. Instead of keeping house, she longs to compete on the Ball Court with her best friend Honovi and the other boys. Instead of marriage, she daydreams of traveling beyond the mountains that surround her small village. Only Honovi knows and shares her forbidden wish, though Aiyana doesn't realize her friend has a secret wish of his own...

When Aiyana's father arranges her marriage to a man she hardly knows, she takes the advice of a tribal elder: run! In fleeing, she falls into the hands of Spanish raiders and finds herself being taken over the mountains against her will. Now Aiyana's on a quest to return to the very place she once dreamed of escaping. And she'll do whatever it takes to survive and find her way back to the people she loves.

74,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426890390
Publisher:
Carina Press
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
943,427
File size:
760 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The area known today as Phoenix, Arizona, at the dawn of the sixteenth century.

The land of my people was surrounded on three sides by mountains as dark as my skin. To the north loomed a mountain shaped like a sleeping mule deer; to the west, a ridge high enough to shield our fields from the relentless sun; and to the east, boulders as jagged as Grandfather Eyota's front teeth. Only the south stretched open as far as we could see, and it was from the south that my ancestors first appeared in the desert generations ago.

We were forbidden to travel anywhere but south. The mountains, our elders warned, protected us like broad shoulders. And the valley surrounded by these mountains, once brown and brittle, flourished with cotton, squash, beans, pumpkins and corn as high as our fathers. The land provided everything we needed, our elders said. More than we'd ever want.

Maybe so, I often thought, but I could never escape the feeling that those mountains kept us captive as much as they kept us safe.

"You daydream too much, Aiyana," Chenoa said. She proceeded to poke me in the arm with the tip of a palo verde stick, masterfully sharpened by our younger brother, Onawa. "And you can't expect me to do everything, can you?"

Chenoa was my older sister and like most sisters, I either loved or hated her. We were supposed to be gathering saguaro berries for the Rain Ceremony. Everybody wanted rain when the air grew heavy as deerskin; I simply wanted a peek at the other side of those mountains. And the older I became, the deeper my curiosity grew. I had already seen my sixteenth harvest, and sometimes the desire to discover the World Beyond took up so much space inside my head that it frightened me.

"Don't you ever wonder what's over there?" I asked, stopping again underneath a wispy canopy of palo verde branches. An endless mountain range stretched before us. The rocky ridge had three humps, a middle one as round as a half-moon with smaller ones flanking each side. The elders believed a giant animal slept beneath the mountain; we called it Sleeping Mule Deer. "Aren't you ever curious?" I wiped the sweat from my brow with the back of my hand, watching the mountain's colors shimmer red and orange from the merciless heat.

Chenoa pivoted long enough to grace me with one of her signature eye rolls. It wasn't the first time I asked her about the World Beyond during one of our fruit gathering journeys. It was a luxury for a girl to leave the circle of pit houses in our village, and no doubt Chenoa thought I was wasting time again with silly questions. And we were allowed to travel only so far as we could see the tops of our brush-covered roofs. I supposed Chenoa would rather talk about her upcoming wedding ceremony to Sinopa, but our walks were my only opportunity to say those things that I dared not say inside the pit house. To do so meant I ignored the wisdom of our elders and, ultimately, our Creator, Hunab Ku.

"How many times must we speak of this?" Chenoa scolded, always the good daughter, the wise daughter. The sensible daughter. The daughter I could never be. "The other side is probably just more of the same."

"But you don't know, do you." I said it more like a statement than a question. A challenge.

Meet the Author

Liz Fichera wrote her first story about her collie, Lady, when she was ten years old. She's been hooked on writing stories ever since although, mercifully, her story lines have expanded beyond furry animals that talk and dance. Liz's path from hobby writer to published writer was neither easy nor quick. From the time of her first story till the publication of her first novel, Liz has worked as a woefully bad receptionist, teacher, technical writer, project manager, and IT Director for a Fortune 500 firm. Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, Liz moved to Arizona after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who'd never seen snow. She was wrong. When she's not busy writing her next novel, Liz likes to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions and try to cook Italian dishes that taste as good as her mother's. Liz and her husband, Craig, live in Phoenix, Arizona. Captive Spirit is her debut novel. You can visit her on her website at lizfichera.com.

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Captive Spirit 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's not often you read intriguing, historical fiction involving Native American peoples. This novel had me from the first page. Well-researched and very vivid writing.
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ReaderMary More than 1 year ago
After reading an advance copy, I have to give kudos to new author Liz Fichera and her ability to develop such wonderful characters that I instantly conected with. The historical research completed on the Hohokam Indians added an additional layer of interest and intrigue. The pace of the story led me quickly through an adventure I didn't want to end. This is a book for the entire family. I am suggesting Captive Spirit for our next book club read.