American Solace is a genre bender, a prehistoric fantasy with a twist. Sort of a People of the Wolf meets the post-apocalypse.
Little Owl breaks taboos, raises the ire of his elders, and garners the affection of the war chief’s daughter. They say it’s time for his Rite of Passage. He’ll learn what totem will govern his life. Mistrusting the Rite, his uncle suggests an ancient practice which no one since the last age has undertaken.
A threat loomed in the forests surrounding their town. The trees tossed about ominously and river pools bubbled where they should only mirror the moon’s perfection. Storehouses were dwindling, fishermen were coming home with empty baskets, and for the first time since entering the sixth world, farmers were clearing new fields. And they were finding peculiar artifacts in the soil, though the people had little chance to discern their origin or nature. As quick as they could, the priests would come and snatch them up and hide them away, saying only that the artifacts were from another age, definitely not meant for the layperson’s eyes.
Little Owl was content to fish and amuse himself by collecting the shells of freshwater mussels, but a long-held mystery about the end of the last age and their deliverance into the present seemed ready to unfold before his eyes. He breaks taboos, disturbs evil spirits, garners the affection of the war chief’s daughter, and raises the ire of his elders. They say it is time for his Rite of Passage, where he will learn what totem will govern and guide the rest of his life. But his uncle recommends an alternative, a vision quest in which his nephew will discover his true totem. However, it is an ancient practice which no one since the last age has undertaken, so it will likely be more dangerous than the Rite. But at least it will be authentic. Reluctantly, Owl agrees to go. After days of fasting and ceremonial purification, he begins a perilous journey through mysterious forests.
Meanwhile, their fearsome enemy is spotted nearby. Aware of Owl’s departure into the wilds, the chief’s daughter pleads with her father to send an escort. He refuses. But Willow is a powerful warrior in her own right, who may just take matters into her own hands. What will she do next?
Far from home, Owl gains tantalizing clues about their deliverance into the present world. But the truth surrounding the end of the last age remains shrouded in mystery. An unexpected visitor joins him on his journey. An old friendship is rekindled. They press on, to an ancient village, the subject of Owl’s imaginings for as long as he can remember. The people of the fifth world had abandoned the old town. It was a place to avoid, a place where lingering ghosts and bad spirits were thought to dwell. As they unravel the mystery, the situation grows ever more dangerous.
“An intimate, emotionally powerful story about a community and the coming of age of a particular young man within it.” — Goodreads reviewer
“A well written novel…get the implied notion of being imbedded in the culture…excellently written and presented a living breathing world.” — Goodreads reviewer
“May very well be destined to become an American literary classic. The story is that good. The writing is that good. I have read a few stories concerning the original Americans. Some of them have been good. Most of them have only been so-so. This one is great.” — Readers’ Favorite