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From The Heart Of The Storm [Mass Market Paperback]

Kurt Giambastiani
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Jan. 6 2004
As the ailing President Custer struggles to prevent war, it's unclear whether his renegade son will be able to fulfill his role as the savior of the Cheyenne-and nemesis of his father...

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The fourth book in Giambastiani's weird and almost wonderful alternate-history series opens with the dinosaur-riding Plains Indians forming an alliance of Crows and Cheyennes. This offers them the hope of successfully resisting white encroachments, although the U.S. vice president is ruthlessly pushing the frontier forward and making life miserable for European immigrants. Meanwhile, young George Custer Jr., now the Cheyenne warrior One Who Flies, is becoming a leader of the resistance. Without knowing the details, he is also effectively an ally of his father, President Custer, who seems to aspire to be known as something other than a simple-minded thug and Indian killer. Giambastiani's knowledge of the Plains Indians continues to carry the story more than any other aspect of the book, so well that many readers will rush through this volume and be overjoyed to learn that a sequel is inevitable. Kudos to this unlikely but undeniably successful alternate history. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Major Setback Jan. 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the Heart of the Storm is the fourth novel in the Fallen Cloud series, following Shadow of the Storm. In the previous volume, the Spanish ambassador to the United States, Alejandro Miguel Tomas Silveira-Rioja, arranged for a meeting between leaders of the Cheyenne Alliance and President Custer in Washington. Yet Silveira also arranged to have the President's son, George Junior, assassinated as vengeance upon the father for an old hatred. Unfortunately, the assassin also had old hatreds and attacked the father instead. While the son struggled with the assassin, the guards shot at them and also hit Three Trees Together. The guards arrested George Junior and the Cheyenne went home.
In this novel, Storm Arriving knows that the white men will attack in the spring and suggests that the Cheyenne Alliance start preparing for war during the winter rather than waiting for the thaw as they would normally do. He also suggests that the Cheyenne approach the Crow, their old enemies, with the offer of an alliance. Some of the Cheyenne leaders are vehemently opposed to such changes and refuse to accept his leadership. Others follow him, but falter after the long campaign, and some few, both Cheyenne and Crow, are totally committed to him.
George Junior, called One Who Flies by the Cheyenne, is finally released from prison and makes a pilgrimage to the burial site of Three Trees Together; after grieving for his old mentor, George takes the old medicine bag as a memento and rides northeast to the territory of the white men. His beloved Mouse Road, the sister of Storm Arriving, regrets her harsh words to One Who Flies and realizes that she must let him be different from other men; she decides to search for him.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great chapter in the Cloud series Sept. 6 2004
By Todd Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
O.K., I confess, I'm a fan. A big fan. I've read the "Cloud" series religiously and enjoyed each one. So, while I am predisposed to like these books, each one has offered much more than I expected when I began it. In From the Heart of the Storm Giambastiani has again exceeded all expectations. He has painted a huge canvas - which now stretches to Cuba and Spain in wonderfully rich writing that makes you want to book a flight - while remembering that it's the people that make the story happen. He shows us the frailty of humans as Custer struggles with his fall from strength in both the white and Cheyenne worlds. Old characters return and new ones emerge and their relationships grow, change, and become more fascinating with each chapter. As with the other books, this one has healthy doses of political intrigue that are well crafted. Great stuff. I'm desperate for more.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Major Setback Jan. 6 2004
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the Heart of the Storm is the fourth novel in the Fallen Cloud series, following Shadow of the Storm. In the previous volume, the Spanish ambassador to the United States, Alejandro Miguel Tomas Silveira-Rioja, arranged for a meeting between leaders of the Cheyenne Alliance and President Custer in Washington. Yet Silveira also arranged to have the President's son, George Junior, assassinated as vengeance upon the father for an old hatred. Unfortunately, the assassin also had old hatreds and attacked the father instead. While the son struggled with the assassin, the guards shot at them and also hit Three Trees Together. The guards arrested George Junior and the Cheyenne went home.

In this novel, Storm Arriving knows that the white men will attack in the spring and suggests that the Cheyenne Alliance start preparing for war during the winter rather than waiting for the thaw as they would normally do. He also suggests that the Cheyenne approach the Crow, their old enemies, with the offer of an alliance. Some of the Cheyenne leaders are vehemently opposed to such changes and refuse to accept his leadership. Others follow him, but falter after the long campaign, and some few, both Cheyenne and Crow, are totally committed to him.

George Junior, called One Who Flies by the Cheyenne, is finally released from prison and makes a pilgrimage to the burial site of Three Trees Together; after grieving for his old mentor, George takes the old medicine bag as a memento and rides northeast to the territory of the white men. His beloved Mouse Road, the sister of Storm Arriving, regrets her harsh words to One Who Flies and realizes that she must let him be different from other men; she decides to search for him. Speaks While Leaving, the wife of Storm Arriving, goes with her and takes the infant Blue Shell Woman with them.

In Washington, Silveira's role in the assassination plot is revealed and he is recalled by the Spanish Viceroy. George Senior is struggling to regain his abilities to talk and walk. With the President's disability, Levi Morton, the Vice President, assumes the duties of the Presidency and increases military pressure against the Cheyenne, even resuming attacks against the women and children. Morton also increases aid to Cuban rebels fighting for independence from Spain.

This story shows George Armstrong Custer Junior as a defeated and despondent man while George Armstrong Custer Senior is determined to overcome his handicaps. Of course, George Senior has Libby, his wife of twenty-eight years, standing by his side and supporting him when he falters. George Junior, however, thinks that he has lost the love of Mouse Road even after she and Speaks While Leaving follow him to the town of New Republic.

This segment shows the Cheyenne beginning to change their ways to adapt to the pressure of the white men. They had already been using the weapons of the white men, but now Storm Arriving also starts to adopt some of the tactics of their enemy. Moreover, he sees other changes that must occur if the Cheyenne are to survive, as do Speaks While Leaving and One Who Flies.

This novel is an excellent example of an alternate history fantasy, similar in many ways to Turtledove's Thessalonica. The basic framework is historical, but with religious elements and other fantastic aspects intermingled with the history. In this case, the author presents a very different perspective on US society in the interval between the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

Highly recommended for Giambastiani fans and for anyone else for enjoys tales of various cultures with different socioeconomic structures and technological levels adjusting to each other.

-Arthur W. Jordin
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great installment in this alternate history series Jan. 7 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At the battle of Little Big Horn, General Custer was victorious, became a hero to the American people and went on to become president of the United States. The encroaching Anglos on the Great Plains forced the Cheyenne to form alliances with other tribes and become a force to be reckoned with. George Custer Jr. came to the Cheyenne and stayed, believing it was wrong for settlers, politicians, and businessman to oust the Native Americans from their tribal lands.
After many clashes, the leaders of both the Cheyenne Alliance and President Custer met in Washington D.C. to start peace talks. Before that could happen, an assassin kills the Indian mentor of George Jr. and injures President Custer. As the acting commander-in-chief, the Vice President sends troops to the land of the Cheyenne Alliance with war imminent. He is also arming the rebels in Cuba hoping they will overthrow the Spanish colony while George Jr. and two Indian women travel to Spain in hopes of forging an alliance between the Cheyenne and the Spanish territories in North America.
Kurt R.A. Giambastini is a star of alternate historical weaving events so carefully that readers will wonder if they actually happened in this world. On the throw of the dice they could have happened which makes FROM THE HEART OF THE STORM so realistic. This entertaining story leaves enough loose threads dangling that there is at least one more book in this series that fans can hardly wait for it to be published.
Harriet Klausner
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Let Down Feb. 19 2013
By Joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
there are 3 different 5-star reviews on Amazon saying how people loved this book, and the premise seemed interesting so i figured that i would give this a shot - this is a HUGE disappointment for me - if anyone else is reading this and has read the first 3 books and you enjoyed them, then this will probably please you as well - I found this on a whim, and did not know that I was diving into the series - but, even without previous event knowledge, I will say these things to be true, only for me, this lowly reader who hated this book: Alternate History does not HAVE to read like a history book - and this one did - characters that are not characters as much as people walking through events - I mean this almost literally - there is no action - only dialog about history and dialog about "what will we do now" and then traveling to talk to someone else - seriously - this is a book filled with little to no development for characters, the most action that this book has happens in the past and is only spoken of, and I have no personal feelings for any characters at all.

This read like a transcript from a History Channel show that tells the story of a history that never was. Like History Channel's "History of Dragons" this book was a bad idea for me to even consider reading. My apologies to everyone else that loves this writer and series, but I absolutly can NOT give this book more than one star.
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