Australia's ancient Aboriginal traditions and myths prove to be both powerful and real in The Keeper of Dreams, a deeply involving and evocative thriller in which contemporary greed confronts age-old taboos.
Deep in the central desert of the Australian Outback, a sacred stone that contains codes and carvings of an Aboriginal group's most powerful creation stories is stolen. If the stone is not recovered and the thieves not punished, Aboriginal elders know their people will die. And so, one by one, the three men who carried out the theft fall victim to an ancient justice, a ritual in which the victim is literally "sung" to death. The man who ordered the theft, however, remains outside the elders' power. To get to him, they must choose a ritual spirit-assassin -- a kudaitja.
Dr. Robert Erhard was raised in Australia by a white couple who adopted him when he was only a baby. He is a full-blooded Aborigine, one of Australia's Stolen Generations, now working in Houston, Texas, where he is a scientist and expert in interplanetary robotics. In the midst of his very "civilized" world, Robert is visited by an entity from his past who summons him home on a mission to avenge and save his people by recovering the stolen artifact. It is an ancient call that Robert has heard before, first when he was a child, and it signals a journey -- a spiritual and physical ordeal -- in which he must abandon everything he has become to honor his true identity, as Tjilkamata, his people's keeper of dreams, protector of all their secrets. It is his legacy and his fate to remain faithful to his people and their traditions, no matter how enticing or powerful the lure of his modern life.
The man behind the theft of the sacred artifact is Owen Bird, a ruthless and bullying multibillionaire industrialist who believes, because of his great wealth and power, that he is above the law. However, forces beyond his control begin to emerge when he is critically injured on an Outback buffalo hunt. Airlifted to a hospital emergency room, he has his first experience of the terrifying powers of the men who seek him and the stolen artifact.
As ancient lore propels Robert deeper into the heart of the vast Australian Outback in pursuit of his prey, Owen Bird summons his own assassin to protect himself.
The ensuing duel, matching the forces of ancient sorcery against modern technology and tactics, is both horrific and mesmerizing.
The Keeper of Dreams is based on genuine myths and legends indigenous to the Australian continent. Author Peter Shann Ford spent ten years researching Aboriginal history and lore, and authenticating stories with tribal elders, who subsequently approved this book.