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Follow the Author
Circles (Shining Light's Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition
About the Author
EDITOR: Lane Diamond has over 130 published books to his editing credit, including many multiple award-winners, across many genres and styles. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B006TIE72E
- Publisher : Evolved Publishing LLC; 1st edition (Nov. 19 2013)
- Language : English
- File size : 3648 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 230 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #631,100 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from Canada
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This story is set around 1500 in an un-stated North American location. For most of the story I pondered which tribe these people might be and where they lived. After I finished reading, I finally realized that it didn't really matter; it wasn't a narrative of a specific tribe, rather that of a way of life and of a belief system that could be applied to many peoples.
The Band of Fish People are peaceful. Their way of life shows respect for the animals that provide for them. Through his dreams, Feather Floating in Water, learns that he must lead his tribe and others that will come to follow him to a new land. His belief in the ways of his people is strong and he trusts that the elders and those that have come before will guide him. I was impressed with how Ms. Standing Deer conveyed this belief system and made it feel real to me. She had me carefully reading the words of the ancestors.
While it took me a few chapters to get into the gentle tone of the book, but the closing chapters, I was totally involved with the characters and was fearing for their continued safety. This is a gently told story which was a good reprieve from the business of my everyday life.
This story should appeal to a wide audience from chapter reading grade school children on up to seniors.
She was a breath of calm when I needed it, and her books spoke volumes.
Then my students in an English for Academic Purposes class at Assiniboine Community College's Adult Collegiate started asking me questions about Aboriginal people in Canada.
I played dumb, it was nearing the end of class, and what they had asked of me warranted an entire lesson, if not course on. I've taken courses devoted to Aboriginal studies, I don't claim to understand it in the way a scholar would. I don't claim to speak for any one, or their beliefs. I wanted to be respectful, and if nothing else, point my students in a direction where they could have a conversation, or seek more answers from local resources themselves.
I needed something they could read, something they could talk about & something that had unique vocabulary to study.
Then, I saw a post on Facebook came in the Google+, and weirdly contacted the artist/writer/author through Facebook. This G+ thing happens to me frequently - the interesting stuff is on Google+ lately, but Facebook still seems to hold messaging power. Groups seem to be complete vacuums in space time. Facebook is the new classified section of my daily newspaper.
(It's interesting, the word artist always comes to mind first when I think of Ruby Standing Deer.)
I assigned them all Chapter 1 & 2 to read - these are all highly talented skilled students, many of whom have degrees in things I will never understand (like physics, or computer science). Some who were so amazed that we didn't just design our cities better. . . they don't make sense!
Each of them has an entirely different perspective on North America, many of they not knowing any of the history of Canada, but some of them quite familiar with the Americanized popular history of North American Colonization.
Here's the thing, these are all smart people. We could have a really good discussion about colonization, the lenses of western civilization, historical perspective etc., etc. The only difference between them and I was a language barrier.
When I talked first with Ruby, it was to ask her if she was open to the idea of conversing with my students about what the book meant to them. She graciously answered that it was no problem, and I read the book with my students.
After them reading Chapters 1 & 2 in class they asked me so many questions I really do think we should teach a course all about First Nations to English as a Second Language students. Not because they don't understand, but simply because the history is so rich, beautiful and often sad.
I jotted down a number of questions from throughout the book that the class asked. Her are a few of the more important ones (at least they seem like the more pertinent ones at the moment).
The important questions are usually the ones that just pop out.
Why are the names so many combinations of words? Is it like words in our languages that don't quite translate to English so you have to describe them?
I answered, sometimes yes. Sometimes though, it has to do with the way it's told in the story, how Feather got his name, how animals guide us. Sometimes the answers are not straight forward - like filling out millions of pages of immigration paperwork in a foreign language, and wondering if it will really all be worth it.
At this point, we meander a bit, and I ask them if it really was worth it. Their answers vary, but for most they are happy to be here.
Were there really people like that in this area, did it used to be like that here along the Assiniboine River? Were they the same people? Or different ones?
We started at the link above, and had a great discussion, looked at maps and talked about migration.
Then the class got good.
If the words aren't easily translated to English, why do we use the English alphabet?
HA! We struck the linguistics chord. :D
Why does the book talk so much about dreams? Are dreams something that's important across cultures? (I am cleaning up their words some, but these are the questions we discussed.)
I told them a story, a story about how my grandmother on my dad's side used to talk to me about dreams. I had very vivid dreams as a child, often nightmares. I continue to have those type of dreams to this day. There are a number of cases where dreams have been meaningful forms of guidance.
I told them about the eagle she wore around her neck. It was something my dad picked out for her on a family trip to South Dakota, and made of Black Gold. I think my dad has that necklace now. Wherever it is, and whomever it is with, I hope it guides them too. I talked about the history of the Aboriginal people in that area, and how it was yet again, the same but different even from their own countries.
I have her pencil, a small gold plated mechanical pencil which while no longer in working order serves as a beautiful reminder to do the things we love most, and to make time for them.
I stopped at some point, realizing that what had happened was exactly what the book meant to happen. My stories meandered, my answers more like questions to my students. Yet throughout the entire three hour class they sat and listened, spoke, asked questions, read and learned. They even learned from the lessons in the book, and talked about how the read their children stories and tell them stories to teach them lessons.
One of the very curious, and younger students who is also sort of devilish (in a very good way) asked the last question I'll share.
It brings us full circle anyway.
Do people really talk about bad times coming again, are there witch doctors and elders here who fear the same things the elders in our communities fear?
The way he asked it was much more impish, and I can't do it justice. It made me laugh out loud, and the twinkle in his eyes is something I'll remember forever.
This was my answer:
I think if you listen, and if you are open to the conversations around you, the sense of danger and fear is among some. There is still hope for the future I think, but for those of us that dream, there is darkness to be mindful of.
His question reminded me of this part of the book:
"The Circle Changes. Like a spiral it moves, ever shifting due to all that affects it. It changes now, and we must move with it. It will go to seek out the Spirits, in a Vision Quest, when my father returns. I have said my words with a straight tongue." (pg 145)
In my dreams there is darkness, and misshapen people with heads the size of large helium balloons. No one has ears, and I seem to be floating above the rest of them observing. Not one of them, but not another species exactly either. Just apart, aside and absent from their consciousness. Or perhaps they are not conscious, and that's what should be shocking, not the fact that I can float.
This post was different, and doesn't use humor the way I normally would in a post. It's one of the few books that's touched me lately. If you click on the book cover, it will take you to Amazon, where you can and should check out Ruby Standing Deer's amazing work.
The editing is great, the covers are beautiful, and whether you read on an e-reader, or in print the series is worth every penny. I'll be reviewing the other two books in this series soon, and will focus those posts more on the content, but what's beautiful about these books is the content isn't the driver, it's the characters, the stories, the descriptions and the conversations that are seamlessly interwoven.
May the spirits, or whatever you believe in guide you, and may your path be the only one meant for you in 2015 and beyond.
Top reviews from other countries
The boy has been given the name 'Feather Floating on Water'. When we first meet him he is eight years old and lives with his grandparents, Hawk Soaring and Bright Sun Flower, and mother, Makes Baskets. They have a beautifully touching relationship and live in harmony with the world around them, giving as much as they take.
Feather is bothered by dreams however. His dreams warn of impending disaster as bearded men make their appearance in their world killing, enslaving and disturbing the harmony of the world as they go in search of gold. His grandmother, a wise woman of the tribe, helps him understand these dreams and guides him through his steps through childhood to an early manhood at age 14. The author takes pains to explain that not all of the bearded men are evil but most do not understand how to live in harmony.
Many in the tribe know Feather is a special boy and this belief is strengthened as Feather makes friends with a wild wolf and becomes a protégée of a holy woman fleeing with her group from the Europeans. Feather takes on a new name 'Shining Light' and leads his people, and other tribes, to a new land where they will be safe.
The story is strongly written and will appeal to those who believe that mankind should live in harmony with nature. If you expect savagery and blood - look elsewhere.
This is not just fantasy fiction. It is a kind of idealistic picturing of what humanity is capable of (and still is!). Otherwise, could Ruby capture it?
If you're looking for fiction that will lift your spirits and touch your soul, you've come to the right place!
I enjoyed it I’m a bed time reader
it was an easy entertaining read
Brilliantly written, great characters, highly recommend this to all.
The characters are clearly drawn, each one likeable in his or her own way, each one with something to offer to the tribe. There is a message here for all of us, and the author has done an excellent job in providing a warning in an entertaining and interesting manner.