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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Syvila Weatherford’s Blessings From The Four Winds is a fictional historical romance adventure inspired by the life of a real person, the author’s great-grandfather. With some creative license taken in naming characters, towns, and places to connect real events, you get a plot that is worthy enough to create a good western story. This story with multiple subplots centers on twenty-year-old Will who joins a cattle drive from Waco to Dodge City. During one of these cattle drives, he stumbles upon a beautiful Native American girl named Niabi who is bathing in a river. This encounter will largely remind you of how John Smith and Pocahontas met. The big difference is that the fancy and lore of Pocahontas’s tale shows John Smith as being good to her. On the other hand, Will, after failing in his chivalrous attempts at wooing Niabi, decides to abduct her as a seal-the-deal strategy.
Syvila Weatherford strives throughout her novel to imagine and justify the relationship between two people that are extreme opposites. Weatherford does her best to explore the hero’s stream of consciousness to justify his actions, most notably about kidnapping the woman he loves--how he anguishes over his actions and his awareness that no law would be understanding of him. Having said that, since Blessings From The Four Winds is inspired by the life of Weatherford’s great-grandfather, it’s a great thing that this is a love story with significant subplots that introduce you to characters in their life and times during the post-Civil War era. Weatherford gives us the gift of sensing the whole picture and the inspiration that she drew from this story was worth it. Readers who love a good western or historical tale will find good company in this book.