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Reviewed by Caitlyn Lynch for Readers' Favorite
It's always a gamble reading a book with a First Nations protagonist; it always seems to be a 50/50 bet whether the book will be well-written and researched, treating First Nations history and culture with respect, or whether it will be horribly culturally appropriative and fetishizing. Thankfully, it very quickly became apparent that Kindred Spirits: The Healers is most definitely a case of the former. Rory Church says in an introduction that they have spent significant time with tribal elders doing research in order to write about a Creek Nation medicine woman in training, and that research has paid off. While I am not First Nations myself, the respect that the author has for the culture and traditions of the people being portrayed is evident on every page.
In Crystal Blackrock, Rory Church has created a powerful, fascinating heroine; a medicine woman in training uncertain if she can follow in her respected grandfather's footsteps, seeking to find her place in the modern world and be a leader of her people. She believes that the culture clash between her beliefs and the 'modern medicine' approach of Dr. Grant Sands, into whose company she is thrown over the course of Kindred Spirits, is inevitable. I liked Crystal immensely and found myself hoping that she and Grant could work out their inevitable differences and find a way forward together without compromising her values and beliefs. I won't spoil the story for you by telling you how it all works out, but let me just say that this is a romance and it isn't a let-down in the happy ending stakes!