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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Shadow Path: A High Plains Warrior Novel by Michael O. Gibbs is an absorbing historical novel about friendship and redemption. The plot centers on a slave on the run named Lince and the friendship that develops when he saves a native woman from captivity. A secondary plot involves a young Snake warrior and Shadow, his wolf. Snake finds the brother he never knew, and together they search for their mother, who turns out to be the native woman Lince has befriended. If you can imagine America during the 1750s or are curious to learn how life was back then on the Great Plains, when just French trappers and Native Americans occupied the area, then this novel will be immensely entertaining and informative to you.
Gibbs has crafted a completely engrossing book of history, culture, characters, and entertainment. He expertly brings the two plots together to form a single satisfying story. His descriptions of the wild landscapes and dangerous elements put you into the past, and you feel that you are one of the characters. It all comes to a head when they find themselves facing a treacherous battle, and they just may make it out alive with help from Spirit Man, Carries-His-Lion, and Kills-In-The-Dark. But besides tension between cultures and a nice action-adventure tale, you also have a family story about belonging and humanity, which raises this novel to a higher level. If early American history interests you, or the lives and customs of indigenous peoples, including surviving and tracking, you won't be disappointed. But remember, this is more than a history lesson about life before "The White Man" enters the scene. It's an intense drama with carefully crafted and multi-dimensional characters. Gibbs's style is respectful, literary, and authentic. Fans of the book and TV miniseries Centennial and similar works will appreciate Shadow Path: A High Plains Warrior Novel by Michael O. Gibbs.