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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Canyon of Doom by Jodi Lea Stewart is the second book in the series Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves. After Silki’s confrontation with Wol-al-chee, bank robbers should be a breeze, right? Except Silki knows something that no one else does - the robbers are looking for a mysterious medallion. The same medallion that Silki and her best friend Birdie found. It doesn’t help that Birdie has plans that will take her away for the summer, leaving Silki to come up with a plan on her own to discover the medallion’s origins and why the strangers want it so badly. Another epic adventure unfolds, this time with new dangers as Silki must brave environmental threats from the monsoon season and more family tension as her cousin arrives for an extended visit.
Emotion, anxiety, and excitement come through thanks to the beautiful way that Jodi Lea Stewart captures Silki’s spirit. Silki has such a delightful attitude and a rich connection to everything around her that draws you to the way she sees the world. She thrives on adventure and has a genuine excitement that comes across in the quirkiest of ways. Her friendship with Birdie was the central focus of the first book and remains a strong presence even with Birdie going away for the summer. Her absence is felt by Silki in various moments throughout. The story continues to touch upon Navajo lore which has a place within Silki’s journey and ties into the central mystery of the medallion. The primary location that has her attention this time is the Canyon of Doom which provides more mysteries, dangers, and eeriness that works well.
Silki has a beautiful dynamic with Smiles (her horse) and they have their way of communicating. He’s her constant companion and gives so much heart to the story. This tale touches more upon the familial dynamics and the tension with her mother and cousin Talastic. The mother-daughter interaction is an important element in her journey and something Stewart explores genuinely and realistically from the perspective of an angry daughter. She also has a strained connection with Talastic but their relationship is important to the journey. Canyon of Doom is a stunning follow-up to Summer of the Ancient that gives you more adventure, Silki’s lovely spirit, Navajo lore, and family dynamics.